Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Opening Up

Quite the way to start the home season!

I’ve said it many times, that there’s nothing quite the same as opening day. When you walk around the park before the game, it just feels new. Fresh and clean. There’s the excitement of looking for changes. There’s the comfort of falling into old routines. There’s just nothing like it.

Add to that the Opening Day ceremony itself. This year, it was nice to be able to welcome the players who have been playing so well up to now. They’ve been better than we expected.

But, the ceremony itself, this year, was a bit of a dud.

When you build a team with no talent, and no stars…announcing line-ups is a bit of a downer. I though it was a tad hokey to announce loudly the “all-new coaching staff.” I mean, this was the organization that hired the former coaching staff, right? They also tried to make a much bigger deal out of some weird connections. Is “The Pride of Orono, Maine” really something that goes in an introduction? Or, “On the staff of the 2004 Red Sox.” or “Welcome back David Ross.” After such a glorious stint with the Sox the first time, I know that I couldn’t wait to welcome him back. If they wanted to come up with bizarre ways to get a reaction from the crowd, they just needed to introduce Pedro. If they can trot out the visitor’s clubhouse manager, they can’t find a way to give the Special Assistant to the General Manager an intro? They did manage to bring him out for the “Play Ball!” So, at least they had him out there at some point. Just thought they’d use him more. The introduction of Jackie Bradley got too much of a cheer from the crowd. Sure, rookies often get unwarranted applause. Sort of encouraging a youngster early on to build a good relationship. But, it really speaks to the power of the media that “future legend” Jackie Bradley Jr got a larger ovation than “frail” Jacoby Ellsbury.

The game itself was, obviously, fantastic. After arriving early for the ceremony, having the game go less than three hours was a welcome treat. The Red Sox hitters ran into a bit of a buzz saw. But, Buchholz was more than up to the task. I know it’s early, but looking up and seeing his 0.64 season ERA is just great. Once the Red Sox got the lead, it was time for the bullpen. This year, the ‘pen had been phenomenal. I wondered earlier if the Sox were planning on using the bullpen to be a half-starter. From the looks of things, that’s exactly what they got. Bailey showed us everything we were missing last year. And, while Hanrahan didn’t exactly bring down the hammer, he got the job done. Speaking of which, what was up with Hanrahan’s entrance song? They started it off with a few notes of Shipping Up To Boston, but then stopped it. The park went quiet for a bit, before blasting a bunch of noise pretending to be a song. Was that planned? A mistake in accidentally calling up Pap’s song? A tease for those of us in the stands? Hopefully he goes another direction with his music. What happened yesterday just didn’t work.

I know. My complaints form yesterday focus on the ceremony, and the entrance music for the new closer. Nothing about the actual game.

Isn’t that just wonderful?

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