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Opening morning

"For fans, opening day is finally, blessedly upon us, full of warmth, sun and a presidential first pitch at Nationals Park," Boz leads off with today. "An offseason that turned Washington into Nome is long gone at last."

Yesterday, Jim Riggleman described himself as "the ultimate flag-waving American." He was trying to express his enthusiasm and delight for President Obama throwing out the first pitch in Washington, D.C., which, he said, is "how it should be."

Riggleman today will manage a team that is unquestionably his for the first time in a decade. This season means so much both for him and to him. This offseason, he wanted no other job than manager of the Nationals, his hometown team. Now, if things do not go as the Nationals like, they have the option to make it his only season in Washington. The story explains further.

Once 1:05 hits this afternoon, though, all of that can be shoved aside for a few hours. It's opening day, the pennant winner is in town and the president is throwing out the first pitch.

"You try to say all the right things - apple pie, America," Riggleman said. "But it is. It's a great day. I grew up a Senators fan. To manage the Nationals on opening day, it's big for me. I can remember ine opening day, the Senators were playing the White Sox. I told my mother I was sick, couldn't go to school that day. When the game came on TV, she figured it out. 'You weren't sick. You want to watch this game.' Opening day is huge. I've been in it 36 years now one way or another. It's nice to see all the excitement and everything. But you'd like to keep that excitement going throughout the year.

"As well as a manager, I'm a huge baseball fan. I love opening day, because it means alright, there's a lot of baseball on. If I'm not managing a game, I go home and watch games. I'm always watching it, listening to it on the radio in the car, managing along with the other managers. It's exciting to me. We've got a lot of baseball for about six months."

Do we ever. The season may be defined by how often the roster changes. The Nationals are jacked to meet the president. President Obama better throw a strike. Only hours remain for you to enter Sheinin's Baseball Insider picks contest.

One note for those headed to Nationals Park: If you're reading this, it means you probably should be getting ready to leave for the park. The Nationals urge fans to arrive by 10 a.m. and take public transportation. Given the president's attendance and the typical rush hour traffic in the morning, it could become a mess.

By Adam Kilgore  |  April 5, 2010; 7:15 AM ET
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Next: Welcome to Nationals Park


Opening Day! Let's win this one . . .

see you all there.

Go Nats!

Sec 115L Row R

Posted by: oneleggedNatsFan | April 5, 2010 7:21 AM | Report abuse

A victory is going to be hard against Halliday, but I agree that it would be patricularly sweet. Let's have the team in first place at least one day.


Posted by: kevincostello | April 5, 2010 7:53 AM | Report abuse

"Riggleman today will manage a team that is unquestionably his for the first time in a decade."

I guess this proves the saying, "Be careful what you wish for . . ."

The Nats may be worth watching along about the All-Star break, given the pitching that is scheduled to be rolled out. Right now I don't consider them a "team."

Posted by: JohnRDC | April 5, 2010 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Sad about how little the Nats are paying Rigleman.

Regardless, getting into my car in 45 minutes, excited about the game, the weather, the possibilities.

Can we beat Halladay?
Sure, why not!

Posted by: Sunderland | April 5, 2010 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Wish I could make it to the game, but I'll be listening. Happy Opening Day, everyone!

Posted by: Section220 | April 5, 2010 8:11 AM | Report abuse

Love Riggleman's story about school vs. Opening Day. If it was the White Sox, it must have been 1961 -- first game of the expansion Nats, and last opener at Griffith.

Opening Day really was a big deal. In 5th grade, my teacher (a guy) let us watch on the TV usually reserved for events like space launches. In 1966, my parents even let me skip school so I could go to the game. Good call Mom & Dad.

Posted by: KenNat | April 5, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Hoping we don't start the season like we started spring training. A 0-10 start would be tough for even the faithful to bear.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | April 5, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-yea, I remember my 3rd grade teacher putting the World Series games on in class! Cards were on...just happened to be my fave from the N.L....ahhhh, the halcyon days of day baseball. Well-time to get ready to go get boy and prepare for the trip to the park
Opening Day!!!!
Go Nats!!!!

Posted by: zendo | April 5, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

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