Despite what some of the soulless ghouls known to inhabit the press box will tell you, “it’s still early” is a false flag. It is never too early to worry. It is never too early to read the writing on the wall.
After just one game, it isn’t too difficult to see the problems that will rear their ugly head for the rest of the season.
This is a results-driven business, this honorable enterprise that is Major League Baseball. It doesn’t take a genius to see the
- Cubs’ offense
- Royals’ bullpen depth
- Mets’ decision making
- Rangers’ starting pitching
- Braves’ strikeouts
- Red Sox age
- Twins’ roster
- Reds’ overpriced core
- Blue Jays’ everything
- Rockies’ road struggles
- Diamondbacks’ leadership
- A’s dependence on platoons
- Angels’ lack of clutch performances
will cost the club as the season wears on.
To say nothing of the New York Yankees. Still yet to play a game, their fatal flaw/immutable strength remains cloaked in mystery. But pushing the start of their season back beyond standard Opening Day, to say nothing of their opposition on the day, speaks to their diminishing prominence within Major League Baseball. The sun finally set on the Yankees Empire.
On top of the already white-hot pennant chases, award season in both leagues are already shaping up to be even better than last year. The AL MVP race between Salvador Perez and Alejandro De Aza will certainly be one to watch.
But seriously, there is nothing quite like Opening Day to tear open any insecurities and expose them to the world. Bad performances on Opening Day live long in the memory thanks in no small part to the extra eyeballs and anticipation.
First impressions are important. For new faces in new places, the way fans experience them for the first time can shape their relationship for a long time. One new Diamondback, Mark Trumbo, picked up three hits in his first home appearance. New DBacks “closer” Addison Reed did this:
Somehow I think one of those things will live longer in the memory than others.
There is a fatalistic streak in every sports fans. The proliferation of superstition, jinks, and curses that feature prominently in the sports lexicon suggest as much. No fanbase is more fatalistic than those who follow the Toronto Blue Jays right now, that much is for sure. The incredible disappointment that was the 2013 Blue Jays hit all the wrong notes in their Opening Day adventure against the Rays in Tampa Bay.
Ineffective R.A. Dickey, in the dome he is supposed to dominate, walked the ballpark and the Jays coughed up runs while fragile superstar Jose Reyes lasted all of one plate appearance before hitting the disabled list. One plate appearance. One at bat. One.
The insecurities at these early stages of the year are unreasonable yet understandable. Which makes them prime for exploiting by the aforementioned soulless ghouls.
— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) April 1, 2014
Sweet Mary and Joseph DO NOT CLICK THAT LINK.
Instead put game 1 of 162 behind you and remember the great moments that made yesterday special. Be they Addison Reed’s broken heart of Grady Sizemore capping an unbelievable comeback.
Baseball’s back! Mind the ulcers.