Monday, April 04, 2005

Opening Day Report

Missed the Presidents because my buddy was 45 minutes late meeting me. Thanks Walter!

Got inside just in time to see Boonie get his Golden Glove, Beltre his Silver Slugger and Ichiro his Player's Choice Award. Yawn. Bavasi sure looks like Buhner.

Edgar throws out the first pitch to a Standing O! Lots of Edgar love from the crowd. I've never seen him in street clothes.

Bottom of the first, Ichiro on first, Beltre at the plate. Ichiro takes off, Beltre hits it right back to Radke. He inexplicably turns and tries to get Ichiro at second. Throws it in the the dirt, all safe. The Hell? Its a tough play under any circumstances, but when Ichiro is running with the pitch? You have. No. Chance. Its just crazy. Sexson batting, I bet he pops out here, WHACK! Holy Crap! Was there a meal on that flight? 3-Zip M's. Just like that.

Top of Second. Torii Hunter is about 5 miles out in front of two 69 mph changeups. Wow! How can you not look for a changeup from Moyer? Hunter taps out weakly to Jamie.

Bottom of third, Beltre on first, Sexson at the plate. Oh my God! I think Radke hurt his neck watching an absolute rocket shot to center. 418 feet. It took about a second and half to get out. Hmmmm, one medically unsound slugger, 50 million dollars. Two tape measure homers on Opening Day? Priceless.

Top of the fourth, Mauer on first. He steals second on the most incredible jump I've ever seen. I'm surprised Olivo even made the throw. Moyer never looked at him once. Later in the inning, Boonie makes a horrible throw from the hole that Sexson digs out nicely. Nice Gold Glove Bert.

Bottom of the fourth. Roof starts closing. It never comes close to raining the rest of the game. Thanks guys! Sunshine is way overrated anyway! And that roof is real neato!

Top of fifth, Cuddyer batting. Boonie drops a popup. Cuddyer advances on an infield single that Valdez probably should have handled. He ends up scoring on a single to right. Jamie kisses Boone's Gold Glove.

Bottom of sixth. Boonie does a bat flip on a routine fly to center. I don't know how it looked on TV, but as soon as he hit it, people started heading for the bathrooms. I think Hunter ended up on the track, but it had no chance. You can't say anything after one game, but the 2004 Boone looks to be back.

Top of 8. Grover goes to get Villone with one out to face the lefty Mauer, with the righty Morneau on deck. Couple of points here. Villone should be the long man, not the situational lefty.Next, if you think handed-ness is important enough to pull Mateo, shouldn't you be more worried about Morneau than Mauer? Morneau homered in every 14.7 at bats last year. Finally, how many pitchers are you going to use to protect a 4 run lead?

Top of the ninth. Guardado enters, but after various ads or races or videos or whatever on the screen, they've only got time for a few bars of Hell's Bells and they jump right to the guitar part. A) Hell's Bells is a little overdone for closers at this point and 2) If you're not going to start at the beginning with just the bells and dramatically build to the guitar line, don't bother. Just go ahead and play "School's Out" or "Enter Sandman."

Final thought, courtesy of the aformentioned Late Walter: The Bob Melvin Era has been wiped clean!


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