Dodgers Thoughts: Missing Opening Day

There is a sense of sadness over the world Thursday, and not just from the Coronavirus. That’s not to downplay the worldwide pandemic, because nothing at this point in time is more important or worthy of our thoughts and actions. (Stay home!)

But today, Thursday March 26th, was to be Opening Day for baseball, the best unofficial holiday there is. In normal times, it is the day we look forward to the most. It signifies so much more than just the start of a new season – every team has a fresh slate. Every team has a chance. The dreams and wonder of what is yet to come. The anticipation of walk-offs, stolen bases and bat flips. Beating division rivals, monster home runs and that filthy strike out by your closer to end the game.

Sports have taken up such a huge part of our lives that we set our internal calendar by them. Late August and early September are celebrated by the start of football season. Late fall brings hockey and basketball. But nothing is as special as Opening Day in baseball. Timed perfectly with the beginning of Spring, it offers all of the best yet to come.

In times of need, sports have always been there. Indeed they were delayed for awhile after 9/11, deservedly so. But they came back and helped the country heal some, or at the very least, provide a distraction. When the New Orleans Saints won the Super Bowl a few years after Hurricane Katrina, the joy was a culmination of all of the hurt, despair and pain the city had endured, and gave them all something to celebrate.

Now when we need them most, sports are not there for us to consume and disappear into. With what is going on, they absolutely should not be – the safety of everyone is paramount. Across all of sports, athletes have tested positive for COVID-19, and if they were to continue it would only make the situation so much worse.

Major League Baseball has been busy trying to figure out when and if baseball will return this season. At this point, the earliest arrival of baseball to our lives would be early June, after another two weeks of resumed Spring Training. However the more likely scenario at this point seems like it would be July.

When the season would end is also up for debate. Some have a shortened regular season ending in October, with the playoffs going through November. Some have the full season being played, with the World Series being played at Christmas. I personally can’t say I like that scenario. The weather around the country couldn’t possibly support baseball going that late into winter. In that same vein, a neutral site scenario has also been discussed, with the World Series being played in Miami or some other warm weather city.

Whatever happens, to me, the worst part is the uncertainty. I completely understand why MLB cannot at this point say if or when the season will start. But having a definitive day to look forward to might help the situation- an event to look forward to while we are all distancing ourselves from friends, family and work.

Like spring, baseball, and all other sports, will return again. We will talk of the time of quarantine with gratefulness that we survived and came out the other side and hope that we never have to go through that again.

In the meantime, we can re-watch old games, read books about baseball, and daydream of when it will be back in our lives again for real. This too shall pass, even if it’s going to take a whole lot longer than any of us would like. In the meantime, I will leave you with the wonderful story from Tim Brown’s article today in Yahoo Sports, in which Clayton Kershaw describes his favorite Opening Day ever:

In the words of Kershaw, I hope we never have to do this again.

 

Remembering the 2014 Opening Day Roster

2014

With the existing viral pandemic not appearing to be improving, coupled with the fact that most players have left their respective spring camp locations completely, Opening Day 2020 isn’t even on the radar for pretty much anyone associated with the game of baseball.

Continue reading “Remembering the 2014 Opening Day Roster”

5 Early-Season Concerns Facing Dodgers

roberts

By no means do two games define a season, but already we have seen the Dodgers perform on many different levels, especially when it comes to playing down to the abilities of their opponent. After Friday night’s marathon loss, fans were reminded of some of the aspects of play that saw Los Angeles need a divisional playoff game to capture their sixth-consecutive NL West crown. While it’s certainly too early to make any predictions, there are a handful of things that followers can watch which may be critical, at least in the early portion of the season.

Continue reading “5 Early-Season Concerns Facing Dodgers”

The Dodgers Have Exorcised Some Of Last Year’s Early-Season Demons

img_5907-3

Save your angst about the season for at least one more day, Dodger fans. This season is already off to a better start than last season.

Continue reading “The Dodgers Have Exorcised Some Of Last Year’s Early-Season Demons”

Dodgers Pummel Diamondbacks in Season Opener

joc
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers slugged an MLB Opening Day record eight home runs en route to a convincing 12-5 victory at a sold-out Dodger Stadium on Thursday afternoon.

Continue reading “Dodgers Pummel Diamondbacks in Season Opener”

Dodgers Announce 2019 Opening Day Roster

stewart

The Los Angeles Dodgers Thursday morning announced their Opening Day 25-man roster ahead of the 2019 regular season, which begins Thursday afternoon at 1:10 p.m. Pacific time against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium.  The club also placed left-handed pitchers Tony Cingrani, Rich Hill and Clayton Kershaw on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to March 25. President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman made the announcement.

Continue reading “Dodgers Announce 2019 Opening Day Roster”

On Quotes, Past Dodger Players and Maturity

img_5854

Whether the Dodgers are ready or not, the season starts this week. It’s doesn’t matter how many pitchers are on the injured list, or how many players had a bad spring training—three days from now there will be meaningful baseball played.

Continue reading “On Quotes, Past Dodger Players and Maturity”

Santana, Stewart Among Those Considered for Dodgers’ Final Roster Spot

santana

Aside from one final spot in the bullpen, the Dodgers have announced the bulk of their 25-man roster for Opening Day against the Diamondbacks next Thursday.

Continue reading “Santana, Stewart Among Those Considered for Dodgers’ Final Roster Spot”

More Thoughts on the 2019 Opening Day Roster

img_5752

There’s only 10 days left until the Dodgers open up the 2019 season against the Arizona Diamondbacks, and although the roster has yet to be finalized, we have a pretty good idea of who is going to make the Opening Day roster.

Continue reading “More Thoughts on the 2019 Opening Day Roster”

Dodgers Fall to Giants in 2018 Home Opener

img_2502

Opening Day did not end the way Dodgers fans would have like it to. In the first game of the year against the rival San Francisco Giants, the Dodgers bat were relatively silent all afternoon, as the club could not muster a single run.

Continue reading “Dodgers Fall to Giants in 2018 Home Opener”