Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred joined ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt on SportsCenter on Wednesday night. Manfred said his “optimistic outlook is that at some point in May, we’ll be gearing back up.” It’s worth pointing out that he doesn’t mean having the regular season begin in May; rather, “gearing back up” simply means to resume operations, which would likely include an abbreviated spring training of sorts for players.
The commissioner added that teams will “probably not going to be able to” play 162 games, suggesting the need to be creative with regard to the schedule. That likely refers to previous suggestions such as doubleheaders and having the season run deep into the fall with later games being played at neutral parks in warm-weather locations.
Manfred also mentioned that the league has concluded its investigation into allegations that the Red Sox cheated by stealing signs electronically. However, Manfred said he hasn’t had the time to publish a written report yet, likely due to the league’s ongoing response to the pandemic. He promised to get a report out “before we resume play.”
“I also think that we need to be creative in terms of what the schedule looks like, what the postseason format looks like.”
— ESPN (@espn) March 26, 2020
“But the one thing I know for sure is baseball will be back. Whenever it’s safe to play, we’ll be back. … We will be part of the recovery, the healing in this country from this particular pandemic.”
— ESPN (@espn) March 26, 2020
Here’s what we’re missing today:
- Washington vs. New York
- Detroit vs. Cleveland
- Chicago vs. Milwaukee
- Kansas City vs. Chicago
- New York vs. Baltimore
- Boston vs. Toronto
- San Francisco vs. Los Angeles
- Minnesota vs. Oakland
- Texas vs. Seattle
- Philadelphia vs. Miami
- Colorado vs. San Diego
- Pittsburgh vs. Tampa Bay
- St. Louis vs. Cincinnati
- Los Angeles vs. Houston
- Atlanta vs. Arizona
As we’ve noted, you can still get something of a baseball fix today thanks to classic games and events on MLB Network, ESPN, various online platforms and club social media accounts and — check your local listings — some rebroadcasts of games by regional sports networks. Not everyone does well with rerun baseball, but if you can get past that you can see some games today. It’s better than a kick to the shins.
This won’t be my official Baseball Question of the Day — we’ll do that again later this afternoon — but let’s consider it a supplemental one: what’s your favorite Opening Day memory?
If you’re a Braves fan it’s pretty easy, at least in recent years. On April 5, 2010 Braves rookie Jason Heyward made his big league debut, batting seventh against the Cubs and Carlos Zambrano at Turner Field in Atlanta. The Cubs scored three in the first off of Derek Lowe and the Braves batted in the bottom half. Yunel Escobar, who had just tied the game at three with a single, was standing on first base and Brian McCann was on second. Heyward took the first two pitches and Zambrano tried to sneak a fastball by him. Heyward launched it over the right field fence for a three-run home run. In his first Major League at-bat. His first big league swing, no less. He’d later single in Brooks Conrad to give him a 2-for-5, four-RBI day.
It was quite the damn thing:
So, any good Opening Day memories for you?
As you think about it, watch some of the highlights from last year’s Opening Day:
We’ll get through this eventually.