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Monday, April 5, 2010

Opening Day!

I woke up this morning to the sweet sound of John Fogerty singing of beating drums and holding phones all because the sun was out (yes I set my ihome so that I would wake up to that song). With a smile on my face I went toward the window and pulled back the drapes to see if that was indeed the case for me.

Even though the opening day matchup between the Twins and Angels was going to be played 1931 miles away, for some reason the fact that it was sunny outside of my window made me a bit happier.

This day could easily be considered a holiday for me, and quite frankly, even if it were, it wouldn't have been much different because I basically treated it like one. I had trouble focusing, I was antsy, I had an anxious excitement in my stomach throughout the day, it was as if I were an impatient young teenager on the last day of school. All of this for opening day.

Yes I know there will be another 161 games after tonight, and that this game has no additional significance over another aside from the fact that it is the first one. There is just something about opening day that gets me amped up for summer and the baseball season to come.

As I sit here in the 6th inning, with the Twins trailing 4-3 I have a few random baseball and general sports musings:

  • Mark Buehrle pitched extremely well today in the White Sox victory over the Indians 6-0. Buehrle went 7 innings giving up 3 hits with 1 walk and 3 strikeouts. He also turned in one of the best defensive plays I have ever seen by a pitcher.
  • I went into my fantasy auction draft last week hoping to pick up Jason Heyward for cheap after learning he would begin the season as the Braves starting right fielder. I was successful as I picked up Heyward for a mere $5. I am almost willing to say that the joy I received from seeing what he did in the Braves home opener today. Not only did he homer in his first major league at bat, he also had a pretty good overall day at the dish in the braves 16-5 rout of the Cubs.
  • Albert Pujols is good.
  • I am really glad that the Twins front office doesn’t make decisions based on what fans want. Because if they did, we would have Jason Frasor as our closer right now, and he had a rough day, pitching only 1/3 of an inning, giving up 2 runs and blowing a save.
  • The Duke Blue Devils are national champions, despite Butler giving them everything they could handle, including a half-court shot from Gordon Hayward at the buzzer that was ridiculously close to going in. Had that shot gone in, Butler would have been crowned national champions, and that shot would have immediately become one of the top 3 shots in NCAA tournament history, right up there with Laettner’s in 1992 and Lorenzo Charles’ in 1983.
  • With 161.5 games to go in the Twins season, my “Twins Most Improved Player” pick has started off on the right foot. Delmon Young homered in his first at bat of the season, and then showed off the blazing speed of his now “35 pounds lighter” frame, first by beating out an infield single and then stealing a base later that inning. I seem to recall another Twin homering in his first at-bat of the season last year, and that worked out pretty well…
  • I was extremely pleased to see the 5th inning sequence in which Young hit in an infield single, stole second, JJ Hardy hit a 3-2 pitch to the right side with a clearly intentional inside-out swing, and Nick Punto drove in young with a sacrifice fly. It was very good fundamental baseball, and shows that although we may have “beefed up” our lineup, we still are very good at creating runs, as the Twins have always shown.
  • If you would have told me that Delmon Young would hit a homerun in his first plate appearance of the season, and that Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau’s first hits of the year would come on infield singles, I may have laughed at you.

Check back throughout the week for new posts, including an upcoming post giving an economic analysis of Joe Mauer’s contract. I am always looking for ideas to improve the blog, including new poll ideas, writing topics you would like to see, or general suggestions. Feel free to e-mail me or comment with any ideas.

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