FanDuel - WFBC

March 30, 2014

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle:

A place to discuss the sports stories that aren't making news, share links that aren't quite front-page material, and diagram plays on your hand. Remember to count to five Mississippi before commenting in anger.

posted by huddle to general at 06:00 AM - 17 comments

It's difficult to either figure out or get excited for major league baseball's opening day when the Dodgers will have three regular season games already played a few days before most teams even see the field. The fact two of those games took place on the other side of the earth ruins the buzz too. I used to look forward to opening day (and even take the day off from work), but now I just say "Whatever."

posted by dyams at 10:11 AM on March 30

"The other side of the Earth"?

Depends where you are standing, I suppose.

posted by owlhouse at 10:29 AM on March 30

"The other side of the Earth"?

Depends where you are standing, I suppose.

Point is, opening day used to generally mean the first game and pitch took place in Cincinnati, Ohio. Even though I haven't walked off the distance, Sydney, Australia (where the Dodgers and Diamondbacks opened their regular season) is a long damn way from there.

posted by dyams at 10:49 AM on March 30

Point is, opening day used to generally mean the first game and pitch took place in Cincinnati, Ohio.

It hasn't been that way in a LONG time.

I know there were some hackles raised when Toronto had the first game of the season one time back in the late 80s. Unfortunately, the scoresheets used by Baseball-Reference.com don't seem to track the start time (just the length) from back then. Later scoresheets do have the start time.

Just taking a quick look, the first game of the 1993 season was in Baltimore (April 5th 12:35pm), and Cincinnati didn't start their game for another 90 minutes.

The idea of "first pitch in Cincy" tradition has been dead for more than 20 years.

I'm not sure why previously played games would impact the fun of games that are being played today. Do I think a game being played today is diminishing the fact that the Jays don't start their season until Monday? No.

It's baseball games. I'm glad they are playing them any time I can watch them.

posted by grum@work at 11:39 AM on March 30

"The other side of the Earth"? Depends where you are standing, I suppose.

And they were standing upside down!

posted by NoMich at 12:14 PM on March 30

Maybe someday the Premier League will start its season with Manchester United playing their first two games in Pittsburgh.

posted by dyams at 01:00 PM on March 30

Makes good sense to me. Man Utd. can play the games at the Craftsman's Guild.

posted by beaverboard at 01:57 PM on March 30

Well, they once played a State of Origin match in Long Beach.

posted by owlhouse at 09:08 PM on March 30

The idea of "first pitch in Cincy" tradition has been dead for more than 20 years.

Not in the eyes of Cincinnatians. And a pitch in Baltimore (or Detroit, if memory serves) an hour or so ahead of Cincy isn't the same thing as the ESPN-engineered Sunday night game inevitably involving the Yankees, Red Sox, or Dodgers. It is even further away from a game played seven days or so ahead of opening day in Cincy on a different continent.

Point is, opening day used to generally mean the first game and pitch took place in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Dyams is right, whether that tradition has been gradually eroded over 20 years or not. And I know I'm biased as a Reds fan, but if a tradition can be gradually eroded, it can certainly be reinstated, no?

posted by tahoemoj at 11:46 AM on March 31

Glad Cincinnati has such beautiful weather for their Opening Day festivities, tahoemoj. It's what this day in Major League Baseball should be about.

It used to be all teams were even in the standings on Opening Day. If not for a late Padres rally, the Dodgers would have been 3-0 by Opening Day.

posted by dyams at 12:45 PM on March 31

The idea of "first pitch in Cincy" tradition 8-track decks in cars has been dead for more than 20 years.

Not in the eyes of Cincinnatians my 70-year-old parents. ;)

And a pitch in Baltimore (or Detroit, if memory serves) an hour or so ahead of Cincy isn't the same thing as the ESPN-engineered Sunday night game inevitably involving the Yankees, Red Sox, or Dodgers.

Going back at least 10 years:

2002 - First game of the season : Sunday, March 31st - Cleveland @ Anaheim
2001 - First game of the season : Sunday, April 1st - Texas @ Toronto
1999 - First game of the season : Sunday, April 4th - Colorado @ San Diego
1996 - First game of the season : Sunday, March 31st - Chicago @ Seattle

Those were the only games being played on the first day of the season.

Not a Yankee, Red Sock, or Dodger in the bunch.
And that 2001 game started at 4:14pm. That's definitely not an "ESPN-engineered Sunday night game".

posted by grum@work at 02:59 PM on March 31

It used to be all teams were even in the standings on Opening Day

Except Kansas City. They were usually eliminated from the playoffs by then.

posted by grum@work at 03:00 PM on March 31

OK, but on the the hand--The Cincinnati Reds, baseball's first professional franchise, historically conducted the season's first game from 1876-1989 before a labor disruption forced the team to play in Houston to start the 1990 season. (From a Cleveland news station, but still valid, I reckon)

Last Reds Opening Day--1989.

ESPN gets the rights to MLB, beginning Sunday Night Baseball broadcasts--1990 (First game was Mets at Expos)

Other than that, my head now hurts from trying to google "first game of season mlb 1990-present" or variations thereof.


Not a Yankee, Red Sock, or Dodger in the bunch.

As an American, I reserve the right to believe in my own perceptions, even if they are completely wrong.

posted by tahoemoj at 03:55 PM on March 31

Last Reds Opening Day--1989

There have been over 300 different players (335 by my count) who have played in the majors who were born in 1989 or later.

As an American, I reserve the right to believe in my own perceptions, even if they are completely wrong.

posted by grum@work at 04:11 PM on March 31

I didn't realize they were filming that.

posted by tahoemoj at 05:14 PM on March 31

I'm just glad the Padres lead the league for even one day in anything good. If the pattern of the last few seasons holds, it'll be the last time they're above .500 until August or something, so let me have my moment.

posted by LionIndex at 08:30 PM on March 31

Parting Shot. I will now hold my breath until Cincinnati gets opening day back.

posted by tahoemoj at 06:26 PM on April 03

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