Opening Day conjures up a lot of memories, doesn't it?
Maybe it is the time your dad let you skip school so that the two of you could sit in the sunshine together. Or maybe it was 1997 when the Rangers slugged their way past the Brewers and made you think that 1996 was just the start of something special. Heck, it could have even been Dick Bosman being a hard-luck loser when Paul Lindblad threw a wild pitch in the ninth to score the only run in the first Rangers game ever in 1972.
Those were some dark years, weren't they?
At any rate, it is a good bet that none of those Opening Day memories that helped make you a baseball fan involved sitting back and watching a bunch of other teams start their seasons while your own club sat waiting another day. Unfortunately, that is what Major League Baseball has done this season.
There were only six games on Thursday which means that Opening Day only happened for 12 teams and 12 sets of fans. For all the rest of the teams in baseball, Friday will just mark the first game of the season and that feels a little less special.
Oh, the pomp and circumstance will still be in full effect at The Ballpark on Friday afternoon and everyone will make the same big deal about the game that they would if it was on Thursday. But it isn't Opening Day. It's just the first game of the season and a bunch of them are night games which just makes everything all that much worse.
That might seem like a semantic thing, but it is about something bigger. We realize baseball has started with a Sunday night game for some time and that not everyone played their first game on the same day. That was a bone to television, though, and it was a night game. That's why it never really felt like the actual start of the baeball season.
That came on Monday when an orgy of baseball blanketed the nation. The national pastime truly dominated the nation and it became a de facto holiday as a result. That didn't happen this year and that's really a shame.
It's a shame for all the teams and fans that didn't get to join in the fun and it's a shame for the game itself. Baseball doesn't get many chances to strut its stuff in front of the whole country as the kind of appointment viewing that the NFL enjoys on a weekly basis.
This may be a case of making a mountain out of a molehill, but it doesn't feel that way. It just feels like wanting baseball to be the game that it is supposed to be.