Where Are You Conine?'s Blog
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Got to hand it to the Nat's - they do what the O's can't. Sell tickets, win games, and make memories. I watched Nat's opening day against the Braves on Sunday night. The Braves blew it early with a couple of errors and gave the Nat's an early lead, but then things turned around quickly due to dominant Atlanta pitching and a few well-timed slugs by Braves hitters. Chipper Jones gets the honor of the first home run in National's Park, but it was the 9th inning that made all of the difference. Tied game, bottom of the 9th, first Nat's game in their brand new home. Ryan Zimmerman, the face of the organization, steps up to the plate. With a national TV audience watching, a sold-out crowd (a true Nat's rarity), fans going wild, and a pretty new ballpark, Zimmerman had the weight of an entire organization on his shoulders. The 23-year old third baseman just shrugged it off and lifted his bat. A few seconds later, I was jumping up and down and yelling with joy in my living room as this guy clobbered the ball right out of the park, winning the Nat's season opener, the new ballpark opener, and setting the tone for the rest of the year with an amazing walk-off homerun. I blogged earlier this year that Zimmerman is the most underrated player in baseball, and here's hoping this gives a few more folks out there reason to watch him more closely. He's my favorite player in MLB today, and his moment in the spotlight was a classic baseball moment that doesn't happen enough. The Nat's went on to kill the Phillies in their Philadelphia opener too, and I'm hoping this momentum keeps going all season long. And no, O's fans, I don't feel one ounce of guilt for loving the Nat's as much as I do, regardless of what Angelos thinks. From great high to crushing low: Orioles opening day a total bust. Guthrie wasn't fooling anybody as the Ray's swung away at leisure. Adam Jones underwhelming in O's debut, and my predicted MVP Mora went 0-4, was called on interference, and made a fielding error. The only player who had a great day was Roberts, the one player who doesn't seem likely to stick around anyway. Oh, Orioles. I love thee so, no matter what happens, because a real fan sticks with their team through thick and thin. But now, when the O's are on MASN and the Nat's are on MASN2, you make it a little more difficult to stay tuned into Birdland. On a final note, Conine is officially retired. The Marlins gave him a one-day contract for opening day so he could officially retire as a Marlin and not as a Met. Baseball has just lost one of the greats. Where are you, Conine? My next O's tix are for Saturday against the Mariner's. I can taste the Dippin' Dots already. -B

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