Cubs vs. Pirates, Wrigley Field, Chicago, 1:20 p.m. CDT
The Cubs have a new manager -- well, sort of new; Mike Quade guided the Cubs to a 24-13 record after Lou Piniella's retirement last August, which gives some optimism for the team as they enter 2011, even coming off a not-so-great 14-19 spring training record. They'll have a new pitching coach (Mark Riggins) and bench coach (Pat Listach) as well as several new players. That'll include Darwin Barney getting the Opening Day start at 2B, the first Cubs rookie to start on Opening Day since Kosuke Fukudome and eventual Rookie of the Year Geovany Soto did so on March 31, 2008.
White Sox vs. Indians, Progressive Field, Cleveland, 2:05 p.m. CDT
Ozzie Guillen is now one of the longest-tenured managers in the major leagues, entering his eighth season with the Sox. Of current managers, only Tony LaRussa and Terry Francona have been with their current teams as long as Ozzie with the Sox. Of course, Ozzie being Ozzie, he had some choice words for opening the season in Cleveland, where the Sox' team workout was cancelled due to bad weather yesterday. The Indians will have ceremonies honoring the late Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Feller, who passed away over the winter.
The Sox added power to their lineup with Adam Dunn and brought back team leaders and fan favorites Paul Konerko and A.J. Pierzynski. They'll have a new closer in Matt Thornton, replacing the departed Bobby Jenks.