By JORDAN JACKSON (@air_jordan2019)
Photo credit goes to totalprosports.com.
As the world prepared to welcome one of its beloved sports back into the sunlight after a long slumber in the dark of winter, fans young and old were giddied with excitement as the first pitch of the 2016 MLB season was thrown this past Sunday afternoon…
Or was it Monday afternoon?
Did those three games between the Pirates/Cardinals, Blue Jays/Rays and Mets/Royals even count towards the season standings?
In order to bring some clarity to at least one of these questions, let me answer: Yes, the games played Sunday afternoon and the night cap matchup between last year’s World Series participants (the first time the defending AL and NL champions faced off for their respective first games of the following season, ever) did in fact count towards the 162-game marathon that is set to captivate us over the coming months.
What grinds my gears, though, is the recent implementation of what has essentially become a double Opening Day. Ever since I was a young, I have been accustomed to Opening Day being a single day in which all 30 Major League teams begin their journey towards the Fall Classic.
This day usually fell on a Monday, which, being in school at the time, would somewhat dampen my excitement. Nonetheless, I was filled with excitement and anticipation for the events to come; what I was not filled with was confusion, a commodity that has plagued my mind the past two or three Opening Day(s).
"What grinds me gears, though, is the recent implementation of what has essentially become a double Opening Day."
Photo credit goes to MLB.com.
It first began (or at least as far back as I can remember) with the Rangers and Astros opening the 2013 season on Sunday Night Baseball.
That was the first year the Astros moved back to the American League, so this was probably a move to provoke interest in the team. Did I like it? Not so much.
Did I understand the decision? Of course. Business is business, and -- like any other professional sports league -- the MLB is a business. Its goal is to make money.
Then came 2014, the year in which baseball began “down under." The Dodgers and Diamondbacks opened the MLB season in Australia with a two-game series.
Once again, this was a logical move to draw a larger international audience to the game. I personally did not watch this opening series, mainly because of the time difference, but also because of the feeling that I would be dishonoring the tradition of Opening Day.
This year, the MLB had two Opening Days. The first one took place this past Sunday with a three-game slate that featured a World Series re-match for the night cap.
Twenty-four hours later, a second Opening Day ensued in which the remaining 24 teams squared off in their first games of the season.
Well, not quite.
Thanks to weather concerns in the Bronx, the Yankees and Astros did not begin their respective seasons until the next day. This bothered me, as I felt unsure of what was truly Opening Day and what was not.
The youthful excitement I once had for Opening Day was not present. Now, that could partially be blamed on a major paper due that week. But more importantly, I could not be excited for Opening Day because I had to relive it twice.
"The youthful excitement I once had for Opening Day was not present."
Photo credit goes to threescore.com.
While this may not be a major concern for many fans of the game, it is for me. Opening Day is a sacred tradition to baseball alone. It signifies more than just the beginning of the season for Major League teams.
It signifies the official end of winter and the start of the spring and summer; it signifies the return of America’s pastime.
I understand more revenue can be made by splitting Opening Day between two days (or over the course of “Opening Week”), but in my opinion, you cannot and should not spread the majesty of Opening Day over more than one day.
I know that sounds crazy, but imagine if you had the chance to relive Christmas over and over again. It would get very boring.
The wait is part of what makes it so special, and to wait for that day and not get a chance to see your favorite team play on the first “Opening Day” is like not getting your favorite Christmas present until December 26.
If you agree, sign my petition to move Opening Day back to one day: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/753/146/932/opening-day-should-live-up-to-its-name-make-it-one-day/#sign