I was chatting with Palmyra, Pa. and the Wilmington News Journal's Doug Lesmerises while standing on the field at Citizens Bank Park prior to the Opening Day game between the Phillies and the Washington Nationals. Aside from the normal standing-around-and-waiting banter that is the lifeblood of the baseball writer, I made some sort of crack to Doug about the blog he and the other staff writers keep on the paper's Web site; I kind of liked the feature and thought it was a good way for the paper to develop a rapport with the readers. But when added that perhaps Doug should start a blog of his own, he gave me the best answer I had ever heard regarding "real" writers and the trendiest part of the Web: "Why would I want to write for free?" You're damned right, Doug. Thanks. After that, we went back to tlking about why we hated Opening Day, unlike the touchy-feely, baseball-as-a-metaphor-for-life and time-starts-on-Opening-Day sissies who listen to NPR and read crap like Roger Angell (yeah, that's right... he sucks!). We hate Opening Day for the same reason a devout church goer dislikes mass on Christmas. Sure, it's petty, but whatever. Without writers, TV people would have no idea what to do. And speaking of pettiness, here's an excerpt from a story I wrote describing the scene on Opening Day: As an interesting aside, it is kind of funny to note that after Manuel was grilled by the writers for nearly 30 minutes, he walked up the dugout steps for a brief session with the gaggle of TV reporters on hand where he was greeted with smiling faces and innocuous questions like, "Charlie, the sun is shining and it's a beautiful day. Does opening day ever get old?" Am I arrogant enough to think I know more than TV reporters and people of that ilk? Yes. But then again, I'm the one writing for free.