April 4, 2016. The first Monday in April. Baseball is back. The Void is over. Opening Day. Except it isn't. There were 3 games yesterday. Do we call Sunday Pre-Opening Day or Opening Day Eve? Or is Opening Day now the first Sunday in April? I have embraced Sunday Night Baseball, even the Pre-Opening Day Eve game. But make the season stretching stop!! ALL teams should be in first place on Opening Day.
Today, on the REAL Opening Day, I will watch all the games on tv. I will wear my Joey Votto jersey. I will dream of being at the ball park. I will remember the sun on my face, the taste of frozen lemonade, the 7th inning stretch, the joy of keeping score. I will recall some of my favorite calls: Back, back, back, back...Gone. -Chris Berman; It's deep and I don't think it's playable. -Keith Olberman; Stick a fork in him, he's done. -Leo Durocher. And my favorite: And this one belongs to the Reds. -Marty Brennaman.
During the season, I'll watch Sunday Night Baseball, Wednesday Night Baseball, and Baseball Tonight. I'll miss Jon Miller and Joe Morgan calling the games on Sunday evening. I'll laugh at and with Dallas Braden. I'll anticipate hearing Jessica Mendoza in the booth often. Hear that ESPN? More Jessica Mendoza!! I'll admire double plays and home runs, power pitchers and strike-outs, finesse pitchers hitting the corners, a perfect sacrifice bunt. I'll keep score at the College World Series, hopefully rooting for the Arizona State Sun Devils. I'll watch the Reds at The Great American Ball Park in July. I'll pray to the Baseball Gods that the absolutely stupid idea of bring the DH to the National League is buried. Forever. I'll check box scores and standings. I'll wonder if my Reds will ever make the play-offs again. I'll watch the play-offs and the World Series no matter who plays. Baseball is back and I'm a fan.
"Sure, opening day is baseball's bandwagon. Pundits and politicians and every prose poet on the continent jumps on board for a few days. But they're gone soon, off in search of some other windy event worthy of their attention. Then, once more, all those long, slow months of baseball are left to us. And our time can begin again." -Thomas Boswell (Why Time Begins on Opening Day)