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Game 1: Opening Day, Red Sox vs. Orioles

The title defense begins

Welcome one and all to the first game thread of 2014. The first game thread in quite a while featuring a Red Sox team that's looking to defend a World Series champion.

It's not been the smoothest start to the season, with Shane Victorino hitting the disabled list, but that's alright. We've been talking about depth forever now. The Red Sox are well-equipped to deal with this, and with some clever manipulation by John Farrell based on pitchers and parks we might get out of this without taking much of a hit at all.

Whatever the case, it's not enough to shadow the start of a new baseball season, and an exciting one at that. This is the first full season of Xander Bogaerts, after all. Possibly Jackie Bradley Jr. as well. Grady Sizemore has potential to be a great story, and of course there's the same great core of players that made 2013 so special.

Spring isn't quite in the air in Boston, but it's all blue skies in Baltimore. Our long wait is over. Baseball is back.

Go Sox!