During today’s final exhibition game between the Dodgers and the Red Sox, Charley Steiner was talking about it being a sleepless night, for the likely Opening Day 3B starter Blake DeWitt, for the people working for baseball teams who have put in an entire offseason dedicated to the new season, and the fans/fanatics who are in anticipation of a new season they’ve been waiting for since the last outs of September and October.
I’m in that last category, since it’s 4:19 AM on March 31st, and I’m still awake. Opening Day is my favorite day of the year. I remember many seasons of going to the stadium with my family, the bunting all over the stadium and the giant flags that stretched the entire infield during the National Anthem. Now, I doubt I can get Opening Day tickets if I tried, but it doesn’t matter, being 400 miles away from Dodger Stadium. Yet, thanks to the Internet, I can listen to Vin Scully call the first 3 innings, which I do even if the game’s on T.V., picking a 45 second delay over hearing Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow cracking themselves up drawing on fans with a telestrator.
So yeah, I’m psyched for another season of Dodger blue, happy to see Andre Ethier in LF, and at the same time hoping Juan Pierre isn’t taking it too hard, as they had to put the best team on the field, and with his Spring Training performance, he isn’t at that level yet. I’m still getting used to seeing Joe Torre in a Dodger uniform, but I like it. He seems to have a good effect on all who come in contact with him. When he put his arms around Frank McCourt and Ned Coletti at his introductory press conference, it looked like he had been here for years, and that was a feeling I haven’t felt since Tommy was in charge.
Although the new season begins with uncertainty, I’m certain that this team is in position to exceed what was accomplished (or not accomplished) last season. It seems like the divisiveness of last year’s clubhouse is gone, and Joe’s got them all playing for the name on front of the jersey. And after 20 years, I’m ready to see the Dodgers go farther than the first round in October, and I think they’re ready, too.