HAPPY OPENING DAY!
I’m not going to lie. I didn’t think we’d be celebrating Opening Day this season.
Back in late February/early March when we would talk about baseball, the main topics of conversation were things like how much Rob Manfred sucks (still a thing), the cheating scandal (when will the Yankees get punished??). Or whether the Red Sox and Dodgers would actually finish the Mookie Betts deal (the Betts contract is in headlines again!). And we were rolling our eyes at the thought of A-Rod and J-Lo trying to buy the Mets (also back in the headlines lately).
Cue the record scratch and enter a global pandemic.
As (the original) Opening Day was drawing nearer, COVID-19 started sweeping the nation. I texted the friend with whom my family was supposed to attend the Twins opener, and said “there’s no way the opener will get postponed, right?” And she said “no way”, and we agreed that we’d be happily bundling up in our warmest Twins gear and drinking beer together on Opening Day. But then the NBA and NHL suspended their seasons, and I began to panic. What if Opening Day went on without fans? Surely, I’d just hop the fence (or die trying) to get into Target Field. And then? It. Happened. Baseball season was officially postponed.
At first, we weren’t sure how long this delay would last. The initial word was that MLB would delay the start of by a couple of weeks. Then the days and nights without baseball grew longer, and it became clear that we might be in this for the long haul. By the end of April, there were rumblings that the season might soon start with some changes. However, these hopes were dashed by the seemingly endless squabbles between MLB and the MLBPA over salary and player safety. Throw in the logistical nightmare of trying to coordinate where games would be held and how to keep players in a proverbial and literal bubble, and we, the fans, started to lose any hope we may have had that the season would ever actually start.
When we finally heard that MLB would be imposing a 60-game season that would start at the end of July (TODAY!!), you’ll have to forgive me for being a bit skeptical that we’d actually see live baseball this year. Players started testing positive for the virus, and other players began opting out of the season due to health and safety concerns for themselves or their families. I asked you guys if you thought we’d see a full season, and the majority of you said no or you weren’t sure:
After all of this, we STILL aren’t sure if the season will play through the final out of the World Series. There are still a ton of unanswered questions like where are the Blue Jays even going to play their home games? What if a team has multiple positive tests crop up and there aren’t enough players left on their 60-man roster to cover the positions affected? What if we still can’t get the situation under control and states with multiple teams and rising cases (looking at you Florida, Texas, and California) start locking down again?
I look at all of these questions and I could panic, I could be worried about all of the what ifs. But today, I will focus on the fact that we have no control over anything and we are only guaranteed today. And today is Opening Day, my friends.
Happy baseball season to you and yours! May your team make it to the final out of the World Series.