Monday, April 1, 2013

Opening Night ... With a Thud ...

Last night's opening night MLB game, on ESPN, featured my local team, the Rangers. It also featured a semi-local team, the Astros.  Why these two teams for opening night, a national broadcast, the very first game of the season?  I read that an ESPN executive state that they didn't need a Yankees-Red Sox matchup on opening night to generate the required ratings, that they'd save their 'preferred' matchup for later (which is tonight, on Monday Night Baseball).  I truly believe that national TV executives, all based in the Northeast, would be content with eliminating all baseball teams except the Yankees and Red Sox, have them play 162 games against each other, have a playoff against each other, and then have a World Series against each other - all on national prime time TV.

Anyway, almost all the pre-game talk (at least the pre-game talk that actually was about THIS game and not the Yankees/Red Sox/Angels) was about the Rangers, and how would they do this year with all the negatives that happened to them in the off season.  The only real mention of the Astros was whether they'd actually be worse this year than the past couple of years (each of which saw them lose over 100 games per season).  The Astros have such a small payroll that there are 23 individual players in MLB who outearn the entire Astros team by themselves.

Anyway, the Rangers come out and lay an egg.  Poor pitching, no hitting, and sloppy defense.  Couple that with Astros hitting and good pitching, and you come up with a 8-2 thumping.

This was the Astros first game as members of the American League.  They probably will suck over the length of the season, but for one day they are all alone in first place, with the best record in all of baseball.

The Rangers ... well, last night just doesn't surprise me ..

UPDATE - The old saying is true, especially in baseball.  Gotta take one game at a time, any given team can win in any given game ...

Yu Darvish throws a perfect game for 8 2/3 innings in the Rangers' second game, coming within one out of hurling a perfect game.  14 strikeouts.  Wow ...

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