Seeing the good in an Opening Day loss

Opening Day 2010 is a day to celebrate the start of another season with optimism running high for every major league ballclub.

Every club forgets what could have been last year and looks forward to what will hopefully be a winning season this year.

The Washington Nationals made plenty of good moves during the offseason with Mike Rizzo getting some proven veterans like Pudge Rodriguez, Adam Kennedy and Jason Marquis to switch uniforms.

Optimism was high on a beautiful Opening Day in our nation’s capital but the NL East defending division champion Philadelphia Phillies had a mission as well: To prove to fans everywhere they had one thing on their win another division crown and make it to the World Series.

Philly fans were not disappointed, and most Nats fans left the ballpark saying, “Hey, it’s just one game. We’ll get ‘em on Wednesday.”

Six of the Nats first nine games of the season are against the powerful Phils - Not an easy task for any ballclub.

I liked the way Jim Riggleman handled his post-game press conference. He was honest, straight forward, and concise: his ballclub had faced a pretty tough customer in Roy Halladay and just could not get it done.

But there were bright spots on Opening Day, such as catcher Pudge Rodriguez banging out 3 hits, Nyjer Morgan’s speed on the base paths, Sean Burnett and Jesse English were both impressive coming out of the bull pen.

For Ray Knight and yours truly it was great to be back at the ballpark visiting with old friends and hopefully making new ones.

A special thank you to all you Nats fans who dropped by our MASN set just inside the centerfield gates to chat about Maryland basketball and also to inquire about the health of one of my grandsons, 11-year-old Jack Rolle.

It will soon be the one year anniversary of Jack being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. Thanks to the dedication of the doctors and nurses that have attended to Jack at Childrens Hospital here in Washington and Mass General Hospital in Boston, he is now cancer free.

I truly believe that all the thoughts and prayers for Jack since last May have been such a positive force in his returning to good health. His hair is back, he’s back in school, and he has returned to being just your typical 11-year-old fifth grader.

There are 161 games to be played for Washington. Sure Monday did not turn out the way we all wanted it to. Pitching was not up to par, but it will be. Jason Marquis can get the Nats back on track starting Wednesday night. See you there.