Snow Looms Over the Grand History of Opening Day in Cincinnati

Andrew BailerContributor IApril 6, 2009

Both the Mets and the Reds conducted their final preseason workouts on Sunday in preparation for Monday's Opening Day Game.

The Mets prepared for the cold weather that is supposed to hit the Cincinnati area for the next few days by practicing in long underwear.

With a chance of snow threatening to potentially delay or even postpone the 1:00 PM game, Great American Ballpark may not be as filled as it usually is for a Reds opening day game.

Since 2003, the Reds have occupied their beautiful ballpark on the banks of the Ohio River, and each year the honor of throwing out the first pitch has gone to someone of great prominence.

President George W. Bush became the first acting president to throw out the opening day first toss in Cincinnati in April of 2006.

His father, George H.W. Bush threw out the first pitch at the stadium's first opening day ceremony in 2003 and Vice President Dick Cheney had the honor of doing so in 2004.

Opening Day in the Queen City is a very popular and well attended event, kicking off with a parade at around 11:00 a.m., which leads up to the first pitch shortly after 1:00 PM.

Lots of Cincinnati Reds fans will take off from work to attend the game on Opening Day, but this year, they may be better suited just to stay in the office, with game time temperatures in the 30s and the possibility of snow fall throughout the afternoon.

The Reds and the Mets are scheduled to open up their regular seasons against each other for the first time since 2005, with the Reds winning on a Joe Randa walk-off home run.

For New York's national league team, there are high expectations, considering their off season acquisitions of relief pitchers, namely closer Francisco Rodriguez (K-Rod) and setup man, J.J. Putz. 

The Mets are hoping these new pitchers will help erase the memories of last year's late season collapse, which kept them out of the playoffs for the second straight year.

The Reds are a young team hoping to build upon last year's 74-88 record, which situated them in fifth place in the National League Central Division.

Here are the projected starting lineups for both teams, who are probably as concerned about the weather as the fans, particularly with the risk of injury to a star pitcher like Johan Santana, who will take to the mound against the Reds' Aaron Harang.

Starting Lineup for the New York Mets

1. Jose Reyes, SS
2. Daniel Murphy, LF
3. David Wright, 3B
4. Carlos Delgado, 1B
5. Carlos Beltran, CF
6. Ryan Church, RF
7. Brian Schneider, C
8. Luis Castillo, 2B
9. Johan Santana, P


Starting Lineup for the Cincinnati Reds

1. Willy Taveras, CF
2. Jerry Hairston Jr., LF
3. Joey Votto, 1B
4. Brandon Phillips, 2B
5. Jay Bruce, RF
6. Edwin Encarnacion, 3B
7. Ramon Hernandez, C
8. Alex Gonzalez, SS
9. Aaron Harang, P


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