"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.
April 5, 2010; 7:15 AM ET
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