It’s a beautiful spring day at Nationals Park. The sun is shining, music is playing, people are laughing, and the Washington Nationals are taking batting practice. It is Opening Day of the 2013 baseball season. This offseason lasted for what felt like forever, but it’s finally here. Welcome to the season you’ve been waiting for, perhaps more than any other since the 2005 Inaugural campaign.
The expectations have been written about on our site and others essentially since November. Today starts a new day, a new season, and truly a new year. For those of you who watch baseball passionately, there are few things better than today. Everyone is excited about the new, shiny, fresh season, and rightly so.
“How can you not be romantic about baseball?” is how the quote goes in Moneyball, and today is the ultimate example of that. Even with Sunday’s Opening Night matchup between the Texas Rangers and the Houston Astros, when the Astros are widely expected to be the worst team in baseball, a huge number of Astros fans showed up, and they were loud, as they beat the Rangers 8-2. Yes, it’s one game. But the Astros had no business winning that game, and they did. What’s more, they looked impressive doing it. It’s part of what makes baseball so great.
Compared to the Astros, the Nationals have the exact opposite expectations to deal with. They’re widely considered the best and most well rounded team in baseball, and the vast majority national baseball writers have predicted them to win the National League, and almost as many picked them to win the World Series. Starting today, the Nationals have 162 games to prove they can meet those mighty expectations.
For me, there’s nothing better than walking into a ballpark, and it’s that much sweeter on Opening Day when those expectations haven’t been tested yet. There is just unbridled excitement. Harness all that excitement until 1:05 pm today. Then, whether you’re in the stands, watching at home, or listening to the radio broadcast, don’t contain that excitement. Scream as loud as you possibly can in the stands, yell at your TV, mutter under your breath as you listen at your desk. No matter how you do it, let it go.
Baseball has arrived once more.