Could the Royals 40th Opening Day have gone any better? Well, we could have done without seeing David DeJesus leave after reaggravating his ankle injury
. But other than that, it was close to perfect.
No rain (that we noticed anyway), no delays. And a win over a team many think will win the World Series this year. Gil Meche and the bullpen were tested by an offensive lineup many believe will score 1000 runs this season. Gil outpitched Justin Verlander, and kept his team in the game. The bullpen did its job. The other guys scrapped their way to just enough offense, while playing very good defense, to come away with a 5-4 win in 11 innings
Of course for Royals fans, April 8th
will be the day the team opens its season at Kauffman Stadium against the Yankees, but I wanted to share a few scenes from the season opener (that is until my camera battery gave out just before the start of the game…apparently my camera wasn’t prepared to make a quality start, the way Meche was).
It was very un-Arizona-like at Comerica Park Monday morning…but could have been worse. Even with a coat, hat, and gloves, Joey’s still the fastest guy around. Here he is with Royals Special Advisor Kazuyuki Shirai before batting practice.
For Trey Hillman, it was Day One (after 17 years of managing in the minor leagues and Japan). The media “horde” pelting him with questions before the game. He’ll have to do this 161 more times (as well as after each game.) Of course, he’s also got a radio interview with us each day. It takes a lot of patience to be a big league manager. A lot of questions to answer.
General Manager Dayton Moore spends a lot of time answering reporters’ questions too. Here he is with FSN’s Joel Goldberg on Opening Day.
No they’re not forming a marching band. The Royals stretch each day before batting practice. Never more important than on a chilly, damp April morning.
Cold on the field, but a little “help” in the dugout. Heaters make it a little more comfortable.
Up on the broadcast level, three legends: Denny, before his 40th Opening Day, Bob Davis, and longtime Tigers’ voice Ernie Harwell. He wasn’t sure how many Opening Days this one made, somewhere in the 60-ish range.
Lights, camera, action!! I don’t have an HD still camera, but it looks, to me, like Ryan Lefebvre and Paul Splittorff, in full TV regalia.