This weekend was rainy in Baltimore. By “rainy” I mean it rained non-stop, day and night, and it rained hard. From the time we got out of bed on Saturday morning until the time we got into bed on Sunday night, precipitation was hurtling from the skies. It rained so hard that by Sunday afternoon there was a flood warning. A few hours after that, there was a winter storm warning (because, as it turned out, that’s what Baltimoreans call hail). When the hail stopped, the rain started again. Why wouldn’t it? It was that kind of weekend.
This morning, though, the sun was shining, the sky was a brilliant crystal blue, and the breeze was soft. This was appropriate, because today is Opening Day.
It’s an easy trap to fall into, waxing rhapsodic about Opening Day. But I’m gonna do it anyway. Because Opening Day, it must be said, is a beautiful day, a day when spring finally makes the transition from an abstraction into a bright green reality, a day when gloves pop and red-stitched baseballs whiz with a particular energy, a day when anything is possible (even for Astros fans).
Officially, it bears noting, Opening Night has already happened. Last night, in San Diego, the Padres did beat the Dodgers 3-1, and the game did actually count (never mind that L.A. and Arizona played two games a week ago in Australia, games which also counted, for some reason). But let’s just disregard that, because, let’s be honest, nobody on the East Coast gives a flying fig about anything that happens west of West Virginia. And we’ve all heard too much about the Dodgers, anyway.
Nevertheless, while today might not officially be Opening Day for Major League Baseball, it is certainly Opening Day in Baltimore. As I write this, batting practice is underway about a mile south and west of where I’m sitting. At this moment, Chris Davis might be mashing balls into the Camden Yards stands; relievers and back-up catchers are excitedly shagging balls in the outfield; the grounds crew is shaking off the offseason rust, ready to rake and chalk and stand at attention while the national anthem blares; the defending champs, those lucky devils, are, I imagine, stroking their beards in the visitors’ dugout.
And the best part of it all? There are more games tomorrow. For the next six months, there will always be more games tomorrow. None of them, though, will be Opening Day.