During the Christmas season, I often think to myself, "This is the most wonderful time of the year." Then right around this time of year, I think to myself, "What the hell is wrong with me? It's Opening Frickin' Day and this is sooooooooo much better than Christmas." And that's the truth. Opening Day in Detroit is a holiday. It doesn't end after the home opener, either. It is a weekend of celebration. But unfortunately, with the good, comes the bad...
Now please understand that I don't leave games (except for this past Sunday, but hang tight for that explanation). I am there for nine innings, and I will sit through all weather patterns. One time last season we were caught in a torrential downpour, waiting on the steps up to the concourse, attempting to seek shelter. I have seen snowflakes, and I have sweat through my shorts. I have experienced it all. But I must say, 47 degrees with no sun and a cool breeze is the worst type of baseball weather. While it was the most gorgeous Opening Day of the past five years, it was still cold. It's April and we are all over this. And Justin Verlander doesn't like wearing long sleeves! And frankly, there is only so much I am going to layer on. I have to look somewhat attractive at ball games, and this does not include donning earmuffs, gloves, or God forbid, a fleece blanket. There are playoffs for this kind of foolishness.
Another fail on my part during opening weekend is the over-consumption of delicious ball park snacks. Never do the Ballpark Franks taste this good. A friend of mine claims it's because I am not sick of hotdogs on Opening Day, and once you have too many during the season, you are soon sick of them and they taste like crap. Let me assure you, I never will be sick of hot dogs. EVER. But after the third or fourth hot dog, you get that funny feeling. And at first you think it's disgust from watching Brennan Boesch actually catch fly balls in right for the Yankees (thanks, you tool). But no, that's not it. It's the result of eating at the ball park. It all tastes so, so good. But it comes at a price.
Aside from the freezing and the stomach aches, there is the joy of seeing how fast my heart can beat while watching our "closer." Wait, you don't know who our closer is? Are you serious? Everyone knows who our closer is. Oh, right. We have no closer and our bull pen is about as reliable as, well, a bull pen. First things first; big hand for Drew Smyly. He is solid and made my Tiger, Doug Fister, look inept. But holy smokes, Phil Coke; SETTLE DOWN! How dare you step up on the mound and pitch like that. You think just because the ace, Justin Verlander, stunk up the place that you can get away with it? Think again! I guess you can't win 'em all. But I want to win them all and we should win them all because we are the Tigers and we were in the World Series for Christ's sake! But the point is this: my anxiety is now back thanks to Tigers baseball. Maybe I should send them a bill for my meds.
Thus, the season is upon us. A long road to the World Series, but a journey we look forward to every year. We won our first series at home and we took the first game against Toronto. Not only did we win, other great things happened; Miggy hit his first home run of the season, and his 100th in Comerica Park, Torii Hunter had his 2000th hit, and as you can imagine, Don Kelly made the most impressive catch of the week and was viral by supper time. Hey, baseball might make me cold, and crazy, and sick, but it's good to be back.