In case you didn't know, Adam Wainwright is just like you.

He's positively jacked up about opening day at Busch Stadium.

So this morning, maybe just like you, he will make the drive in early, getting to the ballpark four hours before game time. And when he gets close to the ballpark, he might even slow just a little bit as he cruises past the parking lots to check out the dedicated tailgaters who already have settled in to their particular pregame grilling rituals.

Opening day in St. Louis always is a big deal. Even with a first-place hockey team embarking on the first steps of what it hopes will be a Stanley Cup run, the Cardinals always grab the top billing in a town that immodestly prides itself as being a slice of baseball heaven.

This is and always will be a baseball town first and foremost. So when the Clydesdales come galloping in and when the old Hall of Famers cruise by in those red and white convertibles, and the NL pennant and World Series flags are raised and Busch Stadium is positively dripping in Cardinals tradition, this opening day will be another one of those days at the ballpark that sends shivers through spines. nd the spine shivering the most just might be Wainwright's, but for reasons that go far beyond a love for Cardinals tradition.

"I am very excited," Wainwright told a crowd of reporters who gathered around his locker stall on Thursday morning. "I'm excited by the entire experience, the buzz of the fans who are more excited than we are to play the game. I don't watch them. I feel them."