Losing MLB Opening Day Put In Context, But Still Hurts
MLB’s Opening Day has been pushed back indefinitely from what was supposed to be today’s start of the season, and the loss of Opening Day traditions “doesn’t begin to compare to the losses being inflicted by coronavirus,” but it “won’t make the day less … odd,” according to Phil Miller of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE (3/26). On Long Island, David Lennon writes this Opening Day is “going to be vastly different from any other in our lifetimes, and we don’t even want to consider the gloomy scenario of it never happening” (NEWSDAY, 3/26). In Denver, Mark Kiszla writes, “This might be the new normal, but that doesn’t stop it from feeling unnatural.” Rockies P Kyle Freeland: “When can we fire things back up and get things rolling again? I think that’s the question everybody wants to know” (DENVER POST, 3/26). In N.Y., Mike Vaccaro writes under the header, “The Pain Of No Opening Day” (N.Y. POST, 3/26). USA TODAY’s Bob Nightengale lists 10 things fans will miss without an Opening Day (USA TODAY, 3/25).
A DIFFERENT KIND OF FEELING: In Boston, Chad Finn writes Opening Day is a “representative of the lovely things sure to come, a reminder that after the long winter, warmer times are ahead, better times.” Finn: “This was supposed to be that happy, cathartic day. Instead, we wait, we wonder, and we worry” (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/26). USA TODAY's Gabe Lacques writes, "We have reached the point in the calendar where the eyes don't lie -- just peeking out the window lets you know what time of year it is, and what rituals you might be missing with a sports shutdown that's now in its third week" (USA TODAY, 3/26). In Cleveland, Paul Hoynes writes, “There will be other opening days, other seasons. The athletes who play this game are strong and resilient. So are the people who run it. They will figure it out because there is a bigger job to do now. The virus must be stopped and we all have to do our part” (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 3/26).
MORE IMPORTANT THINGS TO DO: In Tampa, Marc Topkin reports Tropicana Field on a normal opening day has about 1,000 people working there, but the ballpark now is “being considered a potential site for virus testing or as a mobile hospital, and is being used as a collection site for medical equipment.” Rays Owner Stuart Sternberg: “For now we are singularly focused on helping the region get through this crisis and we are putting our organization’s resources to that end” (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 3/26). Meanwhile, the Royals today launched their Royals Respond initiative "to help the Kansas City community deal with the virus outbreak." Several players have gotten in on the action, with Royals C Salvador Perez having filmed a PSA that "encourages fans to sing 'Take Me Out to the Ballgame' while they're washing their hands" (AP, 3/26).