Grateful for Opening Day

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Grateful for Opening Day

This winter was bad. Not just bad, horrendous. I can vividly recall looking out my kitchen window in February as the fifth—or was it sixth?—winter storm in a row ravaged us. I remember watching these seven-foot mounds of snow growing larger by the day and thinking that I’m never going to live until spring. The snow, I reasonably ascertained, would encroach on my house and suffocate me, leaving my corpse frozen and dead in a snow pile like Jack Torrance in The Shining.

But, lo and behold, here I am in April watching the Red Sox again, with skin that still contains a modicum of color and elasticity.

Monday was one of the first real spring days of season, and Opening Day at Fenway Park couldn’t have been painted any nicer, especially following such a tempestuous winter.

Baseball’s Opening Day is always reasonably close in proximity to Easter, which, as a former Catholic, seems apropos seeing both days celebrate resurrections and rebirths, and both give us things for which to be grateful.

So here is the list I compiled, following the Red Sox 9-4 Opening Day at Fenway victory over the Washington Nationals.

First, I am grateful that my English teachers taught me to string together a sentence. This was my first thought when I saw the white stretch limousine that Dirty Water News publisher SJ Torres rented to take us to Fenway Park. Anyone who knows SJ knows he is not someone who cuts corners; he goes big or goes home, and while being transported in such opulence, it occurred to me that I never would’ve had such a wonderful opportunity to experience Opening Day, in style, if I had never learned to write.

I am grateful to both SJ and Higs Tickets for setting me up with seats to the game.

I am also grateful to Tom Brady for showing up with his Super Bowl bling. While this was not my proudest moment as a man, I will admit to involuntarily squealing like a teenage fan-girl when Tom Brady was announced then frantically texting my wife, OMG, It’s Tom! It’s Tom! It’s Tom! 

Next, I’m grateful for Mookie Betts having himself a nice little Opening Day at Fenway, a day that included a home run, four RBI’s, two stolen bases and a stunning web gem that stole a home run from the National’s right-fielder Bryce Harper. There is also no name in baseball that is more fun to say, chant or sing than “Mookie.”

Go ahead. Try it.

I’m grateful for Rick Porcello pitching eight innings and saving the bullpen after Red Sox “ace” Clay Buchholz pooped in his hand and surrendered nine earned-runs over three innings in Sunday night’s game against the Yankees. Despite his hefty price tag, Porcello showed us what he is: a legitimate three-starter who can eat innings for $20 million a year.

While this might sound strange, I’m also grateful for the $9 Bud Lights at Fenway Park. Seeing the price of a beer is the pinnacle of absurdity, I couldn’t afford more than three beers over nine innings, and therefore I remember the game with crystal clarity. Thanks, assholes.

I’m also really grateful to Dirty Water News for continuing to allow me to share these sometimes incomprehensible, sometimes acerbic rants in their pages. They’re a good crew at Dirty Water News, and I’m lucky to work with them.

Finally, I’m really grateful that the suck-ass winter is over, and spring and baseball have arrived to save us. Amen.