Thursday, April 6, 2017

When everyone is in first place

Good morning to all.

We're experiencing the delights of springtime weather here in central Kentucky this morning, as a cold front blasted through last night, dropping temperatures and producing rain, hail, and in some areas heavy winds.  Still blowing this morning and the temperature continues to decline, although we're due for it to recover somewhat over the weekend.

My title today refers to the official start of the 2017 baseball season.  It's the one point in the season where every team is on equal footing.

This year's opening day, which is something of a holiday in my family, was a little different.  If you follow me on Twitter at @richardlexsmith you saw a tweet about this.  My son is generally my accomplice, as we've attended the Cincinnati Reds' opening day game several times in the past, most recently in 2014.  If not in person, we find a way to watch the game together, often taking the day off and playing golf that morning.

In recent years the Reds have begun scheduling their first game at 4:10 PM, for reasons that I have never quite understood.  This game used to always be at 1:10 or so, and also used to be THE first game for all of Major League Baseball.  But no more.  There were three games played on Sunday with the balance of teams playing on Monday, including the Reds.

I may have mentioned this in this space, but my son is attending law school at night at present, nearly finished with his first year of classes, and, as luck would have it, Monday is one of the nights that he attends.  So he wasn't able to be here, although we spoke as the game was starting and he was able to watch a bit while traveling to his law school.

This didn't affect the outcome; the Reds allowed some early scoring by the also-rebuilding Philadelphia Phillies and trailed most of the game, making it interesting late but ultimately losing 4-3.  They won in the first night game (delayed by our bad weather) last night by a score of 2-0.

In other athletic news, the Kentucky basketball team's super freshmen--DeAaron Fox, Malik Monk and Bam Adebayo--all declared for the NBA Draft.  Fox and Monk hired agents, so they're at the point of no return, but Adebayo wisely is not being represented yet, and will participate in NBA workouts (tryouts, really) to help determine where he might be drafted.  And he can withdraw with no penalty and return to school if he chooses.  I hope he returns, he's a dynamic player who has a great deal of unrealized potential.  In my non-expert opinion, Fox and Monk are already prepared to play pro basketball.

And the stunner of the last week in football was that Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, who lost his starting job to rookie Dak Prescott last year when Romo was injured, decided to retire and enter broadcasting, joining CBS as their top analyst.  He will replace Phil "The Football" Simms, a native Kentuckian who played some years ago for the New York Giants, and I call him this because he always reminds us that a player is throwing a "football," or fumbling "the football" or catching "the football" and so on.

No indication of what happens to Simms, but this is a step in the right direction.

Finally, I don't feel the need to comment on Washington at this moment.  What's happening there, as bizarre as it seems, really speaks for itself.

By the way, as I write this, the Reds are in a three-way tie for first place in the National League Central Division.


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