“Pitchers and poets both have their moments. The intervals are the tough things” —Robert Frost
Today is the day. After a crazy offseason and an aborted Spring Training, months of downtime and then this thing called Summer Camp, baseball finally begins its 2020 season tonight.
Your Los Angeles Dodgers will be taking on the San Francisco Giants. Clayton Kershaw will be on the mound. While there will be no fans in attendance and there will be face coverings on coaching staff and some players not playing, it is indeed a little return to normalcy. Better late than never.
There is trepidation among fans and players alike, to be sure. How will Major League Baseball deal with an outbreak? There is still a pandemic raging in this country. Will the season even reach the finish line? How will players deal with no fans? Will their adrenaline flow still be the same? Will there be expanded playoffs, and how will that affect the Dodgers?
All of these things will be worked out as the days and weeks go on. But for tonight, at least, we can revel in the fact that baseball is back, for as long as we are allowed to have it.
Early Thursday, the Dodgers announced their 30-man roster. All of the usual suspects are there, and some new additions. There are 16 pitchers and 14 position players. Terrance Gore made the team, as we had speculated, for his speed on the base paths. Edwin Rios and Matt Beaty both will help out in the infield.
The Dodgers players will have two weeks to show their best stuff before the roster drops to 28, and then 26 players another two weeks from then.
On Thursday’s Off The Air with Joe and Orel podcast, manager Dave Roberts said that his starting defense would be as follows – Austin Barnes C; Max Muncy 1B; Kiké Hernandez 2B; Corey Seager SS; Justin Turner 3B; Mookie Betts RF; Cody Bellinger CF; and Joc Pederson LF. A.J. Pollock will be the Dodgers’ first National League DH.
Game time is set for 7:08 PST. Keith Williams Jr will sing the National Anthem just like he has for many a big game at Dodger Stadium. It is the latest home opener for the Dodgers since 1974.
So, let the games begin. Let the second guessing of the lineup and bullpen usage also begin. Let’s pray for the best health of all the players, coaches and staff, and that the season makes it to the World Series without any major incidents or any more stoppages. Today is the best day of the year and even though it is completely different this season, we will rejoice and be glad. Here’s to a great season, and a World Series win for the Dodgers at the end!