Opening Day is finally here. It's a clean slate, a new beginning. Kinda like Spring itself. It's Christmas, your birthday, the Fourth of July, and whatever other holiday you love to pieces, all rolled into one. It's beautiful.
Carl Pavano gets the honors against Blue Jays lefty Ricky Romero at 6:07pm this evening as the Twins kick off their 2011 season and prepare to defend their American League Central title at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.
There are more than a few things I'm looking forward to this year: Justin Morneau is back, so that's pretty great. I'm not sure what kind of omen it is that our Canadian Crusher is playing his first regular season game since his unfortunate concussion in Toronto... bittersweet perhaps since he's a native of the country and his career just about ended there. Pavano and his illustrious facial hair are also returning; I'm glad the team locked him up for a couple more years. Also, are you as pumped as I am to see Tsuyoshi Nishioka in action?
Are you going to miss Nick Punto? Just kidding.
Of course, there are also some concerns: Maybe Joe Nathan isn't the same pitcher he was last season and in years past. Tommy John can change a guy for better or worse. Will Joe Mauer play more than 140 regular season games and will his knees stay semi-healthy? Also, how many times will Morneau land on the disabled list? I'm thinking at least once.
Whether you have high hopes or not, this season should be another interesting one, considering the AL Central is home to the most $100 million payrolls in all of baseball. Coulda' fooled me.
The real question is, will someone hit a bomb (or an inside-the-park home run I suppose) tonight and become this year's bearer of muffins? Or cupcakes.
2011 Twins Predictions. [Seth Speaks]
Minnesota Twins Season Preview Haiku. [Babes Love Baseball]
Opening Night Chat. [Aaron Gleeman]
Twins @ Blue Jays Series Preview. [Puckett's Pond]
Gardy Will Split Time With His Closers. [TwinsCentric]
As a reminder, if you're looking for someone to vomit stats onto your computer screen, there are about a hundred other Twins blogs on the net. If you're looking for a fun and laid back read, stick around. Send love letters and hate mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.