Opening Day: Thoughts & Observations

12:46pm — It’s raining here in NYC. No batting practice at Yankee Stadium, and I had no intention of being there. Haha. New estimated start time: 2pm.

1:08pm — Oh baby. Bonus coverage on ESPN. Royals in Detroit…

1:13pm — The official scorer in Detroit should be fired. Yeah, it was a low throw from Miguel Cabrera at 3rd base, but 1st baseman Carlos Guillen has to catch it. The ball reached him on a fly, and not only did he drop it, but he was in the base line and caused a dangerous collision with Mark Grudzielanek. Footwork, footwork, footwork! Keith Hernandez should be in the Hall of Fame. 

1:21pm — Whaaat?! Edgar Renteria is on the Tigers?! Man, I really HAVE slipped far out of baseball mode.

1:23pm — Helmets look funny on the 1st and 3rd base coaches, and I think it’s a mistake to force everyone to wear them this season. Grandfather clause, anyone?

1:43pm — Speaking of the Hall of Fame, Renteria (who just delivered an RBI single) is on his way. Mark my words.

2:00pm — The tarp is still out in the Bronx.

2:09pm — The tarp is coming off the field at Wrigley. Is it too late for a retractable roof to be added to Citi Field?

2:30pm — Got a call from my friend Michael Fierman (aka “tswechtenberg” to those of you who read the comments). He’s at Yankee Stadium and informed me that the game was postponed. Now he’s on his way over.

2:46pm — I’d just like to point out that Delta is a terrible airline, and you should avoid flying with them if at all possible. Long story short: My parents and I got stranded in Atlanta last night on our way back from Louisiana, and Delta didn’t even pay for our hotel. And their customer service was nearly nonexistent. Thank you.

3:11pm — Too busy catching up on emails…just noticed that the Brewers and Cubs are in the bottom of the 1st. Sheets versus Zambrano. Nice matchup.

3:20pm — Michael is here and leaning out a living room window and photographing his old apartment, which happens to be a few doors down.

3:33pm — AARRGHH!!! This new blog format is driving me crazy! I don’t know how anything works. I tried to link to something, and it’s not happening. And apparently, I’m no longer able to use em dashes. Those are the long dashes, and I like them. I used them a lot in my latest book (which I also can’t link to), but now I can only use en dashes – like that. I tried to use an em dash, and it got converted to two en dashes. Does anyone even care? Whatever. I can’t figure out how to reinstall my hit counter, nor can I figure out how to remove the “recent comments” section from the panel on the right. Does anyone know? I have a feeling I’ll grow to like (even love) the new-n-improved MLBlogs, but I’m one of those people who doesn’t deal too well with change, so right now this is pretty rough.

3:47pm en dash en dash Jona, the girlfriend, is now here. Oh, and the Cubs are now in a rain delay. Fabulous. At least the Royals and Tigers are in extra innings, and I’m getting bonus coverage of the D’Backs in Cincy.

4:05pm — I haven’t seen ONE fan wearing a glove at Comerica. Shameful.

5:03pm — Barry Zito just isn’t that good. First major league hit for Blake DeWitt. Nice catch by a fan (with a glove) earlier in the at bat down the right field line. Oh, and the Royals won, and I got the Giants/Dodgers on.

5:26pm — What?!?! The Mets are playing?! Jesus Aitch. Top of the 4th inning already?! I’m about to lose my mind. I just got off the phone with a local carpet cleaner. This is the type of stuff I’m dealing with these days.

5:33pm — Happiness: “It’s a three-run double for David Wright, and the Mets have a six-nothing lead!”

5:52pm — Oh hey. Luis Gonzalez is on the Marlins. Wow, I have a lot of catching up to do.

6:04pm — The SNY camera just showed a close-up of the ball in Johan Santana’s left hand, and it was NOT an Opening Day ball. It was just a regular ball. Good to know. (If I were able to link to things, I would show you what an Opening Day ball looks like.)

6:08pm — Michael left because I was being grumpy and anti-social and complaining about all the emails I have to answer. (I’ve already sent 51 emails today. I’m hoping to avoid triple digits.)

6:56pm — The Mets announcers are wearing some UGLY shirts, and this would be a great time for me to practice uploading my first pic under the new MLBlogs system. Ready? Here goes:

7:15pm — Nope. Didn’t work. I officially don’t know how to upload photographs to my blog.

7:21pm — Mets win, 7-2. Switching to ESPN2. Los Angeles of Anaheim in Minnesota. Bottom of the first. Torii Hunter looks funny in an Angels uniform.

7:30pm — Livan Hernandez plays for the Twins now? I didn’t know about that one either. (If you can’t tell by now, I really like to get away from baseball when it’s not baseball season.)

7:31pm — I’m surprised Torii didn’t get booed when he stepped into the batters box. If he’d left the Mets in his prime and then come back to Shea after signing for more money with another team, it would not have been pretty. That’s just how people are in New York.

8:32pm — Half paying attention to the Twins and Angels, half dealing with other stuff, and I forgot to mention that another friend, Darren Harris, is now here, working on my Arkanoid machine (which has lately been in constant state of semi-disrepair). As for this blog entry, I’m not being insightful or inspiring with my thoughts and observations. I’m aware of this. It’s just a reflection of my current state of mind. I got three or four hours of sleep last night and walked three or four miles inside the Atlanta airport. My brain is mush. I don’t want to think about anything or be productive. I’m really just vegging out in front of the TV.

8:50pm — Nice look at the construction site of the Twins’ new ballpark, scheduled to open in 2010. The question is: Do I go there during the inaugural season and make an attempt at getting a commemorative ball? Or do I wait a year or two for the crowds to shrink?

10:03pm — So tired. The Twins game is done. The Padres game is about to start. Arkanoid is working a little better than before. I’ve been up since about 4:50am. I’ve also been labeling pics from my trip, but of course I don’t know how to post them.

11:07pm — Remember when I mentioned a couple entries ago that I was buried in a pile of crumpled magazine pages with a few lovely ladies? I finally got a pic of it, and since I still don’t know how to upload it or create a link, just go here:

11:17pm — I’m loving this Oswalt-Peavy duel (Padres lead 1-0 in the fourth), but I’m outrageously tired and need to go to bed. G’night.


  1. thomasb.

    Opening day was very amazing yesterday. I got there 4.5 hours early. The gates were opening at 3:30 EST just for opening day. They tried to spiff up the town around the stadium, but it just didn’t happen. Zack, you would of gone CRAZY snagging there. For the first battery of BP, there were probably 20 people on each outfield wall and balls were getting launched to the fence. I preferred going to their batting cages and got some of Pedro and Oswalt. Pedro almost hit me. I then did a little pitching and struck out Bonds (he was skinny in the image, so it was probably pre ‘roids). Fastest pitch was 65 mph. I then went over the Playstation area, where there were 7 PS3’s with mlb 08 the show or w/e is out now, and two systems carrying Guitar Hero 3. I also was playing Grand Turismo 5. It was a pre release because it was in Japanese. The hot dogs are AMAZING there. Side note: I was the first official customer at one of the concession stands in the second level area. I quickly went from $60 to $30, I have no idea how I spent it that fast. I then went back to my seat and read for a while while the second battery of BP got underway. Bush got booed when he threw out the first pitch. Also, on the MASSIVE high def scoreboard in right center, there is a clock with a big W on it. I saw a “camera man” on it. I don’t think he was a camera man, because I don’t see any pictures anywhere from his angle. Most likely a sniper since Bush was there. Security was TIGHT. Medal detectors at the gate, secret service everywhere around the Nats dugout.

    As Zimmerman walked up to the plate in the bottom of the 9th, I just knew he was going to win it. I had a camera with me that could take video recordings. On his third pitch, I started recording, and RIGHT as he hit the dang ball, I stopped recording. I immediately started again, but he was already rounding third. The place erupted. Opening day couldn’t have finished any better.

  2. Tucker Elliot

    Zack – the best thing I can say about Barry Zito is that he is on my opponent’s roster for my week 1 head-to-head match-up on fantasy baseball – and the guy started him.

    Go Dodgers.

    Also, Keith Hernandez & Roger Maris both deserve to be in the Hall of Fame – although Hernandez tossed a ball to a kid next to me during a spring training game in 1985, and I’m still upset with him.

    Roger Maris retired to Florida and lived across the lake from us – I have a photo of his record-breaking homerun signed to me, from Roger.

  3. pujolsisahero5

    Hey Zack i hate this new style tell me what you think about this: Today was opening day at Busch Stadium Cardinals VS Colorado before the game i asked for a ball from Jeff Francis well i got a ball but……. It wasnt a baseball it was a squishy stress relief ball that a fan had thrown on the field during the cardinals little parade of players the do every year on opening day Francis played catch with it for a minute so do i count it or not i say i should coiunt it but what do you say

  4. gregb123

    Wow, this sounds exactly like my day. Except for the two-hour segment from 1:30 to 3:30 when I had to go to class. Stupid class. Anyway, I commented on a previous entry that I’ll be at Yankee Stadium tommorow (with Puck Collector), hoping to set my Yankee Stadium record by snagging three baseballs. (How sad is that?) I feel like I’m forgetting a bunch of other stuff that I wanted to mention here. Oh well.

    Puck Collector — I sent you an e-mail.

  5. gjk2212

    I wanted to see if blogs were really free now-and they are! lol i made one for fun, and ill probably never use it after a few weeks. but fun for now.

    johan was very good today. 7 ip, 3 h, 2 r, 8 ks. 1 win.

    btw this is gjk2212, lol


    I would view your e-mail, but I wish my dad would give me the e-mail password(yep he’s that concerned about rapists in NYC)

    Greg: I might be ble to get you a ticket for free except the 2 bucks to email it to you. Only 3! I got 13!(but i had seats behind the dugout) and it was the best night of my life!

  7. gregb123

    Puck – Thanks for the offer, but I already have a ticket. ($5 night, yay!) I know my record of two balls at Yankee Stadium is pathetic, but I’ve only been to five games there since I started collecting baseballs, so give me a break.

    Basically, here’s what I said in the e-mail: I think there’s some room to catch oustide the right field gate (Gate 6). Can you bring a ball? And are you going alone?

  8. twinsman

    I figured out how to post pictures on here. There is a picture on the Font line where you change your font and stuff. The picture looks sorta like a mountain (what would usually be a scaling tool). I’ll finish my pictures from opening day on Friday or Saturday. I am bogged down with homework. AND my science teacher lost my test that was like 60 questions. She wants me to retake it. But I’d rather her just give me a B. I CANNOT wait until high school. People say it is less homework. The next game I have a ticket to is April 7th, but I’m going to let my mom and dad go to that game. Our seats are great, but we can’t see the right field corner and most of the foul territory down there. Alrighty, I gotta finish my Latin homework.

  9. gjk2212

    puckcollector-is that ticket still available? i might be interested..ill keep you posted. if its still available that is. let me know PLEASE! email me or respond to this blog.

    if u didnt see my previous post, its gjk2212.

  10. goisles


    I know how you feel. I’ve got a new boss and entirely new position in my company this week AND a Rotisserie auction in Washington DC this weekend. I’m usually well-versed on every player in the AL by now, but today I can’t even tell you the Yankees final roster. This is our 22nd season–and I may have mentioned this before, but our first five or six drafts were in the very same congressional committee room and witness table for the baseball steroid hearings (McGwire, Palmiero, Selig, Clemens, etc.)


    Puck Collector may be able to play catch with you after I’ve completed your background check!

    GJK, I’m not sure if the ticket is still available for Wednesday. Someone else may have given it away for me and I’ll honor that commitment. We’ll let you know.

  11. gjk2212

    ok thanks puck, no problem..let me know

    zack, you hit the little green mountain thing to add a picture..upload and then hit finish

  12. zackhample

    Sorry for not answering comments in the past week. I’m reading them all, but I still don’t really have a chance to answer them at this point. I’m planning to continue answering them very soon. Things are really…crazy. I appreciate the advice on loading pics to the blog, and believe me, I’ve been clicking the little green mountain icon, but after that, a whole bunch of confusing stuff pops up on my screen, and it’s just not happening. As for the link button, I had the same problem before with the old blog format. It just didn’t work so I had to code everything by hand with HTML, and it was a real pain…but at least the system would let me do it. Now it doesn’t. Mark Newman from was kind enough to email me some tips, which will hopefully help me figure things out, but right now, I don’t have time to look at them. I have to get dressed and run out and select a style of blinds for my living room and bedroom (I’m thinking two-inch white wood slats) and then arrange a time for someone to come measure and install them. Yeah, it’s like that. And I’m planning to go to Yankee Stadium tomorrow. Hope it’s not sold out.

  13. snagfan


    I hate the new blog format. Oh well I’ll get used to it from MLB. I went to CoMerica Park yesterday. I did not plan on doing any snagging so I did not bring my backpack. I did do some scouting with my dad for the best areas to stand when I start my snagging endeavors against the White Sox on Fri. Wished these **** April games were not at 1:00.
    I was telling my dad about the glove trick and how I fealt that it would be perfect at the Right field wall locations. Providing the ushers don’t get upset or the players don’t try and knock it out of my glove. I saw/heard some very nasty Tigers fans requesting baseballs from the Royals players during BP. I told my dad those guys will never get a ball. He asked why. I told him (2) key reasons, (1) They are very nasty with their language in their requests, (2) They are NOT wearing Royals team gear..
    Wish me luck this year at the COPA…



    f********. why are all these baseball collectors coming to Yankee Stadium?!! BTW it’s 5 dollar night, so it might very well be sold out. And greg, i’ll be there early, but Zack will be earlier.

  15. gregb123

    Ha, yeah I’m sure he will. I’ll probably get to Gate 6 by like 4:15 or so. Zack, can you bring a ball for us all to catch with?

  16. zackhample

    Is tomorrow really “five dollar night”? Can anyone confirm this with some concrete info online? If it’s true, then I’m not going.


    well, my dad says it is, and i couldnt buy just one teir reserve ticket for tommorow. fatherpuck said all remaining upper deck seats were made 5 bucks.

    And gjk: i still have the ticket if you want it.

  18. gregb123

    Technically, it is $5 night, but it was just made $5 night about a week ago. So I don’t think too many people know about it. Plus, it’s the second game of the stadium, which is always (relatively) empty. And it’ll be kinda chilly for baseball. I doubt more that 42,000 will be there.

  19. zackhample

    Okay, okay, maybe I’ll go. And if I do, I’m not bringing a ball with me. Sorry. It’d be nice if there were only 42,000, but I’d be shocked if the attendance is under 50K.

    Thanks for the link.

    As for the photo issue, I think the problem is that I’m on a Mac. I don’t know. Hopefully I’ll figure it out soon…


    Zack, as fun as you are, STAY HOME. 3 collectors in like 3 outfeild sections will be hard even if there are only 5,000 people there.

    greg, my train gets into Harlem at 4:20, so i should be there at 4:30, but with my luck, someone will get sick on the train and i won’t even make BP. if you can, put your bag down try to save me a spot on line, and say like i’m your little bro, and i had to go to the bathroom so i went to McDonalds. I’ll bring a ball.

  21. gregb123

    Puck Collector — What’s wrong with a little competition? And don’t worry, I’ll be in left field for a significant portion of BP (first 1/2 hour of Blue Jays’ BP). I’ll save your spot on line, but just in case I’m not there yet, do the same for me.

    Zack — Come on. It’ll be fun. You’re not going to get shut out. Nobody goes to Yankee Stadium for BP in April. And you’re much better at judging home runs than I am, so you basically won’t have to compete with me in that aspect. If you do go, when will you be there?


    Why left field? the Yanks are definetly using commerative balls for the game. the logo looked nice in Mo’s hand. if zack comes, April 2 is officialy baseball collector night


    i got an error message that i have commented too much in a short amount of time? anyone know whats up with that?

  24. gregb123

    Puck — When the Blue Jays pitchers come out (to left field) to warm up at the start of their BP, I’ll prey on their balls. (That didn’t come out right.) By the way, what do you look like/what will you be wearing, so that I’ll be able to recognize you? (I’ll have a blank black hat on with khaki pants.)

  25. zackhample

    Not sure what the deal is with that. And I still have no idea what I’m doing tomorrow…

  26. meikd423

    everyones talking about going to yankee games and all that and all baseball im going to is a travel team game against jersey city. their entire team is little pedros and jose’s. at least 1 of those kids will make the majors, i think. one kid doesnt even speak english but throws about 70. and hes 13?
    well thats my life story. back to talking about 5 dollars and yankee games

  27. goisles

    Just back from my last islander game of the season. No more Nassau Coliseum until October–although we’ll give Puck Collector a shot at puck 100 at the Verizon Center in Washington this weekend.

    Zack, as for $5 nights–this early in April, while the Yanks want to sell every ticket, so many seats are now held in season plans and season ticket holders buying additional $5 games. Also on StubHub and E-Bay you could barely give your seats away this past week. As a result, it’s probable that they could have an announced crowd of over 50,000 and actual attendance of no more than 30-35,000–especially when it’s going to be in the low 40s. And I suspect BP will not be very crowded.


    Greg, im not sure, but i’ll have a north face fleece on (i think), and a black Dodge string bag( i think). i think i’ve had a picture with zack on the blog before, if only i can find it.

  29. gjk2212

    ugh im so pisssed i wanted to go to yankee stadium tonight!!

    i have no means of transportation to get there. im pissed.

    puckcollector, i gladly would have taken that ticket if i could have found a way there. sorry man. good luck everyone who goes tonight. i might go friday. hopefully.

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