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Astros and Yankees Opening Day (Photos)

Astros and Yankees Opening Day (Photos)EXPAND
photos by Marco Torres

Yesterday was the beginning of another baseball season. For lovers of the game, there are two words that jumpstart the heart and clean the slate for another long, hopefully successful year:

Opening Day.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, regardless of the humiliating amount of wins and equally despicable number of losses the home ball club tallied last season (51 and 111, respectively), our boys get another shot. Who cares that we only know a grand total of two names on the roster, and the club's total player payroll is less than what Albert Pujols makes before breakfast. With every new season, our team is given something not even money can buy. A chance.

Retired Astros player Craig Biggio chats with Yankees captain Derek Jeter during pre-game warm-ups on Opening Day 2014 at Minute Maid Park.EXPAND
Retired Astros player Craig Biggio chats with Yankees captain Derek Jeter during pre-game warm-ups on Opening Day 2014 at Minute Maid Park.

Slideshow: The Astros Beat the Yankees on Opening Day

Some people just don't get it. Why waste time on baseball, that slow, grinding, old-fashioned sport that seemingly drags on for hours, crawling to a low-scoring snooze-fest ending? Sure, the Texans had their worst season ever last year, but football is tough, fast, and so very Texan. The Rockets are serious contenders this year, and are playing amazingly great basketball right now. Hell, even the Dynamo are among the best teams in Major League Soccer.

Simplicity. That's my answer. There are no shoulder pads in baseball. No shot clock. No net. And especially no flopping, thank God. There is a ball, which is thrown at a speed upwards of ninety miles per hour that you attempt to hit with a piece of a tree. Its the smell of the grass as the runner rounds second before he slides into third. Its the sound of a strike hitting the leather of the catcher's mitt and the boom of a home run breaking the sound barrier. So simple, so beautiful, so electric. So baseball.

 

Opening Day in Houston was full of promise. One of baseball's greatest players, Yankees captain Derek Jeter, threatened to steal the spotlight as he took the field in what will be his final season before he retires. Astros starter welcomed him in the first inning by hitting him with a fastball on the knuckles!

The Astros struck early and often. Leadoff hitter Dexter Fowler hit a double and later scored on a single by Jose Altuve. The Astros second baseman would eventually score himself, giving the home team a 2-0 lead. Early in the second, Jesus Guzman hit a two-run homer to push the lead up to 4-0. L.J. Hoes later hit a solo homer to make it 5-0. Altuve again chipped in with an RBI to make it 6-0.

As I listened and observed the fans, I noticed that they were not only cheering, they were also smiling wide and joyously yelling. These weren't the type of fans that only show up on Opening Day, then leave before the seventh inning stretch. These were real supporters, with real hope. And that feels good, man.

The players felt the vibe as well, I presume. They ran out every grounder, chased every pop-up, and took every opportunity towards greatness.

Winning can do wonders for a team and its fans. A win is cherished. A winner is exalted. A winning team carries that momentum into the next game, then the next. Sure, this is only the first game, which was eventually won by the score of 6-2, but right now, the team is perfect. Even sweeter is the victory because The Yankees are the team that attempts to buy a trip to the World Series year after year. But not today. Not at this moment, and not in our house.

As of right now, the "Lastros" are a thing of the past. The road to the World Series is wide open, and Houston is making its way there, one win at a time.

Slideshow: The Astros Beat the Yankees on Opening Day


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