By chance, I was at the final home game of last season, and like most of September, the day ended in a loss (to the Orioles, no less). At the time, I wasn't too worried, since there six games still to play and I figured they would clinch soon enough. I won't rehash it now, on the morning of a fresh start, but you all know how that worked out.
I know that there are mixed feelings about the movie Fever Pitch, but there's one scene from it in particular that encompasses how I feel today (and on all Home Openers): the main character's season tickets have arrived, and after he's embraced the delivery guy, he and his friends open the box, touching and smelling and caressing the tickets. "A new season," says one of them with awe, "a clean slate." The main character smells his sheet of tickets and declares that "this smells like the year."
From all the way in Connecticut, this smells like the year. Soon enough we'll have forgotten this 1-5 start, the bullpen will shake out the kinks, and the field players will find their groove. Opening Day is about unbridled optimism, and since I won't be able to watch this year (I have to commentate Trinity baseball this afternoon), I'm broadcasting my good feelings now.
I'm predicting Josh Beckett will go out there looking to prove himself after an abysmal start last week in Detroit, and pitch deep into the game. The lineup will rise to the occasion of performing in front of the Fenway crowd, and those who have been struggling (I'm looking at you Jacoby Ellsbury and Kevin Youkilis) will get in in gear.
Sox take Opening Day, and for my final prediction, Dustin Pedroia goes yard - because that's just what he does on Opening Day.