Four years ago, I was hardly excited for the baseball season to begin; the Mariners had lost Alex Rodriguez to a division rival, and to counteract the lost offense they brought in an over-the-hill second baseman and some little Asian guy with a hole in his swing. I was upset and pessimistic, and the last thing I wanted to watch was A-Rod playing short for the Rangers on Opening Day.
And yet, sure enough, there I was in front of the television, watching Texas take on the "home" Blue Jays at Hiram Bithorn stadium on the first of April. It wasn't just passive observance, either - I got into it, and was thoroughly delighted when Alex was charged with an error on the first ball hit his way. I watched Esteban Loaiza mow through what was supposed to be a dangerous lineup, and by the time Billy Koch recorded the final out of the game, the joy of baseball had returned, and I couldn't wait for the Mariners to start their season (and what a season it was).
Baseball doesn't need to oversell a Boston/New York matchup to generate excitement about the season. Watching the Tigers face the Royals, and knowing that David DeJesus' infield single was the first official hit of the year, would be enough for me. Opening Day has always had a special feel to it, and much like the Christmas Eve family get-together where your aunt gets drunk and the dinner roast falls on the floor, the significance isn't so much the content of the day as it is the meaning of the day itself.
Will Carroll said it pretty well in yesterday's UTK:
Blez at Athletics Nation echoes Carroll's sentiments, pushing for Opening Day to become a national/federal holiday:
Baseball is five hours away. At last.