Good morning. No, make that great morning!
Is there a better day in the entire calendar year than Opening Day? Not for my money. You wake up, your team is undefeated (well, except for the defending champ Phillies, who were dissected last night by Atlanta’s Derek Lowe) and anything seems possible.
That could all change by the end of the day, of course. By this time tomorrow, we could be muttering about how John Lannan isn’t really an ace, Austin Kearns is back to his old 0-for-4 self and the bullpen is going to be a disaster.
But save that kind of negativity for later. Right now, just enjoy the moment. Nats vs. Marlins at 4:10 p.m. Lannan vs. Ricky Nolasco. Adam Dunn’s debut. Nick Johnson’s return. Good stuff.
In the meantime, please do yourself a favor and buy a copy of today’s print edition. It features our 2009 Baseball Preview section, and I’ve got to say it’s worth the 50 cents. I’m posting some links to many of the articles from the section, but not everything made it online. Plus, you can’t duplicate the graphic presentation on a Web site.
Our overriding theme to the section was: “How do you fix this?” It begins with the Nationals, who are trying to climb out of a huge hole as a franchise and re-establish itself. We examined four different areas in which the Nats are trying to improve themselves: 1) the major-league roster, 2) the farm system, 3) ownership and 4) fan relations. We also profiled another franchise that did an incredible job of fixing itself last year (the Tampa Bay Rays) and applied the same philosophy to all 30 teams, looking at what went wrong last year, how they tried to fix it and whether it will work or not.
(Editor’s note: You may have noticed we’re having some Web site difficulty this morning; please bear with us while we’re getting through that. We initially had planned to have a bunch of story links here, but that won’t work, so here instead is one link you can cut, paste and follow to see the Special Section. After you buy a copy, of course).
Here is the link: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/apr/06/special-section-baseball-2009/