Opening Day in baseball is a lot of things. It’s the start of a new season, obviously, but it’s also a sign of spring, a celebration of Americana, and a wellspring of hope for baseball fans all across the world. It’s also way too early.
March 28th isn’t a baseball day. It just isn’t. The Final Four hasn’t even been set yet and I’m watching sentient side of beef Luke Voit and the Yankees face the Orioles, who might have the worst roster I’ve ever seen in professional sports. That’s an “it’s late April/early May and the stuff I actually want to do today hasn’t started yet” activity, not late March. It’s too cold for baseball. It’s not hot dog weather, it’s not sitting outside for four hours doing nothing weather, it’s not lawn mowing weather, it’s just flat out not baseball weather. What’s the point of having Opening Day this early and on a Thursday? So it gets lost in the NCAA Tournament shuffle? Sick marketing strategy.
I’m just not ready for baseball. Maybe it’s more of a me thing, but I feel like this season really snuck up on me. Like Nate Eovaldi just put the team on his back for a million innings yesterday, now it’s time for a new 162? Getting old stinks, man. I used to be so on top of this stuff. I had every sport’s opening day circled on my calendar months in advance, had every storyline memorized, knew where literally every player in the league went to elementary school, the whole thing. Now I’m being semi-surprised by baseball’s Opening Day, the most sacred of all opening days. Those two Japan games had me feeling like the Mr. Krabs meme. Whatever, get me to July when there’s nothing else going on and I’ll be back. But what I do know is that the Red Sox won the World Series last year and are bringing back the same team this year. And this season figures to have some dormant teams in the playoff mix. The Phillies, Reds, Padres, and Mets could, at the very least, not be awful this year, and might flirt with being good. Maybe this is the year the Angels actually put a contender around Mike Trout. Doubt it, but that’s the allure of Opening Day. Anything can happen. Except, apparently, starting on an appropriate date.