No sports league would have ever been willing to call off a season for virtually any reason. To do so would be to shoot itself in the foot and lead to billions of dollars in lost revenue. However, the coronavirus is proving to be a beast of an enemy, and all sports leagues have found themselves doing the unimaginable. With a lot of uncertainty still surrounding the possibility of getting things back to normal, sports fans can only sit back and wait. Today should have been an epic day for baseball fans, as it was supposed to mark MLB’s Opening Day. COVID-19 squashed those plans, but the league has figured out an alternative that it hopes will be received well by fans. Welcome the first-ever MLB Opening Day at Home.
Starting at 8:30 AM Eastern Time (ET) today, MLB will be providing reruns of baseball games for each of the 30 teams in the league. The games are available on MLB.com and the league’s social media channels, and MLB explains on its website, “All games will be streamed on MLB.com, as well as through one of MLB’s social media channels, on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube, and by using the hashtag #OpeningDayAtHome, fans can connect with each other while watching their team’s selected game at a set time. In addition, on MLB Network, you can watch classic Opening Day games all day, beginning at 1 p.m. ET with Derek Jeter’s first Opening Day in 1996, and ending at midnight with Tuffy Rhodes’ unforgettable three-homer day for the Cubs against Doc Gooden and the Mets in 1994. Meanwhile, ESPN2 will air a Home Run Derby marathon beginning at 6 p.m. ET, starting with Pete Alonso’s 2019 triumph, followed by the derbies from 2018, ’17 and ’15.”
It probably would have been better kept a secret, but MLB already let the cat out of the bag. Each game is designed to showcase a team; therefore, the game will obviously be one that has that team as the winner. Still, it will be a great opportunity to catch up on highlights and see some incredible plays while stuck at home with nothing else but afternoon soap operas and talk shows on TV.
MLB is also taking advantage of the opportunity to try to source funds for several charities that are supporting coronavirus victims. The league, along with the MLB Players Association, has already donated $1 million to Meals on Wheels and Feeding America, and will contribute $30 million to different ball clubs so they can pay their employees. During today’s game schedule, MLB will be promoting the charities, as well as others, in an effort to find additional contributions.