High five! Baseball’s back!

BASEBALL/

There’s slush falling from the sky here in Toronto, so you can be forgiven if you’re a little confused about the date. But make no mistake, baseball is back!

I suppose it was technically back yesterday when the Braves beat the Phillies, but the Jays open things up today and that’s all that’s really important.

I know a lot of Jays fans have already written the team off for the season. Competing in the AL East, facing the Red Sox, Yankees and Rays so many times — and having to finish ahead of at least two of those teams in the standings just to even consider a playoff spot — does seem daunting. But you shouldn’t forsake these guys just yet.

How many people expected anything good out of the ’07 Rockies or the ’06 Cardinals?

But, you’d say, those teams are from that wacky National League and in weak divisions at that, so surely the Jays can’t repeat their successes?

Fair enough, I’d respond, but don’t forget that one of the teams the Jays are now chasing was a complete sad sack that nothing was expected of until last season. The Rays came from nowhere to win the AL East and the AL pennant.

How’d Tampa do it? By playing a bunch of unproven kids. What are the Jays doing this year?

Exactly.

I’m not saying to expect a pennant, not this year anyway, I’m just saying that the kids deserve a bit of a chance before they’re written off completely.

Opening day lineup (as tweeted by MLBastian):

Scutaro, SS
Hill, 2B
Rios, RF
Wells, CF
Lind, DH
Rolen, 3B
Overbay, 1B
Barajas, C
Snider, LF

Halladay, SP

Further reading:

If you’re planning on attending the game tonight, the Drunks’ guide to the 2009 home opener is a must read.

The Tao makes nice comparisons between this year’s group of kids and those who began the dynasty back in ’84.

Ghostrunner on First pencils in an alternate opening day lineup that, even if I wouldn’t hit Snider cleanup just yet, I do think might be a little better than the official lineup.

The White Sox home opener tonight is postponed because of snow. The Red Sox opener is postponed because of rain. There’s always a day off after starting the season. Bart Given, former Jays’ assistant GM, explains scheduling oddities at his excellent blog, Inside The Majors.

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