* STEALING THE OPENER: Hubie Brooks, 34, and 35-year-old Tommy Herr, who combined on a double steal to score the run that sent the Phillies tumbling to their seventh straight Opening Day defeat, combined for only two Met steals last year.
* BUSH LEAGUER: President Bush bounced his ceremonial first pitch up to home plate, but that was still better than Nolan Ryan -- baseball's no-hit king gave up a single on his first fastball of the year -- as the Brewers beat Texas, 5-4.
For Rangers owner George W. Bush, the thrill of his father being there was more parental than presidential. "Some things never change," the younger Bush said. "Going to a game with your dad is special."
* BUY ME SOME PEANUTS AND ...: This season, a family of four will spend an average of $76.22 to see a major-league game, according to Team Marketing Report. The Chicago newsletter says that's 6.3 percent more than last year.
* COME BACK, DENNIS: Ex-Oriole Dennis Martinez, who is 55-41 with a 3.17 ERA since leaving Baltimore, is at it again, allowing but one hit in seven innings in Montreal's 7-0 win over Pittsburgh.
* SALUTE: Navy Lt. Robert Wetzel, whose A-6E fighter was shot down over Iraq, threw out the first Mets pitch. "I dreamed of good things," he said of his 45 days as a POW, "things that I would experience when I got home, things like going to a ballgame with my brothers."
* RUDE WELCOME: Tim Raines went 0-for-5 in his first game for the Chicago White Sox and Toronto newcomers Roberto Alomar and Devon White (two strikeouts) and Detroit's Rob Deer also were hitless.
* HAS HE LOST A LITTLE? Cecil Fielder, who led the majors with 51 home runs last season, hit two fly balls that were caught on the warning track before leading Detroit to victory with a two-run double.
* IRONIES OF GAME: Remember when AL president Bobby Brown sided with umpire Terry Cooney and fined and suspended Boston pitcher Roger Clemens? But it was Clemens, not Cooney, who was back on the field Opening Day -- Cooney out with his fellow umpires and Clemens back until his appeal is heard.
* NEW START? Perhaps it was better for the Yankees to lose their opener (6-4 to Detroit). They had won the five prior openers, then each time went on to finish those seasons with fewer victories than the previous year.
* CRACKER JACK: What did Mike Greenwell think of new Red Sox teammate Jack Clark's upper-deck grand slam?
"I didn't actually see the ball," said Greenwell, who was on first. "I saw smoke and I guess the ball was in front of it."