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Game 1: Tigers at Blue Jays

Justin Verlander vs. Roy Halladay, 7:15 p.m. EST

So how's your offseason been? Good? That's wonderful. How about we play some real baseball? (Man, it felt good to type out the title of this GameThread.)

If you read yesterday's New York Times, you might think the Detroit Tigers don't stand a chance tonight against the best pitcher in baseball. But that's not entirely true. It's not like Roy Halladay is unbeatable. The Tigers have done it twice. Of course, Halladay has won 11 of those other 12 games. So there's that to consider.

Justin Verlander has only faced the Blue Jays once in his career. And he gave up six and seven runs in just 4.1 innings during that game last August. But you know, that's all in the past. We're here to move forward. Clean slate. Onward.

As you may have read, the Tigers are trotting out a bit of a different lineup tonight, with Carlos Guillen starting at designated hitter and the newly acquired Josh Anderson playing in left field and batting ninth. Presumably, the idea is to give Guillen's aching everything a rest from that punishing Rogers Centre artificial turf. And Anderson's speed might allow him to beat a couple of those groundballs that Halladay's sinker will induce. We'll see how that goes.

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Since this is our first GameThread of the season, and we might have a few new participants stopping in with the new Yahoo! partnership, I thought we should lay down some ground rules.

● Above all, be nice to your fellow commenters. Disagreement and good-natured ribbing is natural, but please don't make things personal and start insulting others. No harassment. We're all here to enjoy a ballgame.

● There's sort of a misconception that we don't allow swearing in the GameThreads. It's not strictly prohibited (though I'll never do it in a main article), but take it easy. Don't get gratuitous about it. If you wouldn't say it front of your mother or to someone else's face, don't say it here.

● That extends to any sort of remark that's racist, sexist, or homophobic. You'd think that's obvious, but it's happened a couple of times. If you want to say the White Sox are jerks, fine. There's no need to use offensive slurs to express that.

● Don't spam. If you have a website or blog (and several in the BYB community do), you're free to link to it in your signature or mention something you wrote that people may find interesting. But if it has nothing to do with the discussion at hand or if the post and/or account was created solely to pimp something, it will be deleted.

Okay, I think that about covers it, unless I think of something else. Let's go out there and have a good, clean season. Think of this as your favorite sports bar, where you and your friends hang out. We have a good community building here, and I'd love to see it continue and grow.

(And don't worry - the GameThread intros won't always be this long.)