MLB Opening Day: Traditional opener in Cincinnati, and Yankees' Jeter goes after record

MLB Opening Day is today, with the requisite questionable weather. There are six games on the docket for MLB Opening Day, including the traditional day game in Cincinnati. Will Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter reach 3,000 hits?

Bill Greenblatt/UPI/Newscom
Busch Stadium head painter Billy Martin makes last minute touchups to the Opening Day logo, painted behind home plate at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on March 28. The Cardinals will host the San Diego Padres on Opening Day March 31.

We're not into April, but yes the 2011 Major League Baseball season gets started today.

Why so early? Well, MLB is trying to keep the season from ending after Halloween. The last time Opening Day fell on March 31 was in 1998.

Traditionally, the Cincinnati Reds hosted the first game of the day, since they're the oldest franchise in baseball. But with a 2 p.m. ET start against the Milwaukee Brewers, they won't have that honor today,

The New York Yankees host the Detroit Tigers, and the Washington Nationals take on the Atlanta Braves in Washington, starting the season (weather permitting) just after 1 p.m. ET.

Later in the day, the California Angels will be at Kansas City (4:10 pm. ET), the San Diego Padres will play the Cardinals in St. Louis (4:15 pm ET), and the San Francisco Giants will play at Dodger Stadium (8 p.m. ET).

MONITOR QUIZ: Major League Baseball's Opening Day

No President Obama won't be throwing out the first pitch at the Nats game on Opening Day, as he did last year (a little high and outside). Apparently, amid the crises in Libya, Japan, and Afghanistan, and the heat he took for taking time to fill out his NCAA tournament brackets, Obama decided not to make a personal appearance this year.

But the national pastime is about to provide us with several story lines to watch over the next seven months.

When will Yankee lifer Derek Jeter reach the 3,000 hit mark?

Will Albert Pujols remain in St. Louis for the rest of his career?

For the first time in more than 20 years, Bobby Cox will not be sitting in the Braves dugout.

With the additions of Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez, will the Red Sox win the World Series this year?

Can last year's World Series teams, the Giants and Rangers, get back to the playoffs this season, after losing key players?

What do you think? Post a comment.

And check out our daily baseball quiz, written by veteran Monitor staff writer Ross Atkin. It's sure to inform, entertain and be quick, at only five questions.

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