Franco is the mastermind behind Next Level Ballplayer, a website designed to help turn guys who play baseball into ballplayers who play the game the right way. During his four-year career as a scholarship player at Miami University (OH), they won the league division three times, the overall league championship once, and participated in the NCAA Regionals (and were knocked out by the eventual National Champion Texas Longhorns). He has been teammates with over 25 guys who have been selected in the MLB draft (three of whom have made their MLB debuts) and has played against numerous guys that are currently playing in the big leagues.
We are officially less than 24 hours away from one of the best weekdays of the year. The first two rounds of March Madness, the first round of the MLB playoffs, and MLB Opening Day. Are there any other weekdays throughout the year that offer multiple, energy filled games during the work/school day? If so, please remind me in the comments section. Onto my top 10 reasons opening day can’t get here soon enough…
1. Watching baseball during the work/school day. If you are in a classroom, you’re fighting a much tougher battle than in the office. Either way- just take a sick day or vacation day! Every opening day that I haven’t been in a stadium, I’ve been watching with beer and nachos close by, starting at 1pm est.
2. My NCAA Bracket is broke beyond repair… Yeah, yeah, I know yours is also, but it still takes some fun out the final four. BRING ME BASEBALL!
3. Spring Training games suck! It’s not real baseball. It’s watered down intersquad scrimmages where nobody cares who wins. There is little or no strategy and the real players don’t even play the entire game. GIVE ME REAL BASEBALL!
4. The atmosphere in the stadiums on Opening Day is electric. I don’t care if it’s in Pittsburgh; it’ll be rocking… until game 2.
5. It marks the start of daily entertaining baseball texts from some of my best friends. Did you see that nasty pitch? Please tell me you saw the bomb that… Did he really?…
6. Clayton Kershaw vs. Tim Lincecum… I’ll watch the other games, but lets get one thing straight- Dodgers vs. Giants on Thursday night is the Grand Finale. Can’t wait!
7. Random weeknights at BW3s. The bar tenders rock, especially on slow weeknights. Nothing beats having 5 handpicked games on at the same time while working on a few BOMs (Beer of the Months) with some buddies. Make it a habit.
8. The winter has been way too long! I’m tired of cold weather and no baseball. The sign of opening day means that warm weather is around the corner… unless you live in Cleveland or Detroit. Then you have to wait till the All Star break.
9. Finally, seeing your favorite team and new faces put on their uniforms. Enough talk about whether Carl Crawford, Jayson Werth, Manny Ramirez and others will live up to expectations… Let’s see it!
10. Starting your fantasy baseball league. Fantasy baseball nerds around the country can’t wait to play GM and prove that they have more baseball smarts than their friends.
*Be sure to follow Franco’s work over at Next Level Ballplayer for interviews with players, coaches, and scouts, and tips on how to become a better ballplayer, regardless of level and skill.