Happy Opening Day! Some like to say.
For the regular baseball writers, Opening Day is like going to church on Easter or Christmas in that it’s filled to the rafters with media types who won’t be back again for the rest of the year. They aren’t the devout – they only come out for the big games or when it’s fashionable. Mostly though, they just get in the way.
But that’s all well and good. It was a lot of fun seeing the whole gang back together and to catch up with folks that we hadn’t seen since the last game in Washington last October.
Anyway, the second game of the year is always the best one – the crowd dissipates and the regulars get to spread out a little more.
The first thing I noticed when I walked into the press box and set my bag at my work space in from of my regular seat for the past four years (seat No. 92) was the dry erase board with the day’s lineup written down. In the third slot it read:
6 Howard 1B
26 Utley 2B
My first reaction was, “Cool, will you look at that. That looks kind of good… it will get the reigning NL MVP up to bat in the first inning.”
Then I thought, “Uh-oh. I’m going to get asked about this… a lot. I bet Charlie is going to have to talk about it a bunch, too.”
Sure enough, Charlie talked about his lineup during his pre-game meeting with the writers where it sounded like he had one of his Japanese manager premonitions where he “felt” like the move needed to be made. And sure enough, as soon as the lineup was posted live on the Internets the IMs and emails came with some ferocity.
Yeah, just what I needed – more questions. I get that stuff at home, I don’t need it at the ballpark, too.
Kidding (kind of) aside, the general reaction seemed to be, “wow” and “cool” or “interesting.” Noting that Ryan Howard, as the No. 3 hitter, picked up two singles and a walk, it seemed to work out fairly well. Better yet, with Chase Utley hitting behind Howard, Manuel says it allows him to try more things. For instance, he gave Utley the green light to attempt to steal second on a 3-1 pitch with one out to No. 5 hitter Pat Burrell in the fourth inning. Burrell took ball four, but the point was made.
Ever aware scribe Mike Radano noticed that Pat Burrell walked to the plate with new entrance music. In fact, he walked over to seat No. 92 to point it out and directed me to his blog.
Check it out.
Word on the street is that Todd Zolecki lost his lucky Minnesota Golden Gophers cap in Clearwater.
The Lancaster Crackers Jr. are back for another season in my Rotisserie baseball league and based on past seasons I think I need some help.
Here’s the roster
C – Ramon Hernandez
1b – Nomar Garciaparra
2b – Ray Durham
3b – Scott Rolen
ss – Juan Uribe
of – Bobby Abreu
of – Corey Patterson
of – J.D. Drew
UT – Chipper Jones
Bench – Adrian Beltre
Bench – Aubrey Huff
Bench – Chad Tracy
DL – Chone Figgins
All suggestions and comments regarding this team are welcomed. It appears as if I need some relief pitching… sounds like a common theme for 2007.