Opening day was yesterday, which meant SB Nations football scribes spewed jokey tweets about how boring and white and rednecky baseball is. And yes, it can be all of those things, but it can also be a magical game and a rejuvenating experience and you can go get a beer and usually not miss anything. Where's your high-flying bone-crunching explosiveness getting you now, football!?!? For more on why baseball should be a thing you like, read McCovey Chronicles writer Grant Brisbee's piece on opening day and why baseball is still America's pastime. (Ready your dictionary, though.)
Anyway, baseball fan or no, you can at least appreciate that a few Gamecocks (or, persons with fleeting connections to USC) were on display.
• Former College World Series MVP Jackie Bradley Jr. tore through the Boston Red Sox farm system and, on the heels of an explosive spring, earned an opening day roster spot. He was penciled into the starting lineup, no less, beginning his journey at left field. While hitless on the day, Bradley managed three walks, 2 runs, an RBI, and this catch. How did he celebrate the memorable first hurrah? At Appleebee's.
• While he didn't do much of consequence, former Gamecock Justin Smoak reached base twice in a 2-0 win for his Seattle Mariners.
• Bryce Harper played college baseball, sort of. He earned a GED after his sophomore year of high school so he could enter the draft early and played a stopover season for the College of Southern Nevada before the 2010 draft, in which he was the no-brainer first overall pick. If there's a baseball analog to Jadeveon Clowney among recent prospects as far as hype and raw talent is concerned, it's Bryce Harper. So yeah, Harper wasn't going to play bigtime college baseball but, as you may recall, his brother played for the Gamecocks in 2010, taking home a College World Series ring. In fact, here's a picture of Bryce from a few years back, hanging out with the Gamecocks (note JBJ in the background.) Harper is also, judging from this tweet, a Gamecocks football fan:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>This makes me think about @<a href="https://twitter.com/gamecocksonline">gamecocksonline</a> football! Bring it back already! <a href="https://twitter.com/search/%23collegefootball">#collegefootball</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/search/%23REALSC">#REALSC</a> @<a href="https://twitter.com/bryanharper45">bryanharper45</a> <a href="http://t.co/2oLQP2PwbZ" title="http://twitter.com/Bharper3407/status/314812761551015936/photo/1">twitter.com/Bharper3407/st…</a></p>— Bryce Harper (@Bharper3407) <a href="https://twitter.com/Bharper3407/status/314812761551015936">March 21, 2013</a></blockquote>
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And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how I finagled Harper's 2 homerun Opening Day performance into a Gamecock-centric blog item. Ta-da! [waves Vaudeville straw hat and cane while tap-dancing off stage to Dixieland version of "Sandstorm".]