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Derek Lowe

What does it mean? I’ll tell you: baseball (I almost typed “basketball” right there) is officially back. While today is considered Opening Day, last night’s game between the Atlanta Braves and the World Champion Philadelphia Phillies was evidently the opening act. Call it “Opening Night” if you want. As for the game, the Braves beat the Phils, 4-1, behind a masterful Derek Lowe outing. The Braves’ new ace pitched eight strong innings, giving up only two hits and zero runs. As for Philadelphia, there’s not a whole lot you can take from the loss. Last season, the Phillies also opened with a loss, but went on to win the World Series.

Like I said, there’s not a great deal to take away from last night’s game if you are Phillies fan, good or bad. As for the Braves, seeing their new ace pitch well has to provide some hope for a team that struggled with starting pitching last season.

As for the us, the sports fan, what does all this official baseball mean? Is a time for rocking out or is it time for an “Aw geez. Baseball again?” type of response? Seeing how the weather is already screwing with the early season’s schedule, I think it’s a little too early for the MLB, but I’m probably in the minority considering how many good writers cover baseball.

Today’s schedule features a full slate of games, even with the two postponements. Leading the day off are the Mets and the Reds in Cincinnati. It’s time to see if that huge payroll will be able to stand up to small-market teams with up-and-coming talent.