Top Ten Great Things About Opening Day.

Minute Maid Park in Houston.

Monday, April 5, 2010, Opening Day of the National League Baseball Seasons at Minute Maid Park in Houston. San Francisco Giants vs. Houston Astros; Tim Lincecum vs. Roy Oswalt. First Pitch: 6:05 PM.

It happens every spring. The tedium and assorted dashes of hope, injury, disappointment, blooming new and old questions marks coming to a head, and the clock all finally come together. News from Florida and Arizona and all those practice diamonds that no longer matter, if indeed, they ever did, now fade away and it’s Opening Day, the time to start playing the games that count.

Now less than twelve hours from the first pitch of the new season, here’s how I see the “Top Ten Great Things About Opening Day” from the perspective of Houston Astro fans:

10. It’s the one day of the year in which the Astros go into action with a guarantee of being undefeated and tied for first place in the National League Central division.

9. It’s Houston. With beautiful Minute Maid Park as our home, we know that we are not going to get rained out.

8. The off-season has provided us with enough time to forget the cost of concessions while we whet the whistles of our appetites all day for the renewed taste of those delicious MMP hot dogs and ice-cold beer that await us downtown.

7. It’s Opening Day. It’s impossible to have been inflicted with any new hurts off the bat of Albert Pujols before the Astros have even played a single 2010 game against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Roy Oswalt

6. On this particular Opening Day, we get to see the new marketing sign for Roy Oswalt’s “44 Farm” in Mississippi for the first time. You will see it on the wall in left center field, right under the Conoco-Phillips sign. It bears the silhouette of a bull. (Correction from Astros President of Baseball Operations Tal Smith: “The ’44 Farms”’ sign in LCF is Bob McClaren’s farm in Cameron, Texas. Bob is an active rancher who conducts several cattle auctions during the year in addition to his other ventures. Despite the number 44, the farm and the ad have nothing to do with Roy Oswalt.” – My apologies to both Mr. McLaren and Mr. Oswalt for  not getting it right before I wrote it. At least now we have a chance to clear up all the misconceptions others who fell into the same assumption trap I did on the connection of “44” and anything agricultural to Roy Oswalt. – Bill McCurdy)

5. If you’re lucky, you may have a chance to shake hands with Astros owner Drayton McLane, Jr. Just in case, be prepared to answer Drayton’s eternally burning question: “What have you done today to help make Houston a champion?”

4. If the Astros can win on Opening Day, they keep alive their hopes for a 162-win, undefeated regular season.

3. It’s Opening Day. We may get to see new manager Brad Mills consulting with his pitchers for the first optimistic time in the new season. We only hope he doesn’t have to make too many trips to the mound to make pitchng changes while an inning is thirty minutes old and still in progress.

2. It’s Opening Day. The chance exists that you may also run into franchise icons like Jimmy Wynn and Larry Dierker.

Sammy Gervacio

1. The chance is there that newcomer relief pitcher Sammy Gervacio will get into the Opening Day game. If he does, you will someday be able to tell this true story to your grandcildren: “Kids, back on Opening Day 2010, I got to watch the first Astros pitcher who always listened to his balls before he threw them to the batter.”

And what are Sammy’s balls teliing him as he intently listens? It’s the same old always important pitcher’s real estate message: ‘Location. Location. Location.”

GO ASTROS! WIN ‘EM ALL!

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4 Responses to “Top Ten Great Things About Opening Day.”

  1. Marsha Franty Says:

    Love it!!! Can’t wait….only a few more hours!

  2. David Munger Says:

    PLAY BALL !!!!!!

  3. Tal Smith Says:

    Bill,

    Just read your Opening Day piece.

    Wanted to correct one item. The “44 Farms” sign in LCF is Bob McClaren’s farm in Cameron, Texas. Bob is an active rancher who conducts several cattle auctions during the year in addition to his other ventures. Despite the number 44, the farm and the ad have nothing to do with Roy Oswalt.

    I can well understand how you may have assumed it had something to do with Roy, but I thought it best to correct the record.

    Tough start this week. Gotta get it turned around quick.

    Regards.

    Tal

    • Bill McCurdy Says:

      Thanks for the correction, Tal. Assumptions are always risky, especially when they seem like a slam dunk cinch.

      As for the need for a quick turnaround from the Astros’ tough start, thousands of us out here couldn’t agree more. I feel bad for Brad Mills. Nobody blames him, but what a difficult way to start your major league managerial career. Nobody ever said that anything worthwhile will ever come easy, did they?

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