MLB Opening Day

USA Today

Opening Freaking Day

Come On, Stapp.

March 28, 2019 - 11:05 am

Do you know what day it is? Here’s a hint: Sean Casey is on the show in the second hour.

Here’s another hint - it’s a day devoted to sounds.

The crack of the bat

The roar of the crowd

And stretching syllables

You know what I’m talking about. Hit it Alvin:

Scott Stapp… with Marlins Will Soar, if you need him, and we all do.

Because if you overlook the two games that were played in Japan, today is Opening Day. Winter is over. Spring has sprung. And everyone has a chance at the World Series.

Well, no they don’t. Saying that is a bit of a stretch.

Almost as big a stretch as Stapp turning game day into about seven syllables. He was working pretty hard on that, wasn’t he? He stretched gaaaaaammmmmeeeee daaaaayyyyy with the ease of Adam Dunn trying to stretch a single into a triple.

And don’t get me started on the crack of the bat. I could do a whole hour on that sound. So crisp, so loud, so clean, and so not the crack of a bat. I don’t know where they got that sound, I just know they didn’t get it from an actual baseball game.

Seriously, I’m not audio engineer, but there might not be an easier sound to record. Just head out to the local batting cage with a microphone and some recording equipment, and get the crack of the bat. Yeah, maybe you have to bring your own wooden bat and request that the machine be loaded with an actual baseball, but that will sound so much better than the data file Stapp used.

The crack in the song sounds like they ripped it from a Nintendo game. Guys, we need the crack of the bat. Okay, I’ve got RBI Baseball 3 here, let’s just use that. 

But enough about Stapp. Well, there’s never enough about Stapp, but today is Opening Day and finally a reason for baseball fans to be excited. Baseball needs Opening Day this year more than it has in a long time.

Because let’s be honest, that was not the greatest offseason in the history of the sport. Between proposed rule changes, actual rule changes, teams manipulating service time by keeping their best prospects in the minors, and free agency, the vibe around baseball was bad. Everything thing you read or heard about baseball was about everything that’s wrong with baseball – it’s too slow, it’s too boring, it’s too this, it’s too that.

Remember all the excitement when Bryce Harper and Manny Machado hit free agency? Teams had been talking about this free agent class for years. They had been planning for it. They had been jockeying for position. It promised to be an absolute bonanza of dollars and excitement.

And then when Harper and Machado actually hit free agency? Nothing. It was flat. It was boring. It was unexciting. And when Harper and Machado signed, the collective reaction was one of exhaustion, not excitement.

That’s why baseball needs the Orioles and Yankees kicking things off at 1pm eastern. Followed by the Mets and Nats, St. Louis at Milwaukee, and Atlanta at Philly. Honestly, if I was Commissioner Rob Manfred, the way the offseason was going, I’d have thought about moving those games up a little bit, like back to mid-February, just to end the offseason and change the story.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m fired up to see what Harper does in Philly’s bandbox and what Machado does in San Diego, and to see if anyone signs Craig Kimbrel or Dallas Keuchel, but that’s kind of the problem.

Because it sure seemed like a lot of teams weren’t looking to get a lot better over the offseason. It sure seemed like a lot of teams were looking to make their spreadsheets better, not their rosters.

It’s a game that is hurting for nationally recognized stars and the teams seem to be doing their best to keep it that way.

Which is why baseball needs this Opening Day more than just about any Opening Day in recent memory. Because baseball needs to erase the bad taste of the offseason. It needs people to focus on the players and the games, not the pace of the games and the service time of the players.

Baseball needs Bryce Harper to be taking advantage of the short right field in Philly. Baseball needs Manny Machado to be raking at the plate and picking it in the field. Baseball needs Mike Trout to do everything that Mike Trout does. Baseball needs the Red Sox and Yankees, the Dodgers and the Astros, to be doing what they’ve done the last few years. And if the Cubs want to step up, that would be good too.  

Because while that offseason was long and it was rough, some of the damage can be erased, starting today. Starting with the crack of the bat, with strikeouts, base hits, and duuuuuuuuubbbbblleeee plays.

Let’s play ball, it’s game day.