For Kennedy, third Opening Day start no less thrilling

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Given the news by manager Kirk Gibson that he would be making his third Opening Day start, Ian Kennedy did not take the news in stride.

"I don't think it ever gets old," Kennedy said. "It's still a really, really cool thing. I always say, when you're a kid you see the Opening Day starters and you want to be them one day. It's really awesome to be told that."

Kennedy has started the past two Opening Days for the D-backs. Prior to that, he said he had never pitched in an opener at any level. He figures to be more comfortable in the role the third time around.

"I think it was a little less nerves [last year] than the first time," Kennedy said. "I think it might get a little easier, but you still get nervous because it's the first game and they always have something special before the game."

The D-backs open against the Cardinals on April 1 at Chase Field.

That matchup could prove to be a little problematic in the Kennedy household. Kennedy's wife, Allison, is from St. Louis, and both of her parents are Cardinals fans. They figure to be in town for the game.

"They support the Diamondbacks, but their heart belongs to the Cardinals," Kennedy said. "So I don't know if they'll stay at our house. They better be rooting for us. I always tell them when they come out that they cannot wear any Cardinals stuff."