Embracing Opening DAYS

Here’s something nobody tells you when you’re young: You never stop feeling young.

Oh, I’m sure there are exceptions. I’ve been blessed with good health and a steady income, which of course makes everything about a million times easier. Trust me on this one: I count my blessings every single day.

But except for feeling crappy if I stay up past 1 in the morning two nights in a row, I literally feel just as young as I’ve ever felt. Or as well, anyway.

Still, I do sometimes remember that when people think of me or look at me, they think middle-aged. Or even (heaven forbid) old.

Which I suppose is my long-winded, geezerish way of getting to this: I miss the old-fashioned Opening Day!

Many of you wouldn’t remember this, but for some decades the same thing happened every year: Cincinnati, due to its status as home of "baseball’s first professional team" — historically not 100% accurate, but interesting nonetheless — hosted the first game in the major leagues, or at least in the National League. Every year. It was tradition, and it was comforting. And before you start laying the old-guy rap on me, remember almost nobody, not even whipper-snappers like you, are immune to the pull of tradition. They built a whole musical around it!

But eventually they did away with the Cincinnati opener, and instead the first game was on Sunday night. Then they started play games in Asia. In the middle of the (North American) night, no less. And it was … O.K.

This year, everything’s changing again. First they’re going to play a couple of games in Puerto Rico, and then they’re going to play not once, not twice, but thrice on Sunday.

If tradition’s your thing, I mean really your thing, you might be bothered by this. Especially if it means your "work week" starts a little earlier than usual. But as a wise man once observed, change is the tune we dance to. And when the change brings more baseball and earlier baseball, I say tradition can go hang.