Believe it or not, today is Opening Day for Major league Baseball.
The Seattle Mariners defeated the Oakland Athletics, 3-1 in 11 innings.
Call me old-fashioned, but I remember when the Cincinnati Reds — the first professional team, back in 1869 — always had the honor of playing the first game of the season. Now they’re not even playing them in North America, let alone the U.S.
But that’s the way it is. More and more, the game is changing — and not necessarily for the better – as efforts are made to pump some life into a disappearing fan base at the expense of tradition. Moving long-established teams from one league to the other, contemplating using the designated hitter in the National League, video replay (okay, I can get behind this one a little bit for the sake of getting the calls right). However, perhaps they’re overlooking the obvious: earlier start times for marquee events like the All-Star Game and the playoffs, more affordable ballpark experiences (forget the $26 hot dog; that seems like a bargain compared to the cost of regular fare).
Everyone else is still in Spring Training. Seattle and Oakland again today (tomorrow in Japan) before heading home. They face each other again beginning April 6. Jet lag and all, I guess. (Here’s a thoughtful consideration from SB Nation.) This kind of pits both teams at a disadvantage since they had a short spring training, and thus less time to make personnel decisions. Awwwww.
The regular regular season begins April 4 with the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals visiting the Miami Marlins new digs. Can’t wait for the first Marlins homer. (You might have to turn up the volume a bit for the video below, featuring broadcasting landsman Len Berman.)