Friday, April 1, 2011

Just Another Opening Day in Cincinnati Reds Country......{not}

A haze covered the sun as I walked out to the car yesterday afternoon for my assigned game.  When I headed north to the Putnam County berg of Ottoville ...the clock on the Intrepid read 3:25 and the inside digital thermometer said 44 degrees.   Not a terrible day for baseball, but hardly near the "normal" high temperature of 56 for the last day of March.  I had been watching the Cincinnati Reds opening day game with their Central Division rivals from Milwaukee.

Opening Day is a celebration of the oldest franchise in baseball in Cincy...The Red Stockings came into being way back in 1869 as the current day Reds became the first "professional" team to play baseball.  Tradition for many years always had the Reds, along with a team situated in Washington DC as the opening day games...everybody else would begin the next day.  Of course that all changed a few years ago when MLB sold it's soul to television, especially ESPN.  The ABC owned outfit wanted to broadcast the opener on Sunday nights, while the Reds always opened on Monday afternoon at home.  Yesterday, Detroit at New York to face the Yankees kicked off first, Atlanta and Washington next, and then the Reds, who started their game with the Brewers at 2:10pm eastern time.

So the Monday opener is now Thursday, and the Reds no longer kick things off first, or even second.  However, they still get their opener at home....wonder when and if the head morons of the MLB will change that?  So baseball, opening day baseball, in Cincinnati is still something special, despite the best efforts of MLB and ESPN to pee in our teams oatmeal.

Yesterday, things didn't start off well for the hometown crew.  Edison Volquez the opening day starter gave up home runs to the first 2 Brewers he faced, and the Reds quickly fell behind by a 4-1 count as the game moved into the 5th inning.  Volquez is a sore spot for me as a Reds fan....Dusty Baker and the management traded the crown jewel of the organization, Josh Hamilton, for Volquez a few years ago.  In my opinion it was the worst deal the Reds had made since they traded Frank Robinson for Matt Pappas back in 1965.  I thought so when the trade was made, yesterday just solidified my opinion.

Volquez did settled down, but Cincinnati still trailed 5-2 when I left for Ottoville, having to listen to Marty and the Cowboy on radio...when I arrived 45 minutes later and began to don the plate gear for my game, the score was 6-3 at Great American Ballpark, and the Reds looked like they were destined to lose their forth straight opening day game.  So when my partner Jim and I headed towards the field....things did not look good in Cincinnati.

By the time our game ended, at around 7:10, the temperature at dropped to about 40, and the clouds had moved in, making it feel that much colder....I was glad I had the plate, the gear kept me fairly comfortable, even as the temperature dropped.  As I headed out from the parking lot, I turned on the Reds Flagship station, WLW out of Cincinnati, to see what had shaken out in the final innings of the Reds/Brewers game.

It turned out the Reds had entered the 9th, still down 6-3....but that's when the fun began:  Here are a couple different views of that .48 second clip that gives just the quick video details:

and then this one from a Fan's Eye view out in deep left center field:  It takes about 2 minutes, but shows the celebration in the stands, at game's end.

So the Reds begin the season, where it(the regular season) ended last year...with a walk off home run.  Last season Jay Bruce did the work, yesterday, after Bruce stuck out, Catcher Ramon Hernandez was the game day hero, with a 2 out, 3 run homer to end it at 7-6 Cincinnati..

Above/Left-Ramon Hernandez is greeted by teammates after his game winning, "walk off" Home Run defeated the Milwaukee Brewers on opening day.

Today, if the rains hold off long enough, I head for Fort Recovery for a game between the young Indians and visiting partner will be Chuck Etzler, a veteran umpire, who worked a state tournament game last year.  Chuck is entering his final year of umpire work...rain and snow is in the forecast for late this afternoon, and a snow/rain mix for overnight.  Tomorrow I stick around Celina for a JV double header with Greenville.  That one, unless it is raining hard should be played, as it is scheduled for the artificial turf at Montgomery Field in Eastview Park.

Enjoy the Weekend...back later>>>>


Deborah Wilson said...

Don't mean to get off subject - just wanted to mention that the new photo up top is very nice! Where was this taken?

PRH....... said...

Took it late last Summer on my early morning walks around Grand Lake...take from Lake Shore Drive right here in Celina, by little ol' me.... :)