ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — April baseball weather in Rochester typically involves plenty of layers, hot chocolate, and begging for the sun to peek out of the clouds.
That wasn’t the case on Tuesday for the team’s home opener as fans were treated to 60-degree weather and blue skies as they welcomed back the team after a successful first road trip.
Red Wings General Manager Dan Mason may have been the only one in attendance not surprised at the weather.
“Well, I called it 50 days ago. I said it was going to be 50 degrees, at least, here on opening day,” Mason said of his famous 50-degree guarantee. “These local weather folks when their seven-day advanced forecasts…I went 50 days in advance! I don’t know I may switch careers, I may turn myself into a weatherman, I’m not sure.”
Although it doesn’t seem like Eric Snitl’s job is in jeopardy just quite yet when you hear Mason talk about the excitement that comes with opening day.
“The joy on people’s faces to be back here at a place that they love coming to. The optimism, you know opening night is all about that, baseball’s finally back after a long, hard winter,” said Mason. “And the team had a great road trip so everybody’s very optimistic about their chances this year. We’re 4-2 right now, sitting in third place out of ten teams, which is great. There’s just something special about opening day.”
Thanks to the canceled 2020 season and the 2021 campaign which got off to a 2-10 start, Tuesday was the first time since September of 2019 that Red Wings fans got to cheer for their team with a winning record. Manager Matthew LeCroy was pleased with what he saw from the outing.
“We played baseball the way it’s supposed to be played, we pitched well, we hit well, and we played some pretty good defense so I’m really excited about our group,” said the second-year manager. “We’re athletic, we’ve got some experience, but we’ve also got some younger guys here but overall the makeup of this club is really good.”
Mason has been with the Red Wings for 33 years and no how matter how much time has passed, opening day will still be one, if not his favorite day of the year.
“I still get butterflies. Even after all these years, I still get a very anxious feeling in my stomach surrounding opening night. I feel great for our staff,” said Mason. “This is the night that we work towards from the time our season ends the year before until tonight and our staff has been working around the clock getting ready for this game tonight and just so happy for them to see the fruits of their labor come to fruition.”
The Red Wings may have suffered a 6-4 loss to the Bisons, giving up two runs in the ninth inning in defeat, but all of that was forgotten when fireworks launched into the sky after the game. After all, how can you be too upset when baseball is back?