Did you know that no other sport calls the first day of its season ‘opening day’ but baseball and I had the opportunity to see my number two favorite team the Tampa Bay Rays, play my number one favorite team, the New York Yankees today and beat them 7-3 on a new artificial turf at the Rays stadium in Tampa.
It was spring, a favorite time of the year for most, and for me the best.
The crack of the bat, the smell of the glove and once the grass, the low din of fan noise that erupts to the roar of the crowd when the ball soars out of the park, the smell of hot dogs, spilled beer, popcorn and peanuts calling for the umpire to yell, ‘play ball’ on ‘opening day.’
All those smells and sounds were memories of the past piped into my brain cells while I watched the game in the family room of my home on an 80 inch TV with surround sound and despite the technology, it wasn’t quite the same as playing the game or watching it in the ball parks of yesterday.
You can’t go home again flashed through my mind as Thomas Wolfe said.
The owners of the Tampa Bay Ray’s were happy, an opening day sold-out crowd, a win and a new turf that looked great in an old Dome of a park while the Rays’ fans have been looking for something new of millennium style.
Oh, the game Chris Archer was the pitcher for Tampa and he hung in there for seven innings with a 7-2 lead with the help of Evan Longoria’s two run homer.
The Rays looked good one day after spring training swinging their bats at random and getting hits, while the Yankees looked like they needed more of what they left.
The Yankee pitcher Masahino Takada, who has had much success against the Rays in the past, looked like he left something on the mound from last year and didn’t bring it with him this year.
Oh well, it was ‘opening day,’ and as it turns out at least one of my favorite teams won, even if it was number two.