It’s been weeks now since sports have been suspended. NHL, NBA and MLB all came to a sudden halt in response to the growing COVID-19 pandemic.
School work and binge watching TV shows on Hulu has kept me busy but I still feel something missing in my life: Dodger baseball.
We are well past Opening Day and it does feel strange knowing that we won’t get to see a true Opening Day this year even if they are able to start playing again.
Opening Day, like most days when a sport starts a new season, is treated like a holiday for some. Skipping school to drive to Dodger Stadium with 55,000 other fans to watch the Dodgers start their season is something that can’t be replaced.
Waiting in obnoxiously long lines to get two Dodger dogs and a crisp Coke, seeing familiar faces wandering the stadium and getting sunburnt because you told yourself the sun wouldn’t be that bad.
Clear blue skies, an American flag sprawled across the entire outfield and a group of fighter jets flying overhead after the Star Spangled Banner had been concluded.
This is what Opening Day for the Dodgers is all about.
Dodgers Opening Day was bound to be one full of excitement and dominance. With a new group of faces and a desire to get back and win a World Series. Star studded outfielder Mookie Betts would make his first appearance with the Los Angeles Dodgers and instantly have an impact.
The Dodgers had been missing that explosive leadoff hitter in their lineup. They tried Chris Taylor and Joc Pederson, they even tried Max Muncy once or twice. However, they never garnered as much success as they would have had if it was Mookie Betts filling that role.
If we are being current, the Dodgers would have played 12 games so far this season. Looking at that schedule, they would have played the San Francisco Giants to open the season and then played the Colorado Rockies. Of those six games, I predict the Dodgers would have won five. The one loss coming to the Rockies and being a close game that the bullpen would let slip away.
The Dodgers would have been just finished playing a series in San Francisco where the Dodgers would sweep the series. Then they would head to St. Louis to face the Cardinals this week for four games and I think that series would have been a decent challenge. However, I think the Dodgers would have won the series 3-1 and improved to 11-2 on the season.
Could that be a bit of hopeful arrogance? A little, but this Dodgers team is stacked to the brim. Having a rotation of Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler and David Price is no easy task to face.
As we are still waiting out this pandemic, we are looking for any glimpse of hope that baseball can be started as soon as possible. That glimpse came this week when Jeff Passan of ESPN reported that MLB is working on a plan to play games in Arizona at Spring Training facilities until this pandemic is finished.
So even if the rules of the game are changed a bit and the games are played with no fans in attendance, I think the world needs some kind of distraction for what is going on. Most people can’t or won’t leave their houses (for good reason) and they want something to look forward to each day.
Bottom line: Baseball needs to come back.