CHICAGO, IL — The team who left the field last in 2005 was the first to get back on it in 2006, as the world champion Chicago White Sox hosted MLB’s season opener on Sunday.
Before the game, the Sox held its championship banner-raising ceremony, also taking the opportunity to raise banners for their previous two World Series wins, its league and division titles, and its world record for upper-deck altitude. In addition to the requisite military fly-by, the rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” was accompanied by an American flag so large no one could possibly doubt Major League Baseball’s patriotism.
Of course, every game requires an opponent (although the Devil Rays have reportedly been attempting to find a loophole), and that ceremonial role was fulfilled by the Cleveland Indians, who were pummeled 10-4, including a two-run shot by new Sock Jim Thome. Tribe starter C.C. Sabathia was pulled from the game in the third inning after he strained an abdominal muscle while delivering a pitch to Tadahito Iguchi.
Another baseball tradition, the rain delay, debuted in the bottom of the fourth inning, leaving the South Side faithful to mull purchases of official logo neckties while listening to “Bang The Drum All Day” for nearly three hours.