The Phillies won on Opening Day for the first time in five years. I just hope, as my grandmother pointed out, that this doesn't jinx them for the rest of the season; despite a history of bad Aprils, they've been NL East division champs for the past three years and made it to the World Series the past two, taking the crown in 2008.
What a game, though... 11 to 1 over the Nationals — not, I grant you, necessarily the biggest threat in baseball, but a win's a win. Our new staff ace Roy Halladay struck out nine in seven innings and even got an RBI base hit; it's a shame that Cliff Lee had to go to bring Halladay in, since his single season with the Phils last year was nothing to sneeze at, but the trade seems to make sense. I was already happy to have former Phillie Placido Palanco and his profoundly protruding browbones back at 3rd base even before he came up with today's insane six RBIs (including a grand slam). And the big man, Ryan Howard, kicked off the offense as always with his first homer of the season. Everybody in the starting lineup hit safely, in fact, and when you look at this lineup, from Howard to Palanco to Chase Utley to Jimmy Rollins to Jayson Werth to Shane Victorino to Raul Ibañez to Carlos Ruiz, man, it looks to be another sizzling summer as long as — say it with me, baseball fans who invoke this same mantra of obviousness every year — the pitching holds up and the team stays healthy. We have a few guys still on the disabled list, including key reliever J.C. Romero and closer Brad Lidge, but Cole Hamels is looking good and, hey, 47-year-old hamish hometown hero Jamie Moyer is back. Given how well last season ended despite some players falling apart it's way too early to panic. Heck, it's Opening Day!
Documentarian Ken Burns appeared on tonight's ABC World News with commentary on the centennial of Presidents throwing out the first pitch Opening Day and how the tradition has changed since 1910. Diane Sawyer said that there was more video with Burns on the ABC News website, but I'm having no luck finding it, apparently purely because it's not among the most popular videos; if anyone reading this happens to dig it up, I'd love to get a link. [Update: The video has been found but it's not loading for me in either Safari or Chrome so the problem's probably with the website.]