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Looking ahead to Opening Day’s six — what, only six? — games

Mar 31, 2011, 8:22 AM EDT

Opening Day flag

Today is the day that everyone learns a little something about their employer. Like, whether he is so unreasonable as to not allow you to blow the day off to watch ballgames. Or, at the very least, if he’s so uptight that he won’t allow you download on the company machine — using the company credit card to pay for it — and watch games as you process those TPS reports. And drink beer.

Hint: if he has a problem with this, update your resume because life is too short.

Or maybe you should just ride it out. There are only six games on this Opening Day. Which I suppose allows for more teams to have the spotlight, but also makes it something less than the glorious orgy that 15 day games would give us. Probably not worth complaining about, I suppose. In the past few years we’ve had only that one night game on Sunday night to kick things off and that felt way weirder than a half dozen day tilts.

Regardless, here is the day’s slate, all times are Eastern time because that’s how we roll in the East Coast-based media:

Tigers at Yankees, 1:05PM, ESPN:  We’ll be live blogging this one here at HBT. At least we hope so. The forecast in the Bronx is calling for rain mixed with snow and temperatures in the low 40s at game time. If this is the junk that came through Ohio yesterday, we may have some problems. I still have snow on my front yard as I type this.  If it does go off, however, we get CC Sabathia vs. Justin Verlander, and that’s pretty friggin’ sweet.

Braves at Nationals, 1:05PM: Derek Lowe vs. Livan Hernandez is somewhat less inspiring a matchup, no?

Brewers at Reds, 2:10PM: There was a time when the Reds always had the first game on Opening Day. That time has passed, sadly. Opening Day is always a hoot in Cincinnati, with parades and stuff. It’s one city where, yes, your boss may very well allow you to blow off work today. At least I hope it’s still that way despite the fact that the scheduling Gods no longer favor it.  To watch in this one: Edinson Volquez. I am concerned about him, frankly. Given the other injuries in the rotation, he is pretty critical to the Reds.

Angels at Royals, 4:10PM: Ladies and gentlemen: Luke Hochevar, Opening Day starter. If I’m a Royals fan I consider heading to Omaha’s Opening Day instead.

Padres at Cardinals, 4:15PM, ESPN: Your second nationally-televised game of the day. The forecast here looks much better: 50 degrees and sunny at game time. Well, it looks better to anyone besides the Padres. Who, if my San Diego-living brother is any judge, will spend all day trying to explain to anyone who will listen that 50 degrees truly is beastly weather.

Giants at Dodgers, 8:00PM, ESPN: A nice one on which to end the day and to take us through the evening. Tim Lincecum vs. Clayton Kershaw is an even better matchup than Verlander vs. Sabathia. Question: why do the World Champs start the season on the road? Seems weak to me.

And because it sounded so nice the last time I said it, let’s say it again: Play ball.

  1. bobwsc - Mar 31, 2011 at 8:36 AM

    with the chance of garbage weather in the northeast and midwest this time of year, why don’t the schedules have warm weather / domed teams host for the first couple of weeks? it makes a lot of sense having the Angels visit the royals, given the perks that Kansas City’s weather offers in late March / early April…and considering how terrible it is in Southern Cal this time of year.

    • Michael - Mar 31, 2011 at 4:28 PM

      ESPN probably has it in their contract that they get a Yankee Stadium opener.


      And boo for them not streaming most of today’s games on ESPN3. When and adthe are there, this makes zero sense and hurts everybody involved.

  2. thelucasjj - Mar 31, 2011 at 9:06 AM

    I used to blow off school for opening day and now work, but it is kind of weak this year with just 6 games. Instead i am blowing off tomorrow’s work day to immerse myself in the start of baseball season.

  3. drunkenhooliganism - Mar 31, 2011 at 9:21 AM

    It won’t seem real until I’m reading ATH on the crapper tomorrow morning

  4. sportsdrenched - Mar 31, 2011 at 9:56 AM

    Funny you should mention attending an Omaha game. I will be wearing a Storm Chaser’s hat Saturday at the K. After the Halo’s Royals the two minor league teams will play each other. The minor league game is what convinced us to go.

    ..and can you refer to Luke Hochaver as Hochocinco as long as his ERA is above..cinco?

  5. aburns77 - Mar 31, 2011 at 10:06 AM

    Didn’t ESPN used to have a night game the day before opening day? If so anyone know why they got rid of this? They need to have more games on Opening Day, six games just isnt’ enough.

  6. jamie54 - Mar 31, 2011 at 10:43 AM

    50 in St. Louis? Beastly is right since it will be 80 in SD today.

    • umrguy42 - Mar 31, 2011 at 11:47 AM

      Relax, it’s not like it’s still snowing in STL :p

  7. Utley's Hair - Mar 31, 2011 at 11:54 AM

    I’m glad it’s here, but, sorry guys, Opening Day for me isn’t until more than 20%—or 25% as the Wall Street Journal would figure it—is playing. Tomorrow is it for me. 24 long, long, long hours…

    —sigh— 😦

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