Thursday, March 29, 2018

EXTRA: The Good, the Sad & the Ugly

For a moment, he had best stats
Baseball is back! The 2018 regular season began Thursday, and what was notable about this date?

THE GOOD: The very first game of the whole season was the Chicago Cubs in Miami taking on the Marlins. And as it turns out, Cubs outfielder Ian Happ was the first batter who managed to hit the first pitch of the season for a home run.

Which got a lot of people all worked up. Not even the sight of that ridiculous light show with swimming dolphin-like creatures that takes place at Marlins Park could bring people down.
15th Sox player ever to hit 3 HRs in game

Even better was the Chicago White Sox' 14-7 victory in Kansas City. Six Sox home runs, including three by infielder Matt Davidson. Only three other ballplayers ever have hit that many in an Opening Day game, including Tuffy Rhodes of the Cubs back in 1994.

THE SAD: Rusty Staub, the one-time player known as Le Grande Orange (he was a red-head who played for the Montreal Expos for a time) died Thursday morning.

Which means he got a baseball-wide moment of silence prior to every opening game, and fans of the Houston Astros, New York Mets and Detroit Tigers fought it out with Expos fans over which ball club was most significant to his career (he’s the guy who managed 500 or more base hits with each team). While Chicago fans could reminisce about all the big hits he got against our city's ball clubs.

THE UGLY: The Cubs started out their season with that home run and managed to add on two more runs before the Marlins even got to bat.

Yet it only took two more innings before Miami tied the ballgame, meaning the Cubs couldn’t even hold the lead. The Cubs may think they’re of championship quality these days, but it seems certain aspects of Chicago Cubishness will never change.
And yes, I know the old Sergio Leone film was The Good, the BAD and the Ugly. But when it comes to baseball, there is no Bad. Unless you count people who slather ketchup on their ballpark hot dogs – even Clint Eastwood’s later character "Dirty" Harry Callahan (who at least had a name) would agree with that.


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