Guess what I did last night. I watched a baseball game. No not an early morning Korean baseball game. No not a spring scrimmage. A no joke, real MLB game.
Yes, baseball in fact is back. Yesterday MLB started its delayed and shortened 2020 season with two live games. The Washington Nationals first hosted the New York Yankees before the San Francisco Giants played the Los Angeles Dodgers in the late game.
As a D.C. resident, the Nationals game was special. As a sports and baseball fan, the long delay has been agonizing waiting for any form of live action. And on top of that, D.C. has been starved of basking in the glory of being the defending World Champs.
The game kicked off with the first pitch from Nationals fan and D.C. folk hero Dr. Anthony Fauci. The only thing I was missing to enjoy the rest of the game was a nice cold Fauci Pouchy from D.C.’s Capo Italian Deli. While Fauci’s pitch bounced a little wide, the man’s been busy if you haven’t noticed. I will cut him some slack and guarantee he would have still received a rounding ovation had there been fans in the stands. The announcers mentioned that as a big baseball fan Fauci was like many others ready to sit back and watch the first baseball game. While he may have, I also wouldn’t be surprised if he ran out of the stadium and right back to work.
Unfortunately for Nationals fans, the team had bad pregame news as young phenom Juan Soto tested positive for COVID-19. He had to miss the game obviously and will require two negative tests before returning to the team. Right off the bat, this highlights the precarious situation that sports are in as the try to return. Many precautions are being taken, but they are not foolproof.
The game started with some exciting scoring on both sides but more in favor of the Yankees. The production of sports will take some getting used to. Announcers were not in the stadium but remote. Homeruns landed in fanless seats.
Perhaps it’s also only appropriate that the resumption of professional sports was interrupted by Mother Nature. Not the virus, but this time a thundering downpour descending upon the Nation’s Capital. This led to a rain delay in the top of the 6th inning with New York threatening more runs.
I waited up to try to catch a resumption of the game, but it was eventually called with a Yankees victory. Just like the rest of 2020, MLB Opening Day disappointed.