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Opening Day Reflections, Juan Jr.?

Opening day was an absolutely splendid experience. It was a beautiful, sunny day. The stadium was packed and charged with excitement. Jeremy Bonderman was impressive. It was even more exciting after Dmitri Young hit his third homer of the game and was given a standing ovation, which he obliged with a tip of the cap. Yet, I was left wondering about many of the people who were in attendance. Were they actual fans of the sport or were they at Comerica Park to sample the near Mardi Gras-like atmosphere? Was the game really a family affair or was it an excuse for adults to skip a day of work and get completely soused? Was it necessary for the group of fans to smoke marijuana and cigarettes at the game? Did it heighten their experience? I hate to come off like a prude, but it is interesting how the sport has become almost an auxiliary affair. The attendees seemed more concerned with attending an event which allowed the rabble to rouse. Hey, I had a couple of beers, too. I guess I just wonder about people’s priorities and whether or not these same people will be attending games in June and July?

Enough pontificating, is anybody else besides me starting to get worried about Magglio Ordonez and his mystery ailments? When my cohorts and I were riding to the game I told them that I thought Ordonez would miss several games after the opener. I hate to apply the pressure of expectations this early, but what gives? Is Ordonez going to become Juan, Jr.? I am very nervous about this situation. I am more nervous now than I was when they hastily signed him.

If you get the opportunity, pick up a copy of “Three Nights in August”, by H.G. Bissinger. Bissinger, the well-known author of “Friday Night Lights”, does an excellent job documenting a three game series between the Cubs and Cardinals late in the summer of ’03. Bissinger was awarded with a carte blanche view of the clubhouse, coaches and players. He was able to really look at the laborious way in which Tony LaRussa agonizes over his team as he tries to utilize the strengths of his players and avoid exposing their weaknesses. Bissinger uses each chapter to focus on a player and connects that players story with events that occur during the series. Excellent read!

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