5 Gripes from Opening Day(s)
By: Dylan Elder – Editor-in-Chief
1. Why Four?
We had one in Australia at 4 in the morning like a week ago, one on Sunday Night so ESPN could beat their own drum, the majority of the teams on Monday, and then the Yankees and Astros on Tuesday. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of Opening Day in baseball, but it really grinds my gears that I have to put “s” in parenthesis for the title of this post.
2. The Replay Challenge Techniques
Now, before I start griping, I absolutely love the new challenge rule in the MLB and think the league is 10 years late with the technology. However, what really gets on my nerves is when managers take their sweet time strolling out onto the field after a controversial call, only to wait for a thumbs up or thumbs down from the bench coach as to whether actually challenge the call. Giants manager Bruce Bochy used this technique four times tonight against the Diamondbacks before eventually LOSING the challenge. So ha. This antic is simply tedious, annoying, and should be put to rest before it gains even more traction.
3. Injuries Suck the Fun Out of Everything
We are mere hours into the 2014 baseball season and we’ve already been stricken of some of the best players in the game. No one wins when Clayton Kershaw, Yu Darvish, and Jose Reyes get placed on the DL. I know there’s no real solution to this problem, but c’mon man… I just want to watch the best players play.
4. Quivering Closers
Guys like Bobby Parnell, Joe Nathan, Tommy Hunter, and Sergio Romo did everything in their power to lose game one for their respective teams. While 3 of the 4 made it out with the win (Parnell being the odd man out), it did nothing to ease the minds of restless fans. Nothing is worse as a fan than having a one run lead in the 9th inning and just feeling that innate sense that your closer is going to make the game way too interesting. So yeah, closers, please start closing. If not for anything else except for my fantasy team.
5. C.C. Sabathia on Opening Day
First of all, the new Sabathia is a far cry from the old one. It looks like he lost a whole Bartolo Colon. Anyways, Sabathia entered the day with a 5.80 career ERA on Opening Day, which as you might be able to decipher, is pretty poor. Today, he proceeds to allow six runs in six innings to the lowly Astros, further cementing his status as an unreliable option on the first game of the season.
*Bonus 6th Gripe: Boring SportsCenter Web Gems
Okay sure, a diving catch in the outfield is definitely worthy of a spot on SportsCenters’ top 10. But c’mon ESPN, how many times do I need to see a slow rolling ball towards third base be picked up bare-handed and have the runner thrown out by mere inches? I get that it’s hard to do, but do I really need to see it every single day? I don’t think anyone will complain if we swap that play out for another monster dunk or diving stop. Get some new tricks, ESPN.