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Opening Day!!!

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Technically, no.  For Twins fans, yes.

Tonight I'm off to see Johan Santana make his first legitimate start of the 2007 campaign.  The Vixen will get her first taste of what Opening Day will be like, being she's here for a stint.  I'm bringing my Hunter jersey and some well-thought-out heckles.  She's bringing her book.

Baltimore hosts a few names we all recognize:  Miguel Tejada, Melvin Mora, Aubrey Huff, Corey Patterson, Ramon Hernandez and Steve Trachsel.  But these players are names if not talent, and the support surrounding this core doesn't hold much more water.  Nick Markakis holds interest, Daniel Cabrera's got a mean fastball, Erik Bedard could be decent and Chris Gomez still manages to find a home on a 25-man roster (some thanks to a massive career-year in spot time last season).

Tonight, however, isn't about the opposition.  It's about the Twins.  It's about another summer of All Stars shaking their heads and heading back to the bench after a duel with Santana.  It's about an entire league underestimating the talent in players like Nick Punto, Boof Bonser and Jason Bartlett.  It's also going to be about masses of hyperbole in regards to Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau.  Talent AND good looks?  It's a double-edged sword!

Opening Day is the one game before mid-summer when every inning can give you goose bumps, when the applause that cascades down from the upper deck can remind you that dammit, this is baseball.  And baseball is beautiful.  It's only April but you know how a season works:  each game is a line of numbers concluding and stacking and becoming the momentum that brings hot summer nights, raucus applause and eventually September, when every inch is a mile.

Sidenote to The Vixen:  1 mile = 1.609334 kilometers. Yes, it's the emperial system, and we LIKE being different.

In less than three hours, the trek towards October begins with a single pitch.  I'll see you on the other side.