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Starting Nine: Opening Day!

Many things are happening -- on Cut4, in baseball and out there in the rest of the world. Here are nine you need to know about today:

1. It's Opening Day, kids
We have a dozen real, live, count-in-the-standings matchups on tap, kicking off with Red Sox-Yankees and Marlins-Nationals at 1:05 p.m. ET and finishing up Mariners-A's and Cardinals-Diamondbacks about 12 hours later out west. This is not a drill, people.

2. The Astros are kings of Texas
And no, we aren't talking about that movie where Patrick Stewart speaks in a cowboy accent. Houston welcomed itself to the AL with an 8-2 victory in Opening Night's Lone Star showdown, downing the Rangers thanks to 5 2/3 solid Bud Norris innings and a double-triple night from Justin Maxwell.

3. Extraterrestrial activity was reported at Minute Maid Park last night
Though we honestly aren't sure whether said reports referred to furry green antennaed Astros mascot Orbit, or inhumanly muscular Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, who threw out the first pitch and then decided J.D. Martinez was holding an autograph session whether he wanted to or not.

4. Speaking of ceremonial first pitches ...
There will be many today. Here's the complete list. It's probably the only list ever that's included both Don Zimmer and Geddy Lee.

5. And speaking of outer space ...
Check back later today at Cut4 to find out which eminent astrophysicist (Hint: he's also the origin of an equally eminent Internet meme) is also apparently a fan of exhibition baseball.

6. In case you needed extra metaphorical proof that spring is baseball's time:
There's this video of San Antonio's Alamodome transforming into a baseball field for a recent Spring Training game. That's right, football: LEAVE AND NEVER COME BACK. And by never, we mean in the fall. Also, we'll probably watch the draft later this month. But yeah.

7. Winter is coming ... and going
Not only is baseball back, but so is Game of Thrones. The Walking Dead, on the other hand, departed with a predictably gruesome season finale.

8. The Final Four field is decided
Syracuse vs. Michigan and Louisville vs. Wichita State are your two matchups Saturday in Atlanta. Must … resist ... bad joke connecting Wichita State's team name and the low probability of a 9-seed winning three NCAA Tournament games.

9. Sax vs. sax on the subway
Who ya got?

-- Cut4 staff