And so it begins

Buck Showalter received a nice ovation as he jogged to home plate for the exchange of lineup cards, and again as he returned to the bench. The crowd's too small for an ear-piercing welcome, but he was warmly received.

Standing at the plate with his arms folded, Showalter bears a striking resemblance to Earl Weaver. That's especially true if you're looking down at the field. The comparison might not ring as true if your seat's in the first row.

The Showalter Era began with Jeremy Guthrie retiring Erick Aybar on one pitch, which resulted in a fly ball to center field. Remember that out for future reference. You could win a bar bet one day.

Guthrie hit Maicer Izturis behind the right shoulder, but Cesar kept his cool. He didn't feel the need to defend his family's honor.

Guthrie retired the next two hitters in the Angels' revamped lineup and returned to the dugout after only eight pitches.

Nick Markakis and Ty Wigginton struck out looking in the bottom of the first, but Showalter didn't replace either one of them.

Because you asked (well, at least one of you did): I'm told that Rick VandenHurk's fastball ranged from 88-94 mph during last night's start at Triple-A Norfolk.

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