Camden Chat. The bar was packed and most of the patrons were decked out in orange and black. I wore my game-used Lou Montanez spring training jersey, with an orange Buck Showalter tee underneath for good luck. The excitement was palpable, and watching the Red Sox blow a late lead to the Rangers on ESPN provided a proper kick-off to the festivities.
There were loud cheers and high-fives when the Orioles reached Rays ace David Price for four runs, two coming on a drive to the fence by Brian Roberts that Johnny Damon hilariously turned into a triple. There were bellows of "LUUUKKKKEEEE" with every fly ball that Luke Scott tentatively tracked down in left field. But best of all, there was Jeremy Guthrie pitching one of his finest games, holding Tampa Bay to three hits and a walk while striking out six in eight shutout innings. He retired 13 batters in a row at one point, and escaped his only true jam by picking B. J. Upton off of second base in the eighth (though he did benefit from the third base umpire failing to call J. J. Hardy for interference when he collided with Upton). Jim Johnson finished the game, buckling down after a Ben Zobrist home run to strike out a pair of batters and induce a Manny Ramirez ground out. The O's began their 2011 campaign with a win in a neat two hours and eight minutes, and they're only 99 wins away from the postseason.
Okay, my tongue might be planted firmly in cheek, but you never know.