I don’t know if you have ever been to an Opening Day, but I have been to many at Yankee Stadium and highly recommend going because it is a memorable experience.
The excitement in the air is undeniable, as it is only other game where each player gets announced like it does in the postseason.
The Air Force flies usually planes overhead, or shots are fired by military before the first pitch. Along with a ceremony that pays either tribute to the military or honors something important. This tradition varies at every ballpark.
There is always a live singer to perform the National Anthem, which most fans only experience before postseason games, the All-Star game or if a team is having a special tribute.
Still there is one thing that has never faltered about Opening Day, and that is all teams are considered equal, like a clean slate for both players and fans alike.
The game is mesmerizing like in the postseason but without the intensity, as everyone is just happy to have baseball back again.
2012 OPENING DAY at The Trop:
This is a travesty in my opinion because no one should be subjected to starting the season at the Trop, not even the Rays.
The fact that baseball fans in Central Florida don’t run to see the Rays was beyond me until I went to a game at the Trop.
I will cut to the chase by saying the Trop is a total dump.
First of all it is a heinous looking, non-retractable dome that is not even in Tampa Bay but in the middle of nowhere in St. Petersburg. When you drive up it looks like an earthquake hit and still needs to be repaired because the roof slants.
The lighting is terrible. It hurt my eyes in the same way going to a movie during the daytime and then walking out into the sunlight afterwards does.
The roof and crossbeams have wires dangling and are way too low, as evident because balls hit them regularly.
Going to a game at the Trop is about as un-baseball an affair…. minus the game being played on the AstroTurf, which recently had real dirt paths and mound added to make it seem like real grass.
One thing I specifically associate with the Trop is the song “Walking on Broken Glass” that blared on speakers in between innings at least two of the four times I was there.
I think you get the point, but I do get why commissioner Bud Selig scheduled it like this because the Yankees will fill the seats, something that the Rays sadly can’t seem to do.
The Rays need and deserve a real stadium to call home, but that is a whole different subject.
As for now Opening Day will have no flying planes overhead, no sun shining on the field and no fireworks unless the Rays plan on shooting them into the 10,000 gallon fish bowl, aka the “Rays Tank” in right-center field, where fans can touch and feed Cownose rays.
I know the Yankees home opener is just a week later on April 13th but still it is not the same. I think it would be a rule that no team should ever have to be subjected to play the first game of the regular season at Tropicana Field.
In my opinion, it just isn’t right.
And these are two of the best teams in baseball.