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Thursday, April 5, 2012
Opening Day: Starters terrific, bullpens not

By David Schoenfield

The anticipation begins as soon as the final out of the World Series is recorded. It builds during an offseason of trade rumors and free-agent signings, spring training injury updates and roster cutdowns. Then Opening Day arrives and maybe a small part of us wonders whether we'll still care as much. But then Justin Verlander takes the mound and Jacoby Ellsbury steps in and we wonder whether Verlander can amaze us like he did so often last year or whether Ellsbury will have the same lightning in his bat. Roy Halladay takes the mound and we wonder whether this is the season he slips a bit or why Ty Wigginton is batting fifth or whether the Pirates will actually do anything.

So we flip on the TV or the computer or check the updates on our phones. Maybe you sneak a peek at work or school. We're kids again, with a million questions that need answers and baseball on our minds.

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A few notes from the early games ...