We got here, folks. It has been touch and go for the last several weeks, and even leading up to the first pitch of Thursday’s game in Washington DC to kick off the first game of the 2020 season.
Young Nationals phenom Juan Soto tested positive for COVID-19 right before the game obviously raising some questions about the potential exposure of fellow players which could now lead to spread through both teams. The game went ahead as scheduled.
Then, as if the baseball gods wanted the last laugh, the game was paused in the sixth inning for what looked like an actual monsoon.
But let’s dive into all the articles and stories talking about the actual, real return of baseball. (And a little about a tiny contract extension in Los Angeles, too.)
- Right off the bat, Mike Trout cleared the air. He’s in.
Confirmed. #GoAngels pic.twitter.com/m151250TKV— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) July 22, 2020
- Roscoe the Drug Free Rooster. If I have your attention, read all about the Princeton Rays in the latest minor league feature by Sarah R. Ingber, Davy Andrews, and Roger Cormier.
- Jim Bowden has all the National League predictions your heart could desire. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Clayton Kershaw was placed on the injured list mere hours before his Opening Day start, as reported by Nick Selbe.
- Rachael McDaniel invites you into the weirdest season in baseball’s long memory.
- Brewers legend Bob Uecker waited until the last minute to share that he’d be announcing games this season, reports Tom Haudricourt.
- First home run of 2020 belongs to Stanton.
The 1st homer of 2020 belongs to @Giancarlo818. pic.twitter.com/Q1cZCu7m0E— MLB (@MLB) July 23, 2020
- In a season unlike any other, Jayson Stark has the eight most important numbers to watch for when it comes to the 60-game year. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- We don’t need to miss baseball anymore, says Emma Baccellieri.
- If you haven’t yet bought a copy of Jay Jaffe’s awesome Cooperstown Casebook, you have a chance to win it if you get a new FanGraphs subscription.
- Mookie Betts made history on Wednesday with one of the biggest contracts in baseball history, and Ginny Searle looks at what it means for the future of baseball’s market. (Baseball Prospectus subscription required.)
- Ben Clemens also shares his thoughts on the Betts signing for FanGraphs.
- Tom Verducci invites us to cherish this new and deeply unusual baseball season.
- Meanwhile Fox Sports is making things weird.
No fans? Not on FOX Sports.— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) July 23, 2020
Thousands of virtual fans will attend FOX’s MLB games this Saturday. pic.twitter.com/z9oQU0rYuC
- Connor Grossman breaks down the big news to kick off the season, including more insights into the Betts monster deal.
- Meanwhile MLB announcers are preparing for an unprecedented year of sharing the game with fans, as reported by Meghan Montemurro. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- And in much cuter fake fan news, the White Sox are keeping it all in the family behind home plate.
Pretty awesome having my number 1 fan in the front row behind home plate cheering me on! #myRYguy pic.twitter.com/2pjTSfWbAd— Evan Marshall (@emarsh31) July 22, 2020
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. Make it so.