Not only is it Opening Day today, it’s Felix Day! I haven’t written the words Happy Felix Day in quite some time.
I am horribly excited for tonight’s game, but a little wind has been taken out of my sails because a.) there is a rumor going around that rain is expected down in Oakland, and b.) it’s not happening here. And it should be. The Seattle sky is a lovely blue today, punctuated by big fluffy white clouds. It’s not all that warm out – in the mid-50s – but that I could live with, given the past two years’ Opening Days. In 2008 it snowed and hailed on the poor people in the left field stands and the roof was pulled. Last year, I was very thankful for fingerless gloves, but didn’t get as many photos as I probably could have, simply because it was too cold to keep my hands out of my pockets for very long. All is not lost, however – according to weather.com, it’s supposed to be mid-50s and only partly cloudy with only a 10% chance of rain next Monday. I can live with that. A little sunshine is all I’m asking for, it’s spring!
I am housebound until FedEx arrives with my season ticket package. I have never been so excited to put my signature on something in my life! I haven’t yet seen a FedEx truck, but UPS has been satelliting around the area, and I keep wondering if perhaps there might be a carrier transfer. Whatever the case, I’m glued to the couch until they show up, watching various opening ceremonies on MLBN and listening to some Severed Heads, because frankly, it’s a good day for it.
Jon Shields at ProBallNW has a long-ish piece up about the expectations for this season. I think “cautious optimist” pretty much describes me, too. By nature, I am a pessimist. My reasoning is, if I’m always prepared for the worst thing that can happen, even to the point of expecting that worst case scenario, then when things go in a positive direction, it’ll be more of a surprise, and I’ll be happier about it. If things lean towards negative, then at least I was prepared. So I am truly prepared for the worst this season while keeping a set of fingers crossed behind my back that things go well.
Now that the roster has been set, we have a general idea of where we stand and who we need to watch out for. Ian Snell in the 2-hole in the rotation is a bit of a curiosity for me, but I’m not going to worry about it too much. I am trying to remain trusting that our people know what they are doing. I am still madly in love with our relief staff, even if not necessarily super keen on the rotation, and we still have a lot of other players on this team to be thankful for. I harbor a lot of confidence in our outfield, and if our infield fails us for whatever reason, I do believe they’ll make prompt adjustments – we all saw it happen last year when our infield suffered; we know the FO doesn’t accept slackers. I know a lot of fans are concerned about Mike Sweeney having made the team, but I’m sticking with my gut feelings on this one – and if a healthy Mike Sweeney can help us win games, why does it matter? You can argue “true talent” and injury history all you like, but if this guy keeps smacking the cover off the ball during the regular season, nothing in the past is going to matter much. This may be obtuse of me, and I know a lot of people disagree; but at this point, after the longest March in my life, I am just ready for the season to start. And if old (I can barely type that with a straight face, at 38) huggable Mike Sweeney is the guy that Don Wakamatsu and Jack Zduriencik both think needs to be the guy to start that season, I am not going to argue. I’m perfectly content to take what I’m given and watch everything unfold. I can’t predict the future, all I can do is watch the present happen and talk about the past. I merely observe and report, and try to stay mostly out of what could happen.
I say this without any sense of irony or foreboding – it’s going to be a good year, no matter what. It’s Mariners baseball, and I love it. Happy Opening Day, everyone!