Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Opening Day Redux

Well, Opening Day(s) have come and gone, and the Nationals are 2-0, looking like a whole new team, and basking in the afterglow of a fabulously successful stadium grand opening. Anyone who didn't watch the game and calls themselves a fan is probably kicking themselves. Jena and I stayed up for "one more inning" to see what happened in the bottom of the ninth. With two outs, lo and behold, Ryan Zimmerman comes up and laces one, a line drive that carried into the seats in left-center field (a stroke that would be have been a double at RFK), and just like that, the first game in Nationals Park came to a successful end.

Sadly we couldn't make it to the game, since we just weren't willing to pay $300 for a pair of tickets. It was a well-played game, and it was great to see them come out on top. As much of a critic as I might be of the current administration, I could have done without the booing of the president when he came out to throw the first pitch. Come on people. It's a BASEBALL game, not a congressional hearing. At least the guy can throw - we saw him throw out the first pitch at RFK in the Nats' inaugural season, and were most impressed with his arm. After watching him Sunday night, I can say with great confidence that whatever he might have lost in approval rating doesn't seem to have affected his velocity, so kudos to him for that!

The mighty Nationals followed up their Sunday victory with another win yesterday against the mighty Phillies, by dropping a 5-run ninth on their closer. Did the Nats have a five-run inning last year? Seriously. I can't remember one. Anyway, it's good to see that new and old guys are all doing their thing, and it's really exciting to have Nick Johnson back - he has been a fave of ours since he arrived. It must be really gratifying for him after that terrible injury, and especially to have the early success that he's had. I can also tell you that watching him at first base is a lot more comforting than watching Dmitri bungle around. (We love you Dmitri, seriously). A great start to a season that will be exciting for the new stadium and the new feeling around the team's future. I am excited for our first game next Thursday!

The Tigers - well - they didn't fare quite as well - Verlander was good-not-great and their bullpen was bad-not-awful. Sadly their high-octane offense wasn't enough, and they went down 5-4. The great thing about baseball is that they have 161 games to turn it around. I was able to watch the game on MLB.TV at work. Did I mention that the internet is the most incredible thing ever? On the subject of MLB.TV, why can't they show real commercials on the breaks? Why? They show this static display that says (imaginatively) "MLB.TV". Last year they had a pac-man game that ran in a loop, and a pong game. Why!?! When you watch about 130 of these, and every commercial break brings you this, you become almost hypersensitive to it. There are so many other things they could show, like highlights, news, scores. Anything but pong and pac-man. Weird.

Anyway, very excited for the season to get underway. Big time fun! Hopefully tomorrow my guys can get it together in game 2 against the Royals. Also found out that I will be checking out a Phillies-Mets game in Philly with a couple of friends from college in a few weeks. Awesome!