Among opening day memories, one of my favorites still stands as Manny Ramirez’ line-shot home run on the first pitch of his first Fenway at-bat as a member of the Boston Red Sox (Now that was Fenway Opening Day, mind you. The Sox opened the season a week earlier in Baltimore. But still…).
Forget the fact that his three-run homer tied the game — thanks to Timmeh giving up three in the top of the first — what made it so mind-bogglingly awesome was that it was exactly how we imagined his first Fenway at-bat would go down. This was the guy we paid $180 million so he could mash the ever-loving crud out of the ball, and when this investment started paying dividends in his very first game before the hometown crowd, shit went nuts. And I was there to witness it.
Am I expecting similarly auspicious debuts from Crawford and Gonzalez tomorrow? Hell, I don’t want to jinx ’em with my sad-ass predictions. But if either one of ’em goes yard on the first pitch, I’ll buy each and every one of you a beer.