Opening Day is a time of hope, promise, and renewal. That is, until your team loses on Opening Day in crushing fashion, followed by the always puzzling second day of the season off-day. Considering how many fans, no matter how bad the team, make it a tradition to always watch (or even attend) Opening Day, and just how long the off-season wait has been, it doesn't usually feel like just another baseball game. This year's opening to the baseball season seemed to feature more gut-wrenching losses than normal.â†µ
So which team, and their fans, had really bad Opening Days?â†µ
- Washington: The home team was blasted yet again by the Phillies, who routinely travel south down I-95 to plunder Washington, while filling Nationals Park with guys in Utley jerseys named Geno. The Nats actually led 1-0 after three, before Philadelphia exploded for five runs and handed the ball back to Roy Halladay. Final score, 11-1. Blog entry title, "Worst. Opener. Ever." â†µ
- Kansas City: Royals fans don't have much, but when Zack Greinke leaves with a 4-2 lead in the seventh, they'd like to see the Cy Young pick up a win. These things are going to matter to the Kruks and Starks of the world in a few months, after all. Instead, the Royal bullpen allowed six runs in its first inning of work in 2010. â†µ
- Cleveland: A superficially mundane loss, yet the the Tribe managed just four hits, all singles, and one walk, in a lifeless 6-0 loss to the White Sox. â†µ
- Chicago: Cubs fans watched their their team score three runs in the first inning of the season. Then they watched their ace, Carlos Zambrano, get pulverized to the tune of eight runs allowed in 1.1 innings. Worse still, Zambrano's meltdown included giving up a monstrous three-run homer to Jason Heyward in his first career at bat. â†µ
And the winner, or loser:â†µ
Toronto: It isn't like Blue Jays fans had an inspiring off-season, as the long rebuild begins after the Halladay trade. Nevertheless, the Jays played spoiler for much of the day in Texas, holding the now trendy Rangers down for the first six innings with a 3-0 lead. In fact, Shaun Marcum took a no-hitter into the seventh, which he promptly lost. Then he lost the shutout and his lead all at once, allowing a "wind-blown" three-run homer to Nelson Cruz. However, the Blue Jays came back in the eighth to take a 4-3 lead, only to lose thanks to two runs by Texas in the ninth. Sure, Ron Washington views the game as a sign of his team's heart, but this was more like a double-choke than a great comeback. Enjoy the next 161 games Jays fans!