Monday, March 31, 2008

You Have to Love Opening Day

Opening Day 2008, and aside from NFL Draft Day, possibly my favorite day of the year. Everything is new and exciting and especially this year with the Detroit Tigers, with expectations so high and the ability to see such an incredible lineup with Miguel Cabrera, Edgar Renteria, and a healthy Gary Sheffield.

So long as it doesn't rain of course. See, I will be at Comerica Park this afternoon for Opening Day but I can't afford a rainout because I start work tomorrow, and skipping out on my first day to catch a rescheduled Opening Day probably wouldn't go over very well.

The Detroit Tigers are in an interesting position heading into the 2008 season. In 2006, nothing was expected, and Tigers fans were rewarded with a trip to the World Series. In 2007, a repeat was expected, but injuries to Kenny Rogers, Joel Zumaya, and Gary Sheffield derailed the Tigers season and the team finished second in the American League Central and missed the post-season. Now, though, with the additions of Cabrera, Renteria, Jacque Jones, and Dontrelle Willis, expectations are higher than at any point since the mid 1980s. It is not going to be match what everyone expects, especially when the Tigers bullpen is so questionable (Zumaya and Fernando Rodney are starting the season on the Disabled List; and Yorman Bazardo and Aquilino Lopez are starting the season in the 'pen, which is all you really need to know). But with an offense which should put up historic numbers, and hopefully a healthy bullpen later in the season, when it will really matter, this has all the makings of a legendary season for the team which dons the 'Old English D.' And if any manager will be able to keep a lid on the team's own, internal expectations, and keep the team full of superstars and Hall of Famers in line, it's Jim Leyland.

I'm happy it's Opening Day for another reason, because it will bring me back to blogging about sports here again. Since early December I have been writing so much about the 2008 political nomination battles, I really haven't spent time writing about the Pistons or Red Wings, or Tigers spring training. With the Major League Baseball season starting though, the NBA and NHL playoffs around the corner, and the NFL Draft only a month away, sports will take back some airtime in the blog. Let's just hope Detroit teams are a little more like Barack Obama and a little less like Hillary Clinton, and their successes out number their failures (what -- You thought I'd abandon politics completely? Not yet.)

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