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Open Thread: Opening Day, Cubs vs. Diamondbacks, Monday, 4/4

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SCOTTSDALE, Arizona -- Opening Day is a day of renewal, a day of hope.

It's a day on which I've said "Happy New Year" to friends on returning to the ballpark. Here in Arizona, the weather's more like a Chicago summer day today than spring, with an expected high near 80. The roof at the BOB will be closed today, likely to minimize the effects of the shadows.

More than just another baseball day, today has a festive holiday feel, and in that spirit, my friend and colleague Tyler Bleszinski, proprietor of Athletics Nation, has proposed the idea of getting Congress to declare this a national holiday -- National Pastime Day.

And why not?

Enjoy. You know the details, but I'll summarize:

Carlos Zambrano. Javier Vazquez. Watch on ESPN2 or WGN, 4:10 pm CT. I'll report from the BOB tonight.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

UPDATE [2005-4-4 13:40:37 by Al]: No web link confirmation yet, but it is being reported on Chicago radio that the Cubs and Aramis Ramirez have reached agreement on a 4-year contract extension for somewhere around $44 million.

This is an excellent way to begin the season!