The crack of the bat. The smell of the grass. The hoarse boo of a drunk. These are the signs of spring.
While Opening Day is traditionally a day for optimism to be found even the most dire circumstances—everyone's in first place!—it is also a special day for sour cranks. Because fandom, as much as it is about those players and teams you love, is also about hate—usually irrational, often disproportionate, occasionally inexplicable hate.
Already on this fine spring afternoon your baseball-mad staff has: exulted in the sending-down of Bobby Dalbec; celebrated the benching of Aaron Hicks; mocked the Giants for striking out six times in two innings; hoped Anthony Volpe would be a bust; made fun of several teams' Opening Day starters as a proxy for their teams' wider hopelessness; debated which Opening Day starter is the worst, before quickly settling on Patrick Corbin; rooted for the first-inning shelling of Patrick Corbin; briefly wondered, upon a scoreless first, if Patrick Corbin had solved his "first time through the order" weakness; felt a warm certainty that all was right in the world after Patrick Corbin got knocked around in the second.
Some will tell you this is a mean, unfulfilling form of fandom. Those people can go to hell. Here are some things I'm hoping for this season:
The Astros to miss the playoffs.
Shohei Ohtani to win 30 games as the Angels finish 30-132.
Patrick Corbin to have an ERA in the 8s.
The A's to draw triple-digits.
Cheap-ass teams like the Guardians and Rays to fail miserably.
Rob Manfred to trip and fall on camera.
All my friends' and co-workers' favorite teams to suffer, that they may suffer too.
Mike Trout to demand a trade.
What are some things you're rooting againstthis season?