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15

Opening D-d-d-day


Up here in Maine, believe it or not, we do have summer sports. I know itís farfetched, but the beloved baseball season is right around the corner. In some cases it has already begun.


Little League and school ball have started, while Babe Ruth and Legion Baseball will start soon in the month of May. Itís a miracle that in Maine we can play baseball so early. If we were in our right minds, we would start the season mid-July when all the snow finally melts and opening day isnít such an arctic event.


In usual common opening days, the batters can be seen in excruciating pain after the stinging when they hit the ball (if they can hit it through the blizzard) and the outfielders have to be thawed if they stand out in the field for a maximum of three consecutive seconds. And that doesnít tell half the story of what the frozen parents have to endure. Sometimes theyíre so cold or wet, THEY CANíT EVEN GOSSIP (this only happens in extreme conditions).


And thatís the main reason why everybodyís parents go to their kidsí games. To just gossip about the latest interesting event that happened to someone elseís son. The other reason is so they can have an extra opportunity to scream at their kids. Oh no, at home is not enough. It says it in the parent rule book: rule number 734g-- go to your childrenís sporting events and scream at them.


When opening day rolls on around the 26th (for some Little Leaguers), donít be surprised to see eyes rolling from the young ballplayers. To them, opening day is the pits. Adults talk on the microphone and thank each other endlessly for the "wonderful job" helping out. The kids donít want to stand there and be bored to death with this; they want to just get their gloves and play.


Opening days have varied over the past years, the best ones being when teams played after brief speeches by a couple organizers of the league, and the worst ones being when thirty-four beaming people hog and blab on the microphone for hours, and the kids suit all up in their unies for nothing.


You know youíve concocted a worthless opening day when you look at the tee-ballers having more fun picking their nose than listening to the speeches, and when the farm league and Little League players are stomping up and down on their gloves. Those should be obvious signs, but if thatís not enough, just watch the parents try to cover ten-foot yawns by taking huge sips of coffee which leads to massive mouth burning and the piping hot coffee splattering all over them. Just look for the stains.


What opening day should be is almost similar to the best ones in the past. Short intros and brief thank-youís would be in order, along with (of course) the Star Spangled Banner to get the kids into it. Then yell, "Play ball," and have a couple of games. Itís that simple. None of this letís-parade-onto-the-fields trash and have each manager of every single team waste his breath talking on the microphone.


Maybe this year a stroke of good luck will come on the 26th and warm weather will (for once) occur on a SHORT opening day ceremony (hint, hint) and the many games later during that day.


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© By Paul Adams