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Opening Day

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Opening Day: the day to dream wild about the team.

MLB: Spring Training-St. Louis Cardinals at Washington Nationals
Miles Mikolas might even hit a home run!
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Today is a day to forget everything that came before. No matter if your team is good, mediocre, bad - you don’t think about anything of that today. You are just glad baseball is on and you can watch your favorite team for the first time. You’ll get 161 more chances to watch baseball, but there’s just something about needing to watch the first one.

If you are in a position to do so, you will absolutely get off work early even though there is nothing that really makes this game more important than any other game. Sure, you’ll skip work for day games at the stadium, but you’re just going home to watch on TV or at a bar if you’re feeling frisky. There’s just something about the first game that convinces your brain that it is very important to watch this particular game.

Today is a day to forget about everything that came before. Good offseason? Bad offseason? You’re not thinking about that. You’re focused on one particular game. You’re not worried about who the Cardinals should have got, not worried that the Cardinals didn’t do enough, spend enough.

Will any of us be wondering about the state of baseball or worrying that the game is too long while we’re watching it? Absolutely not. What else were you planning to do today? In fact, if you have something to do, the longer the game, the better the chance you can see the ending.

Today is a day about hope. Everyone’s record is 0-0. The possibilities are endless! Everyone is going to have a career year this year. A swing change will absolutely solve all of this hitter’s issues. This pitcher’s spring training numbers are absolutely indicative that he’s going to dominate this year. Eh, ignore his bad spring training numbers, he was just working on a pitch that will unlock his full potential.

You can talk yourself into anyone today. Seriously. One year, we even convinced ourselves that Pete Kozma might be an acceptable starting player. That really happened. And it wasn’t that hard either. He had a ridiculous September and followed that up with a ridiculous spring training. Clearly he fixed something!

Today, we are all hopeful. For the short-term, we just hope we can win against a division rival, a team that is directly in the way of making the playoffs. It’s always fun to start the season facing a team like that. Beat them in a four-game series, and well, it is considerably easier to be optimistic about the season. Does that make sense? Not really! It’s only four games. But even the most rational among us will have a part of our brains buy into the team, if say, they swept the Brewers.

Is that likely? Well, it’s Opening Day, of course it’s likely.

Today, the Cardinals play at 1:10 CT. Game 1 of 162. Miles Mikolas will take the mound and his opposing pitcher will be Jhoulys Chacin. In a couple hours, the lineups will be out. I’d venture a guess that Paul Goldschmidt and Matt Carpenter will be on the lineup. It’s a pitching matchup and a lineup that is all to easy to envision a win for today. Of course, I could talk myself into the Orioles winning today if I were an Orioles fan.

But luckily, I’m a Cardinals fan. And you have to be a lot less imaginative to feel hopeful today. So Cardinals: there’s not really a way you can ruin this day. But there is a way you can make today less fun. I ask you to have an Opening Day that will allow this optimism, this hopefulness to last until tomorrow. Ideally, a few games for Cards fans to soak in optimism, to think we’ll never lose a series. But I’m only asking for today.

We will win today. We will win the series. And we’ll make the playoffs.