This diary started as a late night brainstorm as I watched every major sports league shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I had no idea what was about to happen, but I knew it was historic. I also happen to live in an iconic neighborhood built around baseball and I wanted to be able to look back later and remember what happened on an (almost) daily basis. I believe I originally pitched the idea to Al as sort of like the letters they read in Ken Burns documentaries, but with a lot more sass.
After 132 days baseball is finally back, but we are still in historic times. There are already so many signs in the exhibition games we’ve been watching that baseball in 2020 will be unlike any season we’ve ever seen. To that end, I’m transitioning this series to a related series we’ll be calling the Pandemic Baseball Chronicles. Since I’ll return to some of the other features I’ve written in previous seasons (Grading the Starters, Sara’s Snapshots, and By the Numbers to name a few) the Pandemic Baseball Chronicles will not be a daily feature, but I will write it more than once a week as stories crop up. It will cover the intersection of the pandemic and the nation’s pastime. Like Sara’s Diary sometimes it will be serious, sometimes it will be whimsical, and sometimes it will just be weird.
It will be a place to talk about Yu Darvish’s pandemic hair (and trust me, as a woman with waist-length hair who hasn’t had a haircut in 4½ months, I get it) and David Ross’ outstanding choice in face masks.
It will also be a place to capture fan reactions to the season. My morning news show literally opened with a scene from Field of Dreams today and I found myself tearing up over baseball for the tenth or eleventh time this week. As I’m writing this they are talking about Dr. Anthony Fauci throwing out the first pitch of the 2020 season:
I hope everyone who has contributed to the rich conversations we’ve had about COVID-19 and baseball will continue to engage similarly with the new series. Al and I understand that having those conversations is important, we’re really just changing the title of the posts where they’ll happen.