First off, I would just like to wish everybody a very happy, secular, non-denominational day of spring, painted egg collecting. But for most of us, the most special part of this day, is the first night of baseball in America.
Tonight at 8pm, or probably 9pm because of ESPN’s commercials, the New York Yankees will take on the Boston Red Sox in what will be the first day of baseball for the 2010 season. As die-hard a hockey fan as I am, nothing feels like opening day baseball, especially when the fate of your team is unknown.
How will your favorite team perform; will they surprise and win? Or will they disappoint and lose? Will players have career years? Or will players go on year long slumps? Those are all questions we must ask ourselves before our team’s starting pitcher delivers that first pitch.
One thing is certain, though, all teams have a chance to begin fresh, to put the problems and heartbreak of seasons’ past out of the way and focus on winning it all this year.
This year should be very interesting; the New York Yankees are my pick to win the World Series on a repeat. Meanwhile the San Francisco Giants finished with a very exciting, and league best spring training record– they will be a fun team to watch this season. The Phillies and Red Sox will continue to be as solid as they always are, the Braves will challenge for their division, and the Pirates and Royals will continue to swelter in mediocrity.
And how about those New York Mets? Half the team is on the disabled list before the season has even begun. What should they do first? Concede the season and open up a hospital wing at Bellevue, or sign the Mexican national team to an entry level contract and change the team to Los Mets?
Everywhere you look, there are teams that will challenge for their respective divisions. The morally acceptable, and downright futile absurdity known as “baseball parity” is finally rearing it’s ugly head.
The Rays will compete for the AL East. The Twins, Tigers, and White Six will go down to the wire, as always, in the AL Central. And Texas should be some trouble for the perennial winning Los Angeles of the State of California at Anaheim Angels in the AL West.
Meanwhile, in the NL West, it should come down to the Dodgers and Giants, both of whom will be in the playoffs. But the Padres will make things interesting if Adrian Gonzales can hit 60 homeruns, and the Rockies, who will start the season 20-72, will win the final 70 games of the season. In the NL Central, the Cardinals will power past everyone in their way, and the Phillies should take the NL East, because Braves are not strong enough, the Mets will be in full body casts by June, and the Nationals…well, they’re the Nationals.
Where does your team stand? What are your predictions for this season? Only have a few hours to go before the season is officially underway. I’m looking forward to tonight’s game, although I do not care who wins, because it’s baseball. And who can beat Joe Morgan and Jon Miller, the two best voices in the game?
Good luck to everyone out there, that your favorite team will remain competitive, and that this season will be exciting for us all!
This article is also be be featured on Phillies Phever, a new blog I will be writing for, with fellow sports fanatic Chris DiFrancesco.