Sports fans have a lot of ideas.
The notion that Major League Baseball’s Opening Day should be a national holiday always resurfaces this time of year. There’s a growing argument that the first day of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament should be, too, along with the age old Super Bowl holiday.
Generally, people recognize Opening Day and the Super Bowl as unaccredited national holidays because they, like me, capitalize them in sentences. There’s a greater power that can settle this dispute:
An iPhone automatically capitalizes “Bowl” when it immediately follows the word “Super” in any part of a sentence, recognizing that the Super Bowl is a proper, important noun – like all of the other holidays.
It doesn’t capitalize Opening Day like I do, but I’m not a cell phone. The iPhone may not think it’s important, but the first full day of baseball carries a lot of weight with a lot of people. For some, it means the first day of spring, which means it’s time to go outside.
I’ve always enjoyed this day (Monday, this year). I texted friends and family to wish them a happy Opening Day. I watched the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates play because it was the first game on television and the St. Louis Cardinals didn’t start until 3 p.m. I wore a green Cardinals T-shirt. The Teutopolis vs. Windsor/Stew-Stras baseball game I covered felt more important.
But I’ve never acknowledged the day after Opening Day until this year. The day after, when 90 percent of the league takes an awkward break after so much build up the day before.
Maybe I’ve never wondered why so many teams have a day off because I only got my college degree in May, thus I wasn’t smart enough to ponder before then.
Thankfully, Google knows everything.
Tony Paul, of The Detroit News, answered readers’ questions post-Opening Day and one smartypants named Todd Phillips asked the question: “Why is it standard to have a day off after Opening Day?”
Good question, Todd.
Paul says it’s all about a back-up plan for bad weather, at least in Detroit. He says the Tigers schedule a day off to protect the fans from getting rained out of expensive Opening Day tickets. The Tigers’ first game against Kansas City on Monday would’ve been moved to Tuesday if it rained or even snowed. The fans would get those tickets.
Teams played games in Texas, Arizona, Florida, California and Wisconsin (indoor stadium) on Tuesday.
I’d rather have teams play back-to-back, though. Instead, baseball leaves you with the empty feeling you get when you go on a date, think it went really well, but she (yes, she) doesn’t call you.
Baseball calls you back on Wednesday.
Alex McNamee can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 123, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sports fans have a lot of ideas.
Newton's season ends in 14-4 loss
Newton Post 20 almost pulled another comeback off against the Orient Miners, cutting a 5-1 deficit to 5-4 midway through Monday night’s game.
But Newton’s Junior Legion Fifth Division tournament run came to an end, as Orient rattled off nine runs in the sixth inning and clinched a spot in the state tournament with a 14-4 win.
Comeback win keeps Post 20 alive in 10-7 win
Newton Post 120 didn’t let a 4-1 deficit get to them against Highland Post 439, using a patient approach in the face of an elimination game.
Three bases-loaded walks in the bottom of the third tied the game at 4-4, and with the bases loaded down 5-4 in the fourth, Tim Weber broke the game open with a two-run double and an error.
By the time the dust settled, Newton led 10-5 heading to the sixth inning and would hold on to a 10-7 win to keep its season alive.
Salem deals Newton first divisional loss
Mitch Bierman started off Newton Post 20’s game against Salem Post 128 with a bang Sunday afternoon, hitting a leadoff triple and scoring on the next batter.
Post 20’s offense didn’t follow his lead from there, as Newton had just three more hits and no runs, and falling in a Junior Legion Fifth Division winner’s bracket game to Salem 12-1 in seven innings.
Newton Post 20 bests Belleville Post 58 in opener 6-1
After a 9-3 loss to Breese Post 252 Gray Monday night, Newton Post 20 coach John Grunloh predicted the five-day break until the Junior Legion Fifth Division tournament would be good for his players, especially his pitchers.Mitch Jansen proved his coach right, spinning a gem in Newton's opener Saturday afternoon as Post 20 made short work of Belleville Post 58 6-1.
Hearts to prep with Mattoon 7-on-7
Two weeks ago, Effingham was supposed to start shaking off the rust with a 7-on-7 football tournament in Mattoon. Naturally, it rained and was canceled.
So Saturday, the Flaming Hearts will head up to Mattoon and play their first 7-on-7 event of the season, taking part in an 10- team field with Mattoon, Rochester, Robinson, Marshall, Cahokia and Pleasant Plains from Illinois, with Terre Haute North and Northview coming from Indiana. Rochester is bringing two squads.
Newton Post 20 plays Belleville Saturday
With the District 23 tournament behind them, Newton Post 20 now knows its fate for the Fifth Division Junior Legion tournament this weekend in Bethalto.
Newton will play Belleville Post 58 at 2:45 p.m. Saturday afternoon in Bethalto, in the third game of six on the day.
Effingham's season comes to a close with 11-1 loss to Salem
A 1-0 lead for Effingham Post 120 rapidly evaporated, and the post’s Junior Legion season came to an end with a 11-1 loss in five innings to Salem Post 128 Tuesday night.
The game was for the final spot of District 23 in the divisional tournament, with Newton Post 20 and Breese Post 252 Gray punching their tickets by winning their district divisions.
Newton Post 20 falls short against Breese Gray 9-3
While the District 23 title ultimately exceeded Newton Post 20’s grasp, their season will continue in Bethalto.
Newton took on Breese Post 252 Gray for the Junior Legion District 23 title as the two division winners, but Breese’s bats proved too much for Newton in an 9-3 loss for Post 20.
“The innings where they put some runs on us, we gave them some extra outs,” said Newton coach John Grunloh. “You’ve got to make the plays when you play better teams.”
Barnes' one-hitter boosts Post 120; Effingham beats Dieterich 1-0
Ryan Barnes hasn’t seen a lot of time with Effingham Post 120’s junior legion team this season, but he showed up in a big way Monday night in a 1-0 win over Dieterich Post 628.
The win kept Effingham’s season alive one more day in the Junior Legion District 23 tournament, as the post will face Salem Post 128 at 5:30 p.m. today for the district’s final spot in the divisional round. Salem Post 128 downed Mt. Vernon Post 141 1-0 in the West Division loser’s bracket, setting up the final with Effingham today.
Newton Post 20 tops Effingham Post 120 7-5 late
Most of the games at the Junior Legion District 23 tournament have seen pitching take control, but the pitchers in Sunday night's Effingham Post 120/Newton Post 20 game faced an uphill battle.
While Brock Mammoser started the game for Post 20 on the hill and struggled, he came through with the biggest hit in the game, putting Newton up for good in a 7-5 win over Effingham.
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