Baseball was back for the first time yesterday, and it was so good to see it again.
I watched part of the Mets 5-4 loss to the Detroit Tigers on SNY, and then headed to Professor Thom's pub to watch the Red Sox play the Twins at Ft. Myers. That contest ended in a 4-4 tie after 10 innings. It's kind of silly to evaluate the first game of spring training in terms of who did what. My only main concern in early spring training games is, "Did anyone get hurt?"
Fortunately, the answer in both games is no.
Oliver Perez got hammered in first two innings of the Mets opener, and Curt Schilling pitched two solid innings in his start. Curt definitely looks a bit more chunky out there. I found it interesting during the Mets game that one of the announcers (I think it was Keith Hernandez) said that Tom Seaver would always come into spring training about 10 pounds overweight and just work it off by Opening Day. I'm sure Schilling will look a little slimmer by the time the Red Sox get to Kansas City on April 2 as well.
It was a festive atmosphere in the bar last night as many of my friends turned out for the spring training opener. Many had that look of excitement in their faces that a new season was about to commence. It was nice to see many of them again, and the bar had the feel of a midseason game. The passion for the Red Sox that my friends have is so strong and there is such a great sense of community among all of us. Many will also be back tomorrow to witness the debut of Daisuke Matsuzaka on NESN.
My pal Gareth was at the game last night, sitting behind home plate a little ways up (so I couldn't see him on TV). He was sending me text messages throughout the game, and I was letting my friends know what he was writing. It was just great to have one of "us" down there seeing the Red Sox Grapefruit League opener in person.
Baseball in 2007 is underway, and I couldn't be happier to have it back.