The MLB season has officially begun, every team has played at least their first game of the season. And it’s with that sense of renewed hope that we bring you three big takeaways from MLB Opening Day.
Takeaway #1: No Fans is Weird
Baseball is a sport, like many others, that thrive on fan reactions. And because of CO-VID19, fans are unable to attend ballgames. Many fans of this great game were ok with fans not being allowed simply to have the sport they love, return to their television screens. However, what became glaringly apparent during the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim versus the Oakland Athletics game was that fans make the game feel real.
The Oakland A’s first baseman, Matt Olson, would come up to bat in the bottom of the tenth inning with bases loaded. The new Angels manager, Joe Madden, (one of ten new managers in MLB this season) would intentionally walk Khris Davis to set up a lefty on lefty matchup. One pitch later, Olson would deliver a mammoth Grand Slam and send the A’s home victorious. Having no fans in the stands feels exceptionally strange, but it’s what we have to endure for now to have MLB back.
Takeaway #2: 2020 The Year of Ultimate Competition
The 2020 season will be scrutinized and analyzed for many years to come. Many fans and baseball pundits will be unsure of how to digest the information gathered from this anomalous campaign. But one thing that was made very clear after the first games were complete is that MLB will be very competitive.
Normally, over the course of a 162-game season, the top tier teams separate themselves due to their talent. And those juggernaut teams will pull away from the pack because they typically keep winning two out of three. However, in a shortened 60-game season, those same teams won’t have the same level of separation between themselves and the basement dwellers of their division. Thus leading to a season of ultimate parody and competition in MLB.
Takeaway #3: Day One Postseason Watch
Under a 162-game campaign, “scoreboard watching” doesn’t begin until the last week of July, heading into the trade deadline. However, the 2020 season started at the time. Thus the entire 2020 season will be a race to the finish line. The usual marathon grind of an MLB season has been shortened to a sprint to the postseason prize.
2020 will not be like any other MLB season in history; there are experiments being conducted like the runner on second base and the universal DH. And there’s also the need to make sure players and staff around all teams remain safe with the CO-VID19 pandemic. But one certain thing is that the entire 2020 season will be must-watch.