MLB 2011: Thoughts From Opening Day

Adam BernacchioAnalyst IIIApril 1, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 31:  Jonathan Broxton #51 of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws a pitch in the ninth inning against the San Francisco Giants on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium on March 31, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

There are 365 days in a year, but only one really counts.

That day is Opening Day. Every Opening Day has its own unique feel to it and this year was no different.

Here are some random thoughts from this year’s Opening Day...

The New York Yankees’ game plan heading into 2011 worked to perfection on Thursday. Starter goes six and then turn it over to a wicked bullpen. The trio of Joba Chamberlain, Rafael Soriano, and Mariano Rivera combined for three K’s, no hits, and no runs in three innings.

An underrated player for the Yankees this year is Russell Martin. I thought he looked good and quicker than he has in years.

Keanu Reeves’ acting skills have greater range that what Derek Jeter showed yesterday. Don’t worry Yankee fans, he will still win the Gold Glove in 2011.

A player to watch on the Detroit Tigers: Ryan Raburn. He gets better every year.

The announcing highlight of this game was Ken Singleton calling Will Rhymes “Busta.”

I know it’s 1:00 on a Thursday and the weather kind of sucked, but it doesn’t bode well for the Washington Nationals that there were so many empty seats at Nationals Park. 93 percent full on Opening Day is not impressive. Coincidentally, the Kansas City Royals were at 105 percent of capacity for their home opener.

Glad to see Fernando Rodney in mid-season form. Is there a shakier closer in the game right now?

Aaron Crow, the Royals’ first round pick in the 2009 Draft, looked very impressive. Three K’s in 1.1 IP and hit 95 on the gun.

Kila Ka’aihue struck out and walked in four plate appearances. Expect a lot of that this year, but sprinkle in some home runs from time to time.

Rickie Weeks and Carlos Gomez started the game for the Milwaukee Brewers with back-to-back HR’s. They became the first duo to start the season with back-to-back HR’s since Pete Rose and Bobby Tolan did it for the Cincinnati Reds back in 1969. Ironically, both teams lost.

That loss for the Brewers was a kick in the yam bags. Don’t fret if you are a Brewer fan though. Every team will have two or three games like this throughout the season. Unfortunately for the Brewers, it happened on Opening Day and hence, exaggerated by 10.

After Ramon Hernandez hit his game winning, three-run HR off of John Axford, his home plate celebration was rather subdued. Kendry Morales ruined it for everyone.

Watched the St. Louis Cardinals and San Diego Padres game at Foley’s in NYC. Foley’s is the unofficial home of home of New York area Cardinal fans. I am not a Cardinal fan, I just went there to meet my friend Tom. Good crowd, and if you are a Cardinal fan living in the New York area, I would definitely look into when their next get together is.

Needless to say, everyone was in stunned silence when Cameron Maybin hit that bomb off of Ryan Franklin to tie the game with two outs in the ninth.

How did that ball that Matt Holliday hit go out of the ballpark? It looked like a blooper to right center and next thing you know, the ball carried 395 feet.

Don’t worry Cardinal fans, when Albert Pujols is on the Chicago Cubs next year, you won’t have to worry about him hitting into three double plays in one game.

So that Clayton Kershaw guy is pretty good. He dominated the San Francisco Giants all night. Nine K’s and four nothing singles in seven innings.

There are some guys who look like they just belong. Brandon Belt is one of the guys. And he looks like he belongs on both sides of the field.

Not sure what to make of Jonathan Broxton‘s inning of work. He sawed off three guys and was throwing between 97 and 99, but also allowed a rope HR to Pat Burrell and clearly looked like he was aiming the ball.

I am not sure if it was going from 85 degree weather to 50 degree weather in most places, but I thought the overall defense yesterday was pretty bad.

But my No. 1 thought from Opening Day: BASEBALL IS BACK BABY!!!

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