Thursday, April 6, 2006

Opening Day

Every year, Opening Day erases the long, cold winter along with its anticipation, boredom and impatience. Once in my seat and the game starts, it's like the off-season never happened at all. Today's opening day at PacBell/SBC/AT&T/PacBell/MaysField/whatever Park seemed to be more special than most others. I don't know why given the circumstances, but I won't argue.

The items in the minus category are that 1) the signs didn't reflect the new name of the park, 2) the Giants opened against the Braves, a non-division opponent, who are making their last appearance of the year in the opening series, 3) the traditional military flyover during the national anthem was down to two planes performing no stunts at all, 4) Barry Bonds was not presented with his 5th consecutive MVP award.

On the other hand, this was the first partly sunny day in almost a month and a half in the Bay Area. We had an insane March with 28 days of rain, including much of February and all of April so far... until today. The forecast was for partly cloudy skies all week long. This in itself was a major anticipation. On the radio, SF rock station KFOG plays a daily dose of nostalgia with a set called "Ten at Ten", which is ten songs from a given year played at 10am. 1969, 1983, 1976, whatever. Today they played ten songs that had to do with sunshine.

Well, the Giants took care of the Braves 6-4, with the G-men plopping down a 6-spot in the 3rd. Starter Noah Lowry left the game in the early innings with what I heard was a strained oblique muscle, while Jeff Fasero got the win in looong relief, looking good without the Grecian Formula or Geritol. Bonds received two intentional walks and re-acquired Tim Worrell closed out the 9th with a save. The weather, 48 deg at game time warmed up to the low 60's by mid afternoon. The food and beer were great, as were the company of my wife, each of our best friends, and the pleasant family who always sits behind us. After three games, were tied for first place on a pace to win 108 games. Not bad for the boys in orange and black.

Somehow I think I'll like this season more than others.

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