On Opening Day
It’s opening day for the Boston Red Sox, and thank heavens they aren’t playing around here. Quoting the National Weather Service for Friday, April 1:
.. Winter Storm Warning remains in effect from 5 am Friday to
midnight EDT Friday night…
A Winter Storm Warning remains in effect from 5 am Friday to
midnight EDT Friday night.
* Precipitation type… heavy wet snow
* accumulations… 10 to 14 inches of snow.
* Timing… Friday morning into Friday night.
* Temperatures… in the lower to mid 30s.
* Winds… northeast 15 to 20 mph with gusts up to 35 mph.
* Impacts… high impact. Snow will result in difficult driving
conditions. Heavy wet snow may cause downed trees and branches
to snap with power outages possible.
Well, if one has difficulty driving in 10-14 inches of wet, heavy snow, with gusts up to 35 mph and falling trees, imagine what difficulty one might have trying to play baseball.
Ironically, it is also a snow day in our school district. The superintendent’s phone call came at 5:17 this morning, his recorded voice announcing that we were out, due to the inclement weather; at the end of his message, he said, “This is not an April Fool’s Day joke.” By 8 this morning, there were two inches of snow on the grill in the back yard. By 11 there were seven inches. And the freaking white stuff was still falling. I was more interested in digging out the back door to that grill than I was in digging out the front door to the driveway–and since Ed the plow guy is off in Florida on vacation this week, there’s no point in worrying about the driveway anyway. But the grill! We must find the grill! Because it’s Opening Day, of course: the Red Sox will be playing against the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington at 4:05 p.m. our time this afternoon. and we always start the grilling season on Opening Day. It’s what we do.
This morning I put on my Carl Yastrzemski tee-shirt. Then I put a sweater on over it, because it’s cold. Then I made potato salad, because you’ve got to have potato salad when you’re grilling.
This afternoon I went through all the Red Sox hats–a white one, a pink one, a St. Patrick’s Day green one, a blaze-orange one– in the laundry room to find my old beat-up red one.
3:30 p.m. The radio is on. Strangely, the station is the Big Jab from Portland, one of the stations I can pick up here dependent entirely upon the weather. No one, apparently, changed the station after the season was over last October.
4:00 p.m. I have slogged out to the grill and have swept the snow from it: heavy, wet, and deep.
4:05 p.m. Joe Castiglione, my gentleman friend of the longest standing, announces the starting line-up:
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Carl Crawford, LF
Kevin Youkilis, 3B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Cameron, RF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Marco Scutaro, SS
and of course, John Lester, pitching.
Then, of course, he informs us that it’s 90º in Arlington. Thanks, Joe. Just thanks.
4:09 p.m. First pitch, a ball, to Jacoby Ellsbury. He’s back! Wait! Now he’s on second! Wait! Now he’s gone to third on a sacrifice! No, he’s home! He’s back!
4:21 p.m. The grill gets fired up. It’s steaming from the snow.
5:00 p.m. The veggies go on.
5:15 p.m. Steak on. A bit early for dinner, but I’ve been waiting for this all day. Actually, I’ve been waiting for this since October.
5:40 p.m. The score is Texas 5, Boston 4 in the top of the 5th inning–and I’ve eaten my dinner. Excellent! Now all that’s needed is for the Red Sox to get their fire on. And for Joe to tell me it’s 90º again at the ballpark, of course.
7:02 p.m. David Ortiz does what he does best. Home run to tie the game!
7:19 p.m. Pitching today has not been stellar. I’m saddened by Red Sox pitchers. Tim Wakefield is warming up, now the Rangers have gone ahead by three.
7:23 p.m. Here’s Tim. We love Tim. He’s the best. The Red Sox don’t always treat him well, but he has class, and grace under pressure. Mop up this mess, Tim.
7:39 p.m. Jacoby Ellsbury, ironically, ends the game by striking out. But…he’s back. That counts for something.
Game One: Loss, 9-5. Disappointing. But I’m used to the opening day loss. It happens quite a bit. Oh, well.
In the pregame show, all the talk was about the “re-loaded” Red Sox and how they think they might win 100 games this season. They’d better start tomorrow, I think. Meanwhile, all I can say is, snowstorm notwithstanding, the Red Sox season has arrived. And I have survived another winter. Really.
It’s good to see (hear?) Kevin Youkilis back at third base. He’s been marvelous at first the past couple of years, but we first knew him, when he was playing for the Portland Sea Dogs, at third. Pardon me for thinking that this is where they guy belongs. Despite that error in the first inning.