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The Do's And Don't's of Opening Day

April 8, 2016
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It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall all alone. You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops. – A. Bartlett Giamatti

Its been a long and dark winter, but spring is here and that means two things - sunshine and baseball!!!  Of all the major sports, no one has a better opening day than baseball.  The M’s host the Bums from Oakland (they changed their name in the offseason. Crazy huh?) this Friday and my body is so ready. 

Here are a few Do’s and Don’t’s for Opening Day. See you at Safeco!

DO - Get to the ballpark early. I mean, they put up bunting all over the park so you know it’s a big deal.  Also, there are tons of pre-game festivities that you can enjoy. Ken Griffey Jr. is even throwing out the first pitch. Most importantly, you want to get there early on the first day so you can get your optimal bathroom and beer routes down for the rest of the season. Find out where the Ivar’s stand is. See what new gourmet concession stands have been installed. Plan the fastest route to the nearest/emptiest bathroom and exit. These things will pay off all season long.

DO NOT - Show up too drunk. Look, you are going to have some pre-Opening Day adult beverages. So am I. Here’s the thing though - once the initial excitement of baseball’s return wears off, you are going to quickly remember how dang boring it is! Seriously, the game takes three hours and there is a TON of downtime (stop scratching yourself there and throw the ball Felix! GROSS!) which means you are going to end up drinking more than you realize. If you plan for this, you are going to be fine. If you don’t, the seventh-inning stretch is going to go from “Take me out to the ballgame” to “Sir please politely come with us, we don’t want to have to call the police.” 

DO - Get geared up. New season, new hat. That’s my rule, but feel free to get whatever you want! Those alternate jerseys that debuted last year are pretty sweet and I love that baseball now has an entire line of clothes designed specifically for the ladies (Thanks Alyssa Milano!) Treat yo’self!

DO NOT - Get geared up in any other team’s colors. This really should be a rule for the entire season, but its especially key on Opening Day. If you are a Bums from Oakland or Giants fan, that’s fine, we all make bad decisions, but don’t show up on day one trying to big up your team on OUR day. Wait until July, when Cruz has 30 hrs, Cano is hitting .350, Felix has a 0.00 ERA, and yet the M’s are still somehow probably in 4th place.

DO - Applaud the little things.  Everyone knows to scream and go nuts after a strike out or homerun, but “real” fans give a tip of the cap for moving up runners or holding a potential double to a single. We live in a pretty hipster culture, applauding a guy for grounding out the right side of the infield to move the runner to third is probably the most hipster/cool thing you can do really!

DO NOT - Argue balls and strikes. Listen tough guy,  you are sitting more than 100 feet away from the plate while slightly buzzed after a few brews and you think you can tell if a 90 mph slider hit the zone better than the guy hovering over the catcher’s shoulder? Get out of here!

DO - Get excited for the Mariners! A wise person who apparently knew someone that worked for Hallmark or something once said “hope springs eternal.”  This is never more apparent or acceptable as it is on Opening Day.  M’s have looked really good this year and if they come out and get a big W on Day One at Safeco, feel free to leave the stadium being “you heard it here first, M’s are going all the way this year!” guy. Totally cool, just…..

DO NOT - Drink the Kool Aid for real. It's only one game, there are more than 150 to go!  A big win doesn’t REALLY mean we are going to the World Series any more than a crushing 20-run defeat mean the Mariners are going to be the worst team in baseball. On top of that, its Opening Day, which means the outcome of the game should essentially mean nothing to you. Save the live-and-die on every pitch for the dog days of summer. Its game one, the sun is actually going to be out, get yourself some peanuts and cracker jacks, crack open a beer, teach someone how to fill out a score card and ENJOY YOURSELF! Take it from someone who has watched and played in too many opening days to count, the result doesn’t matter, the fact that spring is here and so is America’s pastime does. Smell the smells, get a little sunburnt, spend four innings working on the perfect curve on the bill of your hat, HAVE FUN! 

 

Go Mariners!  If you’re at the game make sure you look for me.  I’ll be in a jersey with my name on the back.  That’s right, I'm one of those guys.