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Sports Commentary 3/28/14 – Getting Behind On Opening Day

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Will Middlebrooks, Red Sox (Leon Halip/Getty Images)

Will Middlebrooks, Red Sox (Leon Halip/Getty Images)

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Getting behind on Opening Day…

I screwed up… I not only got behind the eight ball, I got behind opening day… how could I have missed it?…

Well, actually I didn’t, it sorta missed me… it took years to get used to opening day in Major League Baseball actually being opening night, green grass and sunshine optional, as it became a Sunday night made for ESPN affair that ignored the once honored tradition of allowing the Cincinnati Reds, the oldest of the Major League franchises, to host the first game of the season, in mid April.

It was hard enough to get used to a Sunday night opener, in which the Reds have also gone beyond being optional, to most likely left out, it’s hard to get my head around opening day in March… opening day, uh, opening night, this year, Sunday night, on ESPN.  Dodgers and San Francisco Forty-Niners– do you see what I just did there?  I fooled you– you actually believe Sunday night is opening night, because that’s what Major League Baseball and ESPN want you to believe.

If Sunday is opening night how come the Dodgers go into it with a two and oh record?  We weren’t the only ones who got behind on opening day, the Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks opened the Major League Baseball season a week ago, in Australia, while other teams were still playing spring training exhibition games, before they both came back to resume playing exhibition games.  Opening in foreign lands was a another great idea of Bud Selig, taking the game global to mine new markets for the same crowd that brought you the steroid era to the tune of spinning turnstiles.  If it was such a great idea, why doesn’t Bud own up to it more?  Why is he still selling us Sunday night as opening day?  How’d you like to be a fan of the Arizona Diamondbacks or L.A. Dodgers…. they’re already behind the opening day eight ball, dealing in anti climaxes?

Diamondbacks fans have an oh and two team and they’ll never get opening day two thousand fourteen back… after all those years of adjusting to baseball’s game of musical opening days i finally thought I had it nailed and I specifically chose today, a pause in the NCAA’s basketball tournament occupation, long enough to enjoy the anticipation of the tournament’s return to Madison Square Garden and everything that comes with it for local fans, to make my Major League Baseball picks, before opening day, but I missed it, so, like the spoiled brat I am, fool me and I just won’t make my picks at all, other than to give local fans this assessment of the game’s greatest rivalry.

As camps break Mark Teixeira has shown that physically his wrist is healed, now it’s just a matter of mentally trusting it.  Derek Jeter’s ankle is healed and while CC Sabathia has shown he’s adjusted to a new style of pitching, Michael Pineda and Masahiro Tanaka are living up to advanced billing.  Meanwhile, the Red Sox have their mound forces in shape as well, with Lester and Buchholz primed and ready to lead the way and once again they’re ready to drive opponents crazy with their habit of pulling retreads off the scrap heap and turning them into key players in championship runs.  This year’s poster boy of Red Sox “moneyball” will be Grady Sizemore, the Red Sox and Yankees will both be major contenders in the American League East, the two teams that I think will still be there the last two weeks in September.

Now, you see what I’ve done here, don’t you?  I fooled you again– this whole commentary was just a carry over from yesterday’s.  If you want to see an example of the vicious circle unionizing athletes can set in motion, and the changes, rarely for the better, that it can lead to, you need look no further than Major League Baseball.  With a comment from the sports world, I’m Scott Gray.

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