The baseball season is entering its second week, but there's still no place like home. The pageantry that wowed a seam-starved public in the first eight days will continue for patient fans at seven more ballparks, including the one that houses the (current, at least) best team of all.
Yes, the reigning World Series champion San Francisco Giants will deservedly get top billing today at their home opener against the Colorado Rockies at AT&T Park, and what's next will be a long-awaited raising of the 2014 championship banner, a moment of remembrance for team broadcaster Lon Simmons, who died April 5, and the likely handing out of a bunch of diamond-studded rings.
"We're energized by all the festivities," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "It'll make people realize what they did accomplish."
Six other teams that want to accomplish that very same feat will also be unveiled to their fans for the first time this season today. The defending National League Central champion Cardinals will lift the lid in St. Louis, as will one of the NL's Wild Card teams from the last two seasons, the Pirates, at gorgeous PNC Park in Pittsburgh. The Red Sox will host the Nationals to launch the Fenway Park season, the Blue Jays will hit the Rogers Centre turf for the first time in 2015 against Tampa Bay, and the Mets and Twins will also finally play for a home crowd.
In other developments regarding the week ahead, well, here's a news flash: Two teams still haven't lost. And to make things even more intriguing, those two teams are in the same division.
There's no doubt a good amount of baseball conversations among fans this morning will center around the Central, as in the American League Central, where the defending AL champion Kansas City Royals and division champion Detroit Tigers reside.
Both have shot out of the gates to the tune of 6-0 records, and neither will play each other this week, which means they could conceivably keep those streaks going into the double digits.
The Royals will head to Minnesota for three games against the Twins before returning to Kauffman Stadium to play a three-game weekender against the A's.
"We're hungry," first baseman Eric Hosmer said. "The way last season ended [in a one-run Game 7 World Series loss to the Giants] left a bad taste in our mouths. We're on a mission."
The Tigers appear to be, too, and will play three at Pittsburgh early this week before returning to Comerica Park for three against the White Sox.
Meanwhile, in the middle of all this, the sport -- and the country -- will rightly take Wednesday, and, in some cases, Thursday, to honor one of its true icons.
April 15 is Jackie Robinson Day, and all home ballparks will honor the late societal pioneer with on-field ceremonies and all players wearing Robinson's No. 42. The epicenter of this yearly celebration of Jackie's life and grand accomplishments will fittingly be in Dodger Stadium, where the home team will host the Mariners in MLB's Civil Rights Game.
The rest of the week could pack serious intrigue, too.
Super-prospect Kris Bryant might end up as the Cubs' third baseman by the end of the week.
And good news on the health front could be coming for the Nationals and Angels. Washington is slated to get outfielder Jayson Werthback from shoulder surgery, and Angels right-hander Garrett Richards, who emerged as an ace last year before blowing out the patellar tendon in his left knee last August 20, is scheduled for a Triple-A rehab start on Tuesday. If that goes well, it's possible that Richards could pitch for the Angels on Sunday.
Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.