Opening Day, really

The tarp has been taken off the almost surreal looking grass  (they claim that it is natural and that they don’t paint it green) and infield here at Fenway and we are finally going to have Opening day. It is about 46 degrees and partly sunny but baseball is back, at least here at Fenway. While High Schools around New England are cancelling games for the 2nd straight day due to soggy fields, Fenway’s head groundskeeper Dave Mellor has this place looking like a field of dreams.

Reigning American League MVP Dustin Pedroia was the 1st one out of the dugout some 4 hours before the scheduled 1st pitch and he still looks like an exciting high school-er ready to play baseball. 15 of Pedroia’s teammates have now joined him in right field stretching and throwing

Josh Beckett (12-10, 4.03ERA in ’08will start his 1st Opening day for the Red Sox (4th overall) looking to bounce back from, what for him, was a mediocre injury filled season. His Batting Lineup looks like this:

Jacoby Ellsbury-CF

Dustin Pedroia-2B

David Ortiz-DH

Kevin Youkilis-3B

JD Drew-RF

Jason Bay-LF

Mike Lowell-3B

Jed Lowrie-SS

Jason Varitek-C

For Varitek, this is his 10th straight year in the Red Sox opening day starting line-up, and the 5th for David Ortiz (can you believe that Jeremy Giambistarted over him in ’03), while it is the 1st for Jed Lowrie and Jason Bay.

This is a good match-up against the defending AL champion Tampa Rays and their #1 pitcher James Shields (14-8 3.56 ERA in ’08). Let the games begin, all 162 of them, tho this one will be the most magnified, until the Yankees come to town.

I’ll update you throughout the day

-MD

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