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Not a few drops of rain nor a few empty seats could dampen the mood at Camden Yards on Monday afternoon. The rain gave way to some pleasant sunshine, Luis Matos avoided injury (barely) and the Orioles won on Opening Day for the sixth year in a row. In my book, that's a good day.

A few fantasy-inspired observations from Section 212:

  • So much for spring struggles - Miguel Tejada is killing the ball. Even his outs, particularly a first-inning liner to third, looked good. Last season, Tejada's first home run came in his 36th at-bat. Yesterday, he homered in his second trip to the plate. Both homers, incidentally, came against Tampa Bay.
  • Matos botched a sacrifice bunt, nearly broke his nose on a stolen base and made only a so-so throw to home on Jorge Cantu's first-inning sacrifice fly. But none of that matters to fantasy owners, who have to be happy to see Matos steal a base and hit a home run in the opener. Hitting in the No. 2 spot gives his value a boost, even if he's platooning.
  • Javy Lopez (1-for-3) and Ramon Hernandez (3-for-3) won't be batting at the bottom of the order for very long. Hernandez looked particularly sharp.
  • I'm so glad I drafted Brian Roberts and Melvin Mora.
  • Jay Gibbons had an RBI double in five plate appearances, but he looked baffled by several off-speed pitches. Nothing to worry about yet - just an observation.
  • It wasn't exactly a day to remember for Rodrigio Lopez, who looked very hittable in giving up five runs, but he did what he did best - win. Lopez didn't help himself by rushing a throw to first base in the third inning, resulting in an error that led to two Tampa Bay runs.
  • I don't see any reason to worry about Chris Ray in the closer's role. On the heels of an encouraging spring (1 run, 2 hits allowed in 10 1/3) innings, he put the Rays down in order in the ninth inning yesterday. He was throwing in the mid- to high-90s (according to the stadium's pitch-tracking scoreboard, anyway).
  • Expectations are pretty high for Devil Rays starter Scott Kazmir, but he was pretty awful yesterday. The hard-throwing left-hander topped out in the low-90s , and he struggled with his command. Kazmir walked three batters in four innings and threw 60 pitches in the first two frames. He won't win many games pitching like that. It might take him a few starts to get going.
  • It's kinda hard to see the out-of-town scoreboard from Section 212. Probably a good thing, since two of my starters - Philadelphia's John Lieber and Cincinnati's Aaron Harang - combined to give up 14 runs yesterday afternoon. That dampened my mood a bit. That, and getting pelted on the head by hail. That stuff hurts.
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