I'll start with the best news from Opening Day.
The ivy was green! It hasn't all come in yet, but its a month ahead of the usual schedule.
Now for the bad new: The Cubs started the 2012 season just like they finished the 2011 season, losing. The bullpen blew the lead and they lost 2-1.
I was listening to the game on the radio and announcer Pat Hughes was very excited at the start of the game. He barely got the words "And the Theo Epstein era begins" out of his mouth when Ian Desmond lined the season's first pitch for a single. Was that an indication of how the Epstein Era will go?
Ryan Dempster got off to a shaky start, giving up the leadoff hit and walking the next batter, but was able to turn things around and held the Nationals to only two hits over 7 1/3 innings while striking out 10 (Strasburg only had five Ks). The headline to the AP story says "Strasburg Dominates as Nationals Beat Cubs" but Dempster was just as, if not more dominate than Strasburg.
The Cubs held a 1-0 lead with a man on first and two outs in the eighth when Kerry Wood came in. He promptly walked the next three batters, forcing in the tying run. Closer Carlos Marmol pitched the ninth, and after getting two quick outs, gave up a double and single, putting the Nationals up 2-1. The Cubs wasted a one out triple in the bottom of the ninth and the game ended with Marlon Byrd striking out.
It's only one game, but the opening day optimism (what little of it there was) is gone. This is a rebuilding year and will be a long one.