Tag Archives: Opening Day

Opening Day 2011 @ Camden Yards Today

We hate to naysay.

Oh wait… no we don’t. We do it all the time. Like right now when we say that the Orioles will not break 70 wins again this year. We’re not one of these fancy schmancy analytical sabermetric blogs, so we’ll just give it to you in a nutshell. Aside from having Buck Showalter and a new coaching staff for a whole season (Thank Christ no more Terry Crowley), we don’t think the team is much better off than they were last year.

Unfortunately, we can't muster this much enthusiasm just yet.

We like JJ Hardy. We’d like to see him stick around for several years. We think he might be the first decent acquisition since Adam Jones. We can’t say that about anyone else. Mark Reynolds? He’s not much more than a second Luke Scott. Vlad? Vlad is a better signing than Sammy Sosa was, but that’s not saying much. Kevin Gregg? We shall see. Derek Lee? Sure, anyone’s an upgrade over Garrett Atkins, but we fail to see how he’s any better than, say, Kevin Millar. He’s not better than Aubrey Huff, who is now the proud owner of a World Series ring.

We went to opening day last year. We forgot how un-fun baseball can be when there are 40,000 fairweather fans making huge lines in the men’s room and standing between us and the beer concessions. As we write this, the current forecast is for a high of 54° and cloudy with a slight chance of rain. You can have it. We’re going to head down to the neighborhood bar, have a few pints and lunch on the bar. We’ll make it out to the Yard when it warms up a bit.

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Orioles Opening Day @ Camden Yards Today

Like we said way back in December, Opening Day is the real New Years’. The Baltimore Chop could scarcely be more excited for the season. Not because we expect great things on the field, or because we have great seats, or even because the weather is gorgeous. No. We’re excited merely because when the lights are up and the boys are on the grass, time will stand still. As long as the game goes on watches stop, tomorrow never comes, and everything outside the gates exists in a different world entirely. This year becomes connected to all the years of our lives.

This is the magic of baseball.

1954 Opening Day parade courtesy of the Baltimore Sun

And judging by the availability of tickets, a lot of you are excited too. The ol’ Chop was thrown for a loop, since we’ve been out of town for the last several openers, and we remember hearing that about ten thousand loyal souls showed up last year. We kind of figured most of you are working for a living, and that we had the market cornered on weekday day games (our favorite games of all). So we were shocked, shocked! when all we could get more than a week in advance was 4 in the upper deck, none of them together and all 4x the bargain night price we’re used to.

So be it. We’re gathering Roommate and two other loyal Choppers here at our stately North Baltimore pleasure dome for a mid-morning brunch. And by brunch we mean los huevos rancheros, French Toast, per-taters, bloody mary’s with the old bay rim, madras’, and yeah… champagne. Cause that’s how we roll.

The national anthem plays on opening day 1954. Courtesy of the Baltimore Sun

After that we cab it down to the MRT and do Boh’s for lunch, before hopping onto the light rail for a little Camden Street festivities before we cop a spot on Eutaw and begin texting everyone else we know who has tickets with the obligatory “What section are you in, come drink with us!” message til we figure out where to sit for the rest of the game, cause let’s face it… there’s got to be some place.

This is just the first of many trips to the yard over the coming months. hell, we might even hit up Matt Wieters t-shirt Tuesday this week cause you know… 14 orange t-shirts in the drawer is never enough.

Cal Jr. rounds 3rd on opening day of his rookie season, 1982 Courtesy of the Baltimore Sun

We’re also signed up for our slot on The Daily Camden over at Welcome to Baltimore, Hon, which is one of the most ambitious and ingenious ideas a Baltimore blog has had in quite some time. Check it out.

The International League Orioles opening day at Oriole Park (29th and Greenmount), 1937. Courtesy of the Baltimore Sun

Or if you’re the impatient type, and want to see a bunch of great photos right now, you can check out the Baltimore Sun’s archive of past opening day photos, from which we borrowed the pictures for this post.

Happy New Years’ Baltimore!

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