Ah, the sound of the crack could not have come any sooner.  And if mother nature actually cooperates, perhaps we will actually PLAY BALL, this Monday.  OK, how many of you out there are planning to call sick?  As for me, well, I’ve already asked for the day off.  ( Honest, I did…).  And once Monday arrives, hopefully, the stench left from the ’05 campaign will be all washed out.  But there is still one memory that still stands out for me .  If you were at last years opener , you would know.  Of course, at this time of year, we all have our opening day stories we all like to share.  Well, as for mine, it would be the first opening day that I would be able to take lil’ sis, Sarah.  Fortunately, she just happened to be in spring break that week, so she did not have to miss out on school.  Hopefully, it will be the first of many opening day’s we do together, as I try to set a annual tradition.  ( Which I actually have done since ’02 ).  As for all the pre-game hoopla, well, even the struggle of finding parking could not dampen our spirits, for as my buddy Victor drove around the Ravine, the smell of smoked meats from tailgaters  and the sounds of blaring music varying from hip hop to alternative to mariachi or what suited you  permeating throughout the lots could only add to the electric atmosphere.  And why not?  We were just coming off that magical ’04 season and hope was in the air.  And besides, Opening Day is that one unofficial holiday of the year,right?  ( SB Sunday doesn’t really count.  Most of us are already off work ).  And what better opponent to have on an opener than the Barry and the Hated Ones.  Though Barry would not play, he would still be introduced during pre-game intros throughout a chorus of boos by the 55,000 plus strong.  As for the game, the Jints would actually jump out to a quick 5-0 lead and lead throught the game until the bottom of the 9th, while trying to hold on to an 8-5 lead, the Blue would rally in the manner reminiscent of the division clincher on October 2nd, 2004, against the Jints as well, for we would rally for 4 in the 9th, capped of on Uncle Milty’s ( God Bless Milton) bases loaded single, aided by left fielder Jason Ellison’s error , to send the good guys and their fans off in a frenzy, 9-8.  The Blue would start off the season 12-2, but that’s as good as it was for the season.  But it still did not erase this opening day memory.  Unfortunately, I can’t get Sarah out of school this year, but i’m sure there will be plenty more  ops for brother and sister and others as well to continue this annual ritual.  But I still have Josh to tag along, so all is cool .  Oh yeah, to keep with Our Opening Day theme, we like to make a day of it so after the game, Josh and I and anyone else who is fortunate to get the day off with us will have dinner somewhere in the L.A. area, still dressed in our Dodgers garb, and people, including restaurant employees, will come to our table asking about the Boys in Blue and opening day, as if to say I wish we coulda been there too.  There’s just something about opening day that brings people and personal traditions together.  Here’s to a Great ’06 Dodgers fans.  GO BLUE !!!


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