When I first learned that Opening Day was moving to Friday this year (well, technically Thursday, but the Cubs opened on Friday), I was disappointed. Taking Monday off of work to watch the game has become a tradition. There's something cool about waking up Monday morning not just to a new week, but to a new baseball season.
But I stand corrected. This is better. First, there's the anticipation that builds Monday-Thursday knowing that Opening Day awaits at week's end, much like the stack of presents that awaits a child on Christmas morning. Plus, in the past, Opening Day was always followed by a boring ol' Tuesday, and then Wednesday, and then ... you get the idea. Now, Opening Day was just the start of a long weekend. And finally, whereas the Cubs almost always had the day after Opening Day off, this year we get six consecutive days of baseball before the first off day. Tuesday was always massively disappointing: back to work, no Cubs game, what is my reason for living, etc. This year, there was another game just 20 hours after Opening Day ended!
Continue reading for my thoughts on the Cubs' first three games ...
Castro: Eight hits already for the majors' youngest player, plus he's scored four of the Cubs' 12 runs.
WGN's new score box: I like it a lot more than the one from previous years that draped across the entire top part of the screen. I do wish they'd show the starter's pitch count more often.
Moxie: The blown save by Marmol really sucked, but it was nice to see the Cubs battle back on both Saturday and Sunday. Granted, it's the Pirates, but still, how many times did the team seem to lay over and die last year?
Ryan Dempster: Seriously, can we get a good Opening Day start up in this bitch? Zambrano's past struggles finally resulted in someone else getting the nod, and through four innings it was going precisely as planned: some poor Pirates defense, a complete lack of Pirates offense, Cubs leading 2-0. But then Neil Walker and Andrew McCutchen laid into a couple pitches, and Dempster finished the game with an 8.10 ERA. Opening Day, you whore.
Comcast's new score box: You have to get Lasik just to see the little yellow dots indicating baserunners. Why can't every channel just rip off ESPN's score box, make subtle changes to it in order to avoid litigation, and be done with it already.
Byrd: Figures. The hottest hitter from the spring had just two hits in the first series and ended Sunday's game with a frustrating double play when a sac fly would have tied the game.