Baseball has an unfair advantage over every other sport. The games start when the weather turns warm. For those of us who live in the New York area, this past weekend was the first in a long time that had even a glimmer of warmer weather. It may be a coincidence that the temperatures broke into the high 50s without a cloud in the sky the same weekend as opening day, but it doesn’t feel like it. Baseball is a summertime game and part of the joy of the start of the season is the knowledge that the summertime is coming.
Game one of the season is today at 1pm. The Boston Red Sox will come into the Bronx for the season opener. Once upon a time this would be the start of a 162 game struggle between these two franchises as they battled for first place in the AL East, and possibly the American League. This year things are different. This year ESPN has predicted that these two teams will finish in last place in the AL East, and miss the playoffs. Maybe, but predictions are what sports fans make when games aren’t being played. After today only one thing matters: a team’s record.
CC Sabathia toes the rubber for the Yankees. Last season was CC’s worst in a Yankee uniform (and he was still pretty good), but only because of nagging injuries. His rate stats were as good as they’ve ever been. CC can be a slow starter, so we may not get a vintage performance today, but the Yankees are fighting with their best. Boston will counter with Jon Lester. Lester is looking to bounce back from a legitimately bad season in 2012. His K/9 rate has fallen from a high 9.96 in 2009 all the way down to 7.28 last year. As his strikeouts have gone down his homers have risen, to a career high of 1.10 per nine innings. One game won’t make a season for either of these Aces, but it’s fun to pretend. Use this as your game thread. Enjoy!