Little boy, in a baseball hat, stands in a field, with his ball and bat. Says “I am the greatest, player of them all.” Puts his bat on his shoulder, and tosses up his ball. -Kenny Rogers
Ok, here we go! Another opening day has come and gone. Cool Papa Bell once said, “I remember one game I got five hits and stole five bases, but none of it was written down because they didn’t bring the scorebook to the game that day.” Well, Cool Papa doesn’t have to worry about that today. I brought my scorebook. I’m writing it down.
There was some doubt whether or not Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson would play in yesterday’s home opener. On Tuesday Brian Cashman had said, “I won’t sit here today and tell you he will be fine, and I can’t tell you he will be ready.” I will sit here today and tell you that yesterday Curtis Granderson was both fine and ready. He was fine and ready making circus catches in both the first and ninth innings. He was and ready with the winner winner chicken dinner tater in the seventh off lefty Phil Coke. Just so you know, that winner winner hicken dinner tater in the seventh off lefty Phil Coke marked the third straight tater Granderson has now hit on Opening Day. How about that? How about this: Curtis Granderson is now the only player to ever hit an Opening-Day home run both for and against the Tigers.
Leadoffs And Walkoffs In Cincinnati
It was a wild one yesterday in Cincinnati. It was a made you smiled one yesterday in Cincinnati. It was I haven’t seen a smile that pretty in while one yesterday in Cincinnati. Yesterday in Cincinnati, Rickie Weeks and Carlos Gomez began the Brewers-Reds game with back-to-back jacks. But wait! There’s more. Just a little more than three hours later, Ramon Hernandez hit a walk-off three-run homer to give Cincinnati a 7-6 victory. Hooray Ramon Hernandez! Hooray Reds! For those of you keeping score at home, that was the first Opening-Day game in 25 years in which the first batter and the last batter each hit a home run. For those of you keeping score at home, the last time that happened was in 1986 at Seattle, when the Angels’ Bobby Grich led off the top of the first inning with a homer and Jim Presley hit a game-ending grand slam for the Mariners. Yowza!
Chicks dig the long ball. So do I. Braves Outfielder Jason Heyward has power. Light tower power. The man of the hour. Tower of power. I’ll devour. I’m gonna tie you up and let you understand that I’m not your average man when I got a baseball bat in my hand. Daaaaamn! Jayson Heyward is not your average man. No, he is not. He has the strength of ten ordinary men. Hercules! Hercules! Hercules! This kid hit a home run in the first at-bat of his major-league debut last season. This kid homered in his first at-bat of 2011 in yesterday’s 2-0 win against the Nationals. Big deal you say? Who cares you say? I say Kaz Matsui is the only other player in major-league history to hit a home run in his first at-bat in each of his first two seasons. (Matsui actually did that in each of his first three seasons.) I also say, with all due respect to Kaz, he finished his career with just 32 ding-dongs. Jason Heyward is gonna finish his career with a lot more than 32 ding-dongs. A helluva a lot more than 32 ding-dongs. Ding dong. Who’s there? Jason Heyward, bitch!
Tony LaRussa once said Albert Pujols is “the perfect player.” So did Sports Illustrated. Flavor Flav said, “I know it sounds crazy but it fits perfect. Peter perfect pimped a perfect Peter.” Yesterday however, Albert Pujols was the furthest thing from perfect. Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away. Now it looks as though they’re here to stay. Oh, I believe in yesterday. Yesterday, Albert Pujols grounded into three double plays in the Cardinals’ loss to the Padres. Yikes! Yesterday, Albert Pujols became the first major-league player to ever ground into three double plays in a season opener. (GIDPs have been recorded since 1933 in National League and since 1940 in the American League.) But I wouldn’t worry too much about Albert. Like my main woman Annie always sings, “The sun’ll come out tomorrow. Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow
there’ll be sun!”
More on the Cardinals loss to San Diego. The Cardinals squandered a 3-2 lead in the ninth inning and lost to the Padres in 11 innings at Busch Stadium, 5-3. For those of you who care about these sorts of things you should know that St. Louis was also defeated on Opening Day in 2009 after holding a lead entering the ninth inning, a 6-4 loss to the Pirates. For those of you who care about these sorts of things you should also know that those are two of only three home losses that Tony La Russa’s club has suffered since 2009, after taking a lead into the ninth inning.
Peace out homies. Six two and even!
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