Today was supposed to be Opening Day.
I have it marked on my calendar, like I do every year. There’s a countdown on my phone, just like every year. Opening Day might be the best day of the year for me – so much so that I actually bother to use capital letters for the proper noun. Moreso than the first day of spring (it’s usually still cold anyway), Opening Day marks the end of winter, the beginning of a new season (both ecologically and in terms of sport), the beginning of a fresh start. The first couple weeks are still cold, sometimes even snowy, but by the time April comes around, it’s the kind of weather where you can drive around with the windows down and listen to the game on the radio. Maybe, just maybe, you can sit on the balcony and enjoy a game as the sun sets behind the trees.
That is, of course, if the season was actually starting today. It’s impossible to list all the things that’ve changed in the past couple of months, The mass cancellation of major sporting events, and the delay of Opening Day, aren’t even all that important. They pale in comparison to the incredible and daunting efforts to save lives and protect the health of those of us who are lucky enough to not (yet) catch the coronavirus. Merely writing this post is an act of extreme privilege, coming from someone who is healthy, able to work from home, and still has a job that pays the rent. Today will come and go without a single inning of baseball, and it’s for the best that it does. Packing 40,000 people into a stadium is a terrible idea when gatherings of 10 people are now considered dangerously large.
Rationally, this all makes sense. Emotionally, I’m still sad about it. For the past few years I’ve watched most of the 162 games that the Red Sox play, and a fairly significant number of Dodgers games too.1 This year, I was going to try and watch every single Sox game, whether live or a recording the next day. I was going to write about it, too. This little blag has been painfully neglected for its entire existence, and I thought writing about the games I’ve watched on a regular basis would be a good creative outlet.
I hope that baseball starts back up this year. If it does, I’m going to watch every game. Until then, wash your fucking hands.
Why the Dodgers? I used to work second shift. Watching a west-coast night game is a great way to pass the time during a boring shift – at the time, listening to Vin Scully call a game was truly one of the best ways to spend an evening. ↩