Here comes the king, here comes the big No. 1 — Ozzie Smith. Here comes The Wizard, and he's got a message for all of the U.S.A.:
"Opening day should be a holiday. Let's make it official. All we need is 100,000 signatures on the way to the White House. Next stop, Washington, D.C.!"
Mr. Smith goes to Washington is different from when Jimmy Stewart tried it. No matter, if Ozzie Smith says to do something, then we probably should do it. Opening day of the Major League Baseball season already is an unofficial holiday to many of us. We'll play hooky from work or school in order to attend our team's home opener, or we'll go to work but surreptitiously monitor the games on our mobile device. We'll at least look out the window wistfully and wish we were someplace else.
All that Ozzie Smith is saying is, let's make it all legal. By partnering with Budweiser, the official horse-drawn stagecoach provider of the St. Louis Cardinals, fans of legal drinking age can go to the Budweiser web site or get around it by heading right to White House.gov (and signing in, so the NSA stays informed) and signing your name on the line which is dotted.
Now, recent developments in the major league schedule sometimes call into question when opening day is during a given season. The Dodgers and Diamondbacks play games in Australia that count in the standings March 22-23, and MLB has opened the season in Japan before around the same time. There's the Sunday night opener on ESPN that precedes games played on Monday. And some of those teams sometimes don't play until Tuesday. And there's also the wild card of starting the season mid-week to accommodate the playoffs at the end so we're not playing into November. MLB's irritating scheduling quirks already have watered down what opening day means.
BUT, it's what Ozzie Smith wants. So let's do it.
Having the petition made into law probably won't mean you'll get a day off work — paid, anyhow — but at least you'll have Ozzie Smith, the White House and Bud Selig/Rob Manfred on your side at the exit meeting with human resources.
Big BLS H/N: CBS Eye on Baseball
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