And… they’re off. Sort of. Cubs fall to the Pirates 6-3. The Pirates pick up where they left off last year. Beating the Cubs. The Pirates’ young hitters looked good, as expected.
Recap: Dempster gives up a Grand Slam. Cubs get 11 hits (all singles) and leave 10 on base.
Welcome back to Wrigley Field, Mike Quade. No free pass from the media and fans like the last month of a lost cause season. I’ve already counted three questions in the post-game about Dempster pitching the seventh after getting out of trouble in the sixth.
Somewhere, Lou is yelling at the television:
Ask him why Colvin didn’t start! Ask him! Why did he leave in Dempster? Why’s Byrd batting third? Soriano seventh? Don’t let him off the hook!
Every sport’s schedule has to start on some day, but in my opinion, NO sport can compare to the excitement of baseball’s “Opening Day” weekend. There are no overseas games or outlandish marketing gimmicks – just 30 teams returned from their corporate retreats in the lands of sand and palm trees to do battle with each other in front of legions of frenzied fans.
Baseball fans have been waiting for this weekend since the end of last year (or in many cases – much, much earlier…). Fans have had a chance to hone their skills during Spring Training, preparing for a season of cheers, groans and second guessing their favorite team.
The Cubs and their fans are ready for another year. This is the time of year to believe that ANYTHING is possible. I feel the same optimism this year that I have for each of the last thirty years – isn’t that the point of being a fan?
This Is The Year, Ronny. Rest in peace.