Opening day is often a disappointment. I spend all winter obsessing about roster moves, prospect potential, and tickets. Then, inevitably, the first game is a bust. Then there’s the stupid day off. Then they play again.
While this year I’m going through this with a new team, the results have been similar. The game itself today wasn’t disappointing at all. I mean, how many teams can say they’ve lost 1-0 to Roy Halladay? Probably 30ish? The disappointment came when a) I couldn’t listen to/watch the 1st pitch due to my work schedule; b) by the time I could tune in, I couldn’t find a working live stream video or audio, and c) no one around me cared. And now d) apparently I ate something bad today that’s painfully leaving my body at an alarming rate.
So the isolation of this decision will be something to get used to. There aren’t any Pirates fans around here. My baseball friends and acquaintances continue to treat me like I’m just kidding with them. People look at my Pirates hat and ask me about the Red Sox all the time. Today, I got a bunch of questions about opening day and the outlook for the Sox this year. It felt good to honestly reply with, ‘I really don’t know.’ But for the most part, people don’t buy it. Some smiles, a couple laughs, and then more follow-up questions about the Red Sox. ‘No really, what’s going on with the bullpen. They shoulda signed Pap.’ (BOOM! That’s the poison bait right there. Everyone knows I hate Jonathan Papelbon…) A-holes.
Then there’s the Yankees fans. They’ve always been intolerable. It’s easier now that their team is largely irrelevant to the Pirates (other than their bloated payroll, inflated influence on league policy, and spending patterns that make free agents impossible to sign…), but there’s still something wrong with them. There’s this Yankees fan guy that just smiles and chuckles about my hat every time he sees me and says stuff about the Pirates like they’re some mythical woodland beast. ‘So, I hear they have a nice, uh, park? stadium? there in the Pittsburgh area? And that guy? You know that guy, uh, McCracken or McClatchen, or something? He hit like .320 last year, right? Anyway, they don’t stand a chance beating the Phillies in the East.’ Yeah… Right? Yup, that’s my baseball talk these days…
I guess I knew what I was getting into with this. There’s no way to avoid the fact that I live in an area that has 7th-generation Sox fans and borders the state of New York. Getting more comfortable with this means following the Pirates every day. It won’t be hard. I love baseball, absolutely love it – the strategy, the difficulty, the play-by-play drama – nothing’s better. Given my difficulties today, I guess the first step is to figure out how I’m going to get free audio/video access on-line. (Leave a comment if you have any helpful links. I can’t afford any packages and my TV still uses an antenna.)
Alrighty then. Hey, you know what?! Championship teams often start 0-1! Go Bucs!
A few tangents:
- I didn’t see Papelbon get the save but I can only imagine he did his trademark squat/crotch-pump celebration after the last out. Jerk…
- Any Pirates fans looking to see a game a Fenway, let me know. I have tons of tickets to get rid of.
- The dairy farmer that produces the milk for Shelburne Farms cheese in Vermont called Roberto Clemente ‘one of the best players of all time’ today. He’s a Sox fan but you should buy his cheese. It’s outstanding. And he’s clearly a level-headed baseball fan.