Birthday.

My habit most mornings is to grab my phone off the nightstand and check Twitter, just to see if any news broke overnight (or, failing that, to check in on Larry King’s latest News & Views).

The first new tweet I saw when I woke today was unexpected:

     Happy 4th TwBirthday!  You’ve been around since 31 March 2009!

Out of curiosity, I went back to see what my first-ever tweet was.  While I was waiting on the Twitter archive to download, I checked to see what I’d written that day, figuring it might give me a hint on what had driven me to surrender four years ago today and sign up for Twitter, which I’d resisted for a while.

I wrote twice on March 31 that year, first to talk about how the competition for the final spots in the bullpen was shaking out (man, there were some uninspiring names) and then to report that Texas had gotten lefthander Kason Gabbard through waivers and outrighted his contract to Oklahoma City, clearing a roster spot that would be needed for one of several non-roster additions to the Opening Day roster, including a 20-year-old with zero experience above Class AA named Elvis Andrus.

But it turns out that’s not what my first tweet said.  Instead, it was this:

     What have I done?

(The sole response to which was this.)

If you’d asked me on March 31, 2009 which was more likely – that I’d post more than 22,000 tweets over the next four years or that the Rangers would win 18 playoff games in that stretch, including four in the World Series – I’d have had to think about it.

I’m not sure how many folks have followed me on Twitter, but 23,600 have stuck around long enough to see the last tweet I posted last night, just as short as my first-ever tweet:

     Lights out, off-season.

So here we are.

It’s Opening Day.

The birth of another season, and maybe it will be our favorite one.

Tonight, it’s 1 of 162.

In fact, it’s 1 of 2,430.

The last time that happened, I think, was in 2001, when Texas faced Toronto in Puerto Rico, in what was Alex Rodriguez’s first game as a Ranger.

It was also the first opener for Esteban Loaiza, whom Texas had traded to the Jays the summer before, getting journeyman reliever Darwin Cubillan and AA infielder Mike Young in return.

The last time Loaiza pitched was three days ago in Arlington, when he faced Texas as a reliever for Diablos Rojos del Mexico.

Today will be the first Rangers game with Young owning a different big league uniform.

And the first big league game managed by Houston skipper Bo Porter.

Porter was the Rangers’ starting right fielder in that Texas-Toronto opener 12 years ago.

Enough nostalgia.  We look forward now.

Happy Birthday.

It’s Opening Day.

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