At long last, we finally get to Opening Day! I think we are all collectively excited after one of the more interesting offseasons we've had.

This year the annual hot, heavy, and ultimately disappointing dalliance with "faint hopes of contention" gives way to a more stable relationship with "no expectations." I'm looking forward to just enjoying the days and nights at the ballpark and on AN watching it all unfold.

If you are still chasing after those faint hopes of contention, I really think you should meet no expectations. She's friendly, enjoys spending time with you and is there for you no matter what happens. If you need convincing, here it is:

ESPN Power Rankings - 29/30

A's fans should savor the team's league-leading run differential (+1) because come Wednesday and Thursday, reality will set in as actual good teams start to take the field in earnest.

Fox Sports Power Rankings - 28/30

The current 3-4-5 hitters for Oakland are Coco Crisp, Seth Smith and Kurt Suzuki. Even the Yoenis Cespedes signing can't overcome that.

CBS Sports Power Rankings - 27/30

Unheralded offseason move: Keeping the quote machine that is Coco Crisp. And he produced shortly thereafter, when he said only a demigod could unseat him in center field. (Yoenis Cespedes is the A's center fielder now, by the way).

AccuScore Projections - 77-85 (19/30)

One of the few that thinks Seattle will finish below the A's!

Seattle, meanwhile, has holes both in the lineup and pitching staff and could be one of the worst teams in baseball.

I agree with Tom Verducci - The team might not win, but it will definitely be interesting and fun to watch. The veterans are pretty fun guys like McCarthy, Manny, Gomes, and Braden. The young players are fascinating. And Cespedes!

Too bad this video has some terrible background music:

I enjoyed this piece on Tigers Fans Opening Day Stories

Some reality about our pitching staff from Slusser

"It's not sexy names," McCarthy said. "Cahill and Gio and Andrew Bailey are all guys who've made names for themselves, and here it feels more like mix and match right now. It's an easy group to joke about, and it's on us to change that. You hope around the league they realize this is a good group, but it's all on us."

Even after reading all of the above, still uncontrollably excited!!! Lets Go Oak-Land!!!

A quick note, as there are so many new folks on AN. DLD stands for Daily Link Dump, although it is anything but daily nowadays. Basically it's meant to be a wide-ranging conversation that can include A's, MLB, other sports, music, food, TV, movies, cat videos, etc. Feel free to "dump" links below.

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