You can't beat Opening Day. Yes, it gets capitalized like all the other "real" holidays. It's the end to that long winter cooped up hiding from the dreary Chicago weather, the only day of the year when every team is a contender, when there is hope for even the hopeless.
More than anything else, to me, it's the official start of summer even if it is still the first week of April. Monday's weather gave us a taste of summer a bit early, but the baseball gods delivered more than just great weather on this day; the play on the field gave a taste what could be if everything breaks right this season.
Right from the first pitch from Mark Buehrle, the White Sox seemed to settle right into their expected roles. I can almost imagine the events of the day as portrayed in a 30-second spot for season tickets:
Voiceover: At USCF, Mark Buehrle was working fast, inducing double plays, displaying praying mantis-like reflexes with the glove and putting up zeros on the scoreboard. Carlos Quentin found his way on base in his first three trips to the plate, two via the HBP. Paul Konerko, who set a club record with 12 consecutive opening day starts, stacked up a bunch of professional at-bats, working the count and driving one over the right field wall to get the Sox on the board early. Gordon Beckham did his doubles thing and took a couple extra bases on of the many Jake Westbrook offerings that ended up in the dirt. J.J. Putz came in and mowed down Indians with relative ease only to be followed by Matt Thornton who redefined easy in 10 pitches. And Alex Rios capped it all off with his south side debut -- yeah, I'm pretending last year didn't happen -- featuring a homerun and diving catch to end it all.
And that was just on Opening Day. There are 80 more opportunities to witness White Sox magic, to get your tickets... (end voiceover)...
All is right on the south side. The Sox are in first place after a near-perfect Opening Day, and Jake Peavy goes to the mound on Wednesday. It could be a very fun season.
- The last time Buehrle won an opening day start was 2005...
- That game just happened to be a Buehrle vs. Westbrook game that the Sox won in a shutout... just saying
- I'll post a link to the official MLB video of Buehrle's spectacular play when I can find it, but for now you can check out the previous thread's comments for the short lived links that will no doubt be DMCA'd in the very near future. And enjoy this animated .gif courtesy Lookout Landing.
- I should be much more active on Twitter during the games this season, so follow me @SouthSideCheat if that's your sort of thing. And as always, you can keep up with SouthSideSox on the Facebook.