Opening Day thoughts

Baseball is such a game of routine, a marathon rather than a sprint. That’s why Opening Day is so different. There’s bunting hanging all around the stadium, big pregame ceremonies, everything is fresh, the day seems to move quickly.

That’s a really long and non-poetic way of explaining why I am posting some Opening Day thoughts today rather than last night after the game. If any of you have thoughts you like to share, please post them in the comments below or email me and I’ll post them here for you. I really would like for this to be an interactive blog this year.

Now, back to Opening Day:

— Tough spot for the D-backs to be in with regards to the roof being open or closed. I think everyone agrees the ballpark looks much nicer and has a better feel to it when the roof is open. I would have loved for it to have been open yesterday, but the press box is in the shade and I don’t pay to get into the ballpark so I tend to think my opinion on that subject means far less than someone who not only buys a ticket, but has to sit directly in the sun.

— Bob Melvin looked like a genius on Day One by starting Tony Clark at first base. More significant, at least to me, is that Melvin right off the bat laid down the law as far as how things are going to work this year. No longer will playing time just be given to players, it will have to be earned. And on a given day if the matchups call for a change, he’s going to make it.

— On that same subject, Mark Reynolds should have done better than “no comment” when asked about sitting on Opening Day. Look, I like Reynolds a lot. I think he’s a good guy, a good player and someone who really works hard and wants to do well more than fans may realize. And I also know that it had to hurt not starting yesterday, but for his teammates he should have done what Justin Upton did and give a politically correct response of he would like to play and was disappointed, but understands the manager wants to do what he thinks is best.

His no comment said far more than I am sure he intended.

— I don’t know what to make of Webb’s comments about his shoulder being stiff. No one seemed overly concerned yesterday, though his velocity did seem down a bit. It’s something that we will have to keep an eye on in the coming days.

— Tony Pena was to me a guy that flew under the radar in this one. Shutting things down in the seventh and then getting through the eighth was huge not just in the game, but also for Pena’s confidence.

Pena is a sensitive kid who can get down on himself when he does not pitch well and as we’ve seen that can spiral on him. He was beaming in the clubhouse after the game and that certainly is encouraging.

— I wrote it before Spring Training and then again during it, but Chad Tracy is going to have a big year. He looks a lot better at the plate now that he has two healthy legs.

— Felipe Lopez sure did what he could to help fans forget Orlando Hudson with a pair of homers.

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