Opening Day: The curtain to baseball’s theater

Opening Day is finally here. We’ve had our whistles wet and appetites teased with Spring Training baseball, but now, the games count. Whether your team is a perennial contender, habitual cellar dweller, or just mired in mediocrity, Opening Day always brings a sliver of hope with the drama of the unknown.

The theater of sports thrives on drama. Unless you’re watching a game on your DVR, there are no spoilers as we watch the story of the game unfold right before our eyes. At 162 games, the Major League Baseball season is like an epic three-act play that you have to clear your calendar to watch, but you never want it to end.

The first act is the first half of the season, before the All-Star break. Nobody is winning a division in the first half of the season, because there’s a lot of season left in act two. However, there’s no room for complacency because it’s easy to plunge deep in the standings and be eliminated from playoff contention by the middle of June.

After the intermission that is the All-Star break, act two starts and things start to heat up as the tension builds. The climax, if you will. Like the ebb and flow of waves in the ocean, the heat of pennant races heat up as temperatures cool down. The cool air at ballparks bites at you and you’re not sure if it’s the weather or the emotion of the game that’s giving you chills. And like any tragic comedy, characters are eliminated as the second act progresses. Some of these characters we’re sad to see go, but others we cheer as they reach their demise of having their pennant hopes crushed in dramatic losses.

Only the strong survive to make appearances in the third act, which, again, are eliminated as the final act moves at lightning speed and one team is left standing at the finale. The curtain falls on the final act in the beginning of November with one team hoisting the Commissioner’s Trophy, and there’s no script to dictate which team is the lone survivor.

We’ll follow the drama from today until the start of November and watch the storylines rise and fall with the progression of a Broadway production.

The curtains open today with the arrival of another season, so follow along and watch as your favorite teams progress throughout the season. Yes, there are always characters who we know won’t make it through the first act. Others will break our hearts as they’re eliminated late in the second act. And there will be tears of sadness and tears of joy as the curtain falls at the close of the third act.

Settle into your seats and get your popcorn ready, because it’s time to play ball.

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