By Elizabeth Roscher (@lizroscher)
I am so happy about opening day I can barely express it.
Every year, the same thing happens. The baseball season ends and I cling like static to the Eagles and their chances in the playoffs. And then, of course, the Eagles lose and I’m left with nothing. Months and months of nothing. Yes, there are the Flyers and the Sixers, but January-April are months of absolute torture.
This offseason, I found myself watching and rewatching highlights from the Phillies’ 2008 and 2009 seasons. I read books on baseball and badgered U-Verse about picking up the MLB network. I pounced on every single piece of Phillies news and analyzed it to see what it was “really” saying. (Would Amaro really trade Howard for Pujols? Seriously?) Like many – or everyone – I was excited about Halladay’s trade to Philly, but it was also a little bittersweet to see Cliff Lee leave, especially when Lee wanted to stay in Philly so badly.
Halladay’s arrival in Philly made me aware of how much things had changed in the City of 10,000 Losses. Lee wanted to stay in Philly. Halladay left the only team he’d known to play for Philly. Coming to Philadelphia was no longer a sign your career was over. It was no longer a punishment. Realizing this, of course, only made the intervening months harder to get through.
I ate spring training up with a spoon. I joined my first fantasy baseball league, and spent hours learning about different stats and charting them on a massive excel spreadsheet. As opening day crawled closer, I realized that due to the placement of Easter and a last-minute trip, I wouldn’t be able to make opening day. Strangely, that did nothing to dampen my spirits, as my “Opening Day Fund” easily made the transfer to my brand new “MLB.tv Fund”.
Today, the Blah Period gratefully ends, and I experience Opening Day as I usually do – from afar. I’ll watch Halladay’s debut on my Mac and create my own experience to celebrate the long-awaited start of the baseball season. I’ll put on my Lidge shirt and my Phillies cap and wear them around town all day (living in southern Connecticut, which is Yankees country, that’s a dangerous thing). I’ve got hot dogs and good beer. I have a chair and table set up on my tiny deck, and I borrowed a set of speakers from my office. My Opening Day won’t be nearly as great as some, but really, as long as baseball season is starting, I honestly don’t care.
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