Monday, April 06, 2015
There’s always great pomp and circumstance and the stadium is always filled. For some teams it’s the only time that happens all year. If they had “Free Car Night” in Tampa I don’t think they could sell out a game in May.
For many years I would always go to opening day at Dodger Stadium. And then of course, as a broadcaster, whatever team I was working for generally insisted I be there.
My first year with Baltimore, Vice President Dan Quayle came in the booth and I interviewed him my first inning. Not a lot of comedy there. It was like playing tennis against a blanket.
My first year in Seattle the team was down 9-0 by the time I made my debut in the third inning. Since no one gave a shit about the game at that point I spent the inning discussing the stupidest ROCKY movie.
The next year we opened on the road and by the time we returned to Seattle we were 1-5 so that was a festive home opener.
Now that I’m no longer with a team my great joy is not going to opening day. Along with the tradition comes massive traffic congestion, long lines at the concession stands, and idiots who are smashed by the national anthem. As an LA fan, I now much prefer to sit home and watch the great Vin Scully call it on television.
The important thing, whether you’re there or not, is that baseball is back. And not just for seven episodes like MAD MEN. It’s back every day for the next six months. There will be amazing highlights, spectacular fielding plays, one of your favorite players busted for PED’s, unlikely heroes, no-hitters, bench clearing brawls, bobbleheads, controversy, a blizzard of statistics, blockbuster trades, two managers fired, thirty pitchers needing Tommy John surgery, and some stupid Alex Rodriguez distraction.
This post is dedicated to Lon Simmons, the longtime play-by-play voice of both the Giants and the A's who passed away yesterday. He was 91. Not only was he a great announcer with a spectacular voice, he was wickedly funny. No one could make me laugh... or boo like Lon Simmons (I was a Dodger fan remember). He is deservedly in the Hall-of-Fame.