Opening Day — morning, noon and night.

While baseball players like to pretend they’re too cool to get caught up in the hype of Opening Day, in an honest moment, most would probably admit that the excitement generated for this one game is hard to ignore.

While it might be construed as just another game for the players, this day just feels different. Maybe it’s seeing the Astros in their crisp white pinstripe uniforms after six weeks of red Spring Training jerseys. Maybe it was because this was Brad Mills’ first Opening Day as a Major League manager. Maybe it’s because the players are more optimistic about a new season than they have been in years.

Of course, it’s hard to treat this like just any other gameday when you’re surrounded by a street festival, pep rally, packed ballpark and elaborate pregame introductions with parachuters falling from the sky.

Nope, definitely not just another day at the office…

Brad Mills and Drayton McLane make their way to the pep rally early on Monday. Mills, McLane, Ed Wade and Tal Smith led the first rally, while several players were slated to drop by a second one after batting practice later in the day.


Mills and Milo Hamilton on stage at the rally.


Rally, round 2…Michael Bourn and Dave Raymond.


Crowd shot from Streetfest.


Tommy Manzella waves to the crowd at Streetfest.


Batting practice: Bud Norris


Pre-batting practice warmup.


Wandy Rodriguez, Bud Norris


We took our camera into the dugout before and during pregame ceremonies and discovered there’s a lot of hugging between teammates on Opening Day.

Bourn, Matsui…


…Lee, Pence.


Chris Johnson, enjoying every moment of his first big league Opening Day.


Puma, Brad Mills.


Parachuting onto the field….


Lining up for anthem after introductions.



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1 Comment

Jason Heyward is one of the most hyped up rookies in quite some time, then goes out first day and shows some reason. The reason I’m griping about Chris Johnson not having the same chance is this:

CJ’s spring simple stats= .323 AVG, 7 HR, 19 RBI
Heyward=.305 AVG, 1 HR, 5 RBI

The Braves traded Javier Vasquez, their number 1 SP last season to the Yanks for a “starting” OF and amongst their crowded OF, including McClouth and Diaz, Bobby Cox is starting a rookie in RF.

I’m griping because Johnson easily deserves to be starting over Pedro Feliz. Sorry you overpaid him, Ed, but if you want to win before Berkman’s Bruise ends his career, you put the best you got on the field. It’s easy for anyone to see CJ is much better than Feliz. I just don’t understand why this organization constantly sends good players to other teams in their development and when they show they’ve developed, they put them on the pine interrupting their development.

Maybe it’s time for a “GM by Committee”. Just sayin’!! ;-) Yay for baseball being back, though!

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