By Billy Fellin
After seven months of anticipation, more steroid talk, the drama out of the Bronx and the roulette game that is free agency, Opening Day has finally arrived. Opening Day is arguably one of the greatest days in a sports fanatic’s life, such as mine. There’s just something about Opening Day, the anticipation of it and the aura surrounding the first pitch, the first home run or the first win of the year.
I personally have been waiting for this day since the Cardinals won the World Series last October (actually that’s a lie, I’ve been waiting for this since the Tigers knocked out the Yankees in the ALDS last year, but I’m trying to be impartial here). Speaking of the Bronx Bombers, I was sweating bullets when I heard that Carl Pavano would be our Opening Day starter. My first reaction hearing this was: WHAT!? This is a player that has this huge contract and has been riding it well, cause he hasn’t done much playing during his time in pinstripes. By the way, am I the only one who found it ironic that Pavano took that time off with the team to go see his “seriously ill” girlfriend and then a few weeks ago they break up?
As I have said before, there are perks to being in college. But then again there are drawbacks, such as classes. The Yankees game started at 1 o’clock, unfortunately at the same time as my triple-header classes; class at 1, 2 and 3 o’clock. Unfortunately, I doubt that any of my teachers would have given me an excused absence due to Opening Day. Not that I didn’t try, of course. Hey, I thought it was a good excuse. Thankfully, we have wireless so I was able to take my laptop to class and watch the game via ESPN Gameday. That eased my pain a bit; that is, until A-Rod’s error. Great going Rodriguez, I hope he doesn’t say that was a result of his cooled friendship with Jeter (who also made an error) or else I might just explode. I hear that’s bad for your health, so let’s hope Rodriguez says the sun got in his eye or something. My mom, who has figured out how to text message me on my cell phone, was sending me texts periodically when the score changed, during the times when it was a bit too obvious I wasn’t taking notes on my laptop during class. Hey, I got away with it in high school.
So I got many a strange look as I ran across the campus of Christopher Newport University as I sprinted back to my room to catch the last two innings of the Yankees-Devil Rays game. I made it in time for the top of the 8th inning. The Yankees were up 6-5 and they dispatched the D-Rays in the top of the 8th. Then the Yankees came up. Mientkiewicz got on, and Cabrera moved him over to second with a sac bunt. Jeter grounded to third, then Abreu hit a double, scoring Mientkiewicz and then A-Rod destroyed that pitch to center, taking the score up to 9-5. Then Rivera came in, three up three down ball game. I thought he looked great, dialed in and his pitches were really working for him. He only threw two balls to the three batters. Granted, against Navarro the second pitch went high, so if Navarro hadn’t swung, it would have been a ball but I’ll take it anyway.
So the Yankees Opening Day went well, except for the three errors in the box score. Next on the slate is the Boston and Royals game in Kansas City, which I am also watching. I’d have to say that Schilling had a rocky first inning, maybe a sign of things to come? Probably not, but it’s fun to start asking these questions. Another thing about Opening Day is that everyone is getting out their jitters and perhaps brushing off a little more rust.
Opening Day is one of the greatest days in sports in my life and I love watching the first games of the baseball season. It just brings about great things about the weather and summer to come. I’ve played and watched baseball for 14 years of my life, so it just feels right for me when baseball is on. So get used to even more Yankees and Red Sox coverage and pitchers avoiding pitching to Bonds like the plague/ Guys and gals, baseball is back.