Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Opening Night Should Be For Broadway, Not Baseball

Jim Bouton put it best in his book, Ball Four.

Depending on how you feel about it, it's either Opening Day or opening day.

I guess we'll file last night's Tigers loss under the latter.

That's OK; to me, the "real" opening day, thus making it Opening Day, occurs when the Tigers play their first game at home. Season openers that start on the road, and at night, never did much for me.

Opening Day is just that -- an event during the day.

I'm trying to imagine the atmosphere around Toronto's domed ballpark yesterday. First pitch around 7:15. Crowds begin gathering sometime after 5:00; why play hooky from school or work, after all, when you can put in a day's work and then head down to the ballpark?

That's not Opening Day!! That's opening day -- opening night, to be more accurate.

The NBA has opening night. So does the NHL. And broadway. Not baseball.

Baseball should have Opening Day, like we have it in Detroit.

A genuine need to call off for the day. Shocking the system with some alcoholic suds before noon time. Loitering outside the ballpark under the sun (hopefully), not the moon.

We do it better in Detroit than just about anywhere else -- Opening Day, that is.

Granted, having a domed stadium means you don't have to worry about the cold weather conditions, as far as the playing on the field goes, when you throw an opening night.

The playing off the field, though, could use as much help as it can get. And that means gambling on a little daytime warmth, if there's any to be had.

There are people who flock downtown on Opening Day who have no intention of attending the game itself. And there are folks who intended to pass thru the turnstiles, but somehow couldn't pull themselves away from the pubs.

The Tigers lost, 12-5. Justin Verlander got smoked. It wasn't a great start to the season.

Doesn't matter. One down, 161 to go. There's always today. That's what's great about baseball; you can usually try to right your wrongs within 24 hours.

I don't have any use for opening nights. The Tigers have three more night games in Toronto, then it's home on Friday. For Opening Day.

The way God meant it to be.


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