Opening Day: Take Two

The Cleveland Indians were going to be a tough test for the new-look Boston Red Sox to start the season. The Indians boast an impressive young shortstop to go along with their great pitching staff. However, when both teams exited the day without a win, it left Rick Rowand wondering what MLB is doing.

We’d sat through the teaser games waiting patiently for Monday afternoon to come around. The first Monday in April being the traditional Opening Day After The Real Opening Day for MLB.

The spring training games in Montreal were enjoyable. Over one hundred thousands fans for the two games between Boston and Toronto on Friday and Saturday. Actual, honest to God, MLB lineups to start the first game. Appearances by Montreal legends Tim Raines, Vlad Guerrero and Pedro Martinez. Interviews with various fans and journalists about what the Expos meant to them and why they deserve to have another team.

With the Red Sox not scheduled to open the season until Monday in Cleveland, fifth starter Steven Wright started the first game for the Sox. Except for two solo homers, he pitched very well through 5 ⅔ innings with 8 strikeouts, one walk, and seven hits. Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts both stayed torrid at the plate as Betts went three-for-four with a double, and Bogaerts went two-for-three.

Saturday was more of your standard spring training game, just in front of fifty thousand fans. The starters only stayed in the game for a couple of at-bats and the starting pitcher was Sean “I’ll soon be back in Pawtucket” O’Sullivan. He pitched well, giving up two earned runs on four hits and five walks.

Sunday! Opening Day! Well, it is for fans of the six teams that played: the Cardinals, Pirates, Rays, Jays, Mets, and Royals. If not, it’s just more teasing before The True Opening Day occurs on Monday. You know, Monday. A work day. Some were lucky enough to live in one of the team’s cities and were able to take the day off (cough, cough) to go the the park or a viewing locale of your choice to join the other fans.

Those of us stuck at work have checked and then re-checked to be sure that we had the correct log-in for our mlb.tv accounts. Then the waiting began. We spent some time checking scores for the earlier games. We learned that the Astros-Yankees game has been postponed because of weather. Apparently the Astros didn’t find out until they were minutes away on the team bus.

Hmm, maybe now would be a good time to recheck the weather in Cleveland. We’d heard reports of snow with highs in the low thirties earlier. Now rain has entered the picture. Perfect weather for a ball game! We learn officially what we suspected would happen all along – the game is postponed until Tuesday. Days off ruined. The best laid plans, etc.. Good thing MLB schedules these off days right after the first game of the series in Snow Belt cities and cities in the northern half of the country with open-air stadiums. No need to schedule Opening Day games in cities where the likelihood of cold and wet weather is at a minimum or in places where there are domed stadiums. But at least the rescheduled game starts at 1:10.

Thank you MLB. You always put the fans first.

Rick Rowand has written about Boston’s young stars, David Ortiz’s career, Brock Holt’s aura, and Boston’s new starting third baseman.

Follow Rick on Twitter @rrowand.

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