“Baseball Opening Weekend–Things We Saw”
It was baseball, but it felt strange, looked strange.
The opening weekend of the season brought alot of strange sights.
On the field, there was baseball played per the norm. Giancarlo Stanton of the Yankees hit a massive first at bat home in Washington onto the 2nd deck of the tarped off-empty stadium.
Trevor Bauer struck out 13 in 6-innings in his first start for the Reds, but they loss.
The A’s hit a grand slam home run in the 10th inning against the Angels.
It was an awful first start for Shohei Ohtani, can’t find home plate in his first inning, since coming off elbow surgery…3-walks…3-hits…5-runs allowed.
Raging start for the Padres Eric Hosmer, a 6RBI day in the opener and a team that got 18-walks in their first 18-innings against Arizona pitching.
But it was an odd weekend too, what I saw around ballparks:
JUST A BIT OUTSIDE…Dr. Anthony Fauci invited to throw out the first pitch at the Washington Nationals home run, social distance the pitch, throwing it at least 6-feet to the right of the catcher. As Bob Uecker would say…”Justttt a bit outside”
YANKEES…COMING NOT GOING…They invited President Donald Trump to throw out the first pitch of their first home game on Thursday. He accepted, then pulled out. The Yankees took alot of heat from fans.
KNEEL DOWN SALUTE…A tremendous message of unity with all the players and coaches kneeling along the baselines with a black ribbon on opening night to deliver a message for all the public to see.
TIME OUT..TIME OUT….Derek Shelton came storming out of the dugout in the game with the Cardinals, screaming at the ump. Then stopped to put his mask on. They walked to within 6-feet of the ump, stopped, cursed a call and got tossed.
HERE-USE THIS….Cubs 1st baseman Anthony Rizzo pulled a bottle of sanitizer out of his pocket and sprays some on hands of Brewers baserunner.
CUTOUT CARDBOARD….The stadiums popped up fake fans to sit behind home plate. Pics included movie stars, police offices, first responders, fans, babies, family members and dogs.
PADRES ANIMAL FARM…The placement of big bears in the seats down the left field line.
SUMMER WEATHER…Nationals Park looked like it was in the middle of hurricane during a rain delay in their opener against the Yankees…some 3-inches of rain in a half hour. Game over.
PA ANNOUNCEMENTS….Lineups, pitching changes, who is batting..all that in an empty stadium.
BETWEEN AMERICA….Take Me Out to the Ballgame during the 7th inning stretch. All that was missing were fans and Harry Caray.
BOX SEATS AND SKYBOXES….The members of the taxi squads got to sit in the choice seats around home plate or in skyboxes in stadiums.
RABBIT EARS…The umps had a tough weekend, they heard everything since there were no fans in the stands. Lots of chirping from both dugouts.
BAD BLOOD…The intense Cubs-Brewers rivalry got more heated, with no fans in the stands, the two dugouts began yelling at each other, and everyone could hear it, and it was not the King’s Best English.
DAMAGE DONE…The Dodgers cutouts of fans included fans in the pavilion in leftfield, where a line drive home run knocked the head off one of the cutouts.
AROD-ALOT OF CRITICISM..Alex Rodriguez’s first game this year as an ESPN analyst did not go well. It was as if the network tried to make it the ARod-show. He talked and talked and talked, most of it pro management stuff. Praised the owners. Praised the Commissioner. Talked about a game he played in 2002. Talked in circles. What a mess from someone most people don’t like. You are not forgetting history, A-Rod…A Lie…A-Fraud.
BLUE JAYS HOMELESS…First the Canadian government banned them from playing home games in Toronto. Then they did a deal to play in Pittsburgh, only to have health officials step in and say no. They talked to Baltimore about Camden Yards but there were too many conflicts. Enter Buffalo and the minor league stadium to host major league games.
WEIRD-EXTRA INNING RULE….Start the 10th inning with a runner at second. Couple of times, both teams scored in the 10th inning. One inning, the Angels threw a wild pitch, runner to third, walked two, then gave up a Grand Slam home run then to the A’s.
BUSY BULLPEN…Expanded rosters meant more pitchers to use. The Angels used 8-on opening night.
MASCOT IN THE MIDDLE…No fans behind home plate in Philadelphia, but the mascot the Philly Phanatic was behind home plate and trying to distract the Marlins starting pitcher.
DODGERS FANS…Standard joke seeing all the cut-out fans in the stands…in LA fashion, ‘will they arrive late and leave in the 7th inning?
VIN SCULLY…What better way to start the season with the video presentation from the Hall of Famer..”It’s time for Dodgers baseball”
ASTROS…An emotional opening video with Houston saluting the passing and memories of the Toy Cannon-Jim Wynn and the legendary Bob Watson.
MIAMI MESS…What baseball worried about….3-Marlins players test positive on the road and may have to quarantine in that road hotel.
AWFUL IN ATLANTA…The Braves took a jolt when both their catchers tested positive opening day for the virus, leaving Atlanta with a Double A-rookie and a draft pick to handle the pitching staff in place of Ty Flowers and Travis D’Arnaud.
HORRIBLE IN HOUSTON…The Astros losing ace Justin Verlander for the year with an elbow injury after just one start.
BOO HISS HOUSTON…No chance for the Astros to get booed during road games. No fans in the stands.
BAD TIMES BOSTON…And it gets worse for the Red Sox. The trade of David Price to the Dodgers, the loss of Chris Sale to elbow surgery in the spring, and now heart problems for prospective top starter Eduardo Rodriguez, who had tested positive for the virus, and now has a heart inflammation issue.
FIRST FUN WEEKEND….Nice start for Padres rookie manager Jayce Tingler, the grind it out wins over Arizona. Very different than Andy Green’s debut, a 15-0 loss to the Dodgers, in fact 3-straight shutouts at the hands of LA that first year.
EARN YOUR MONEY…The Padres highest paid players had good games to launch the season..the 6-RBI day for Eric Hosmer, Tommy Pham’s hits, stolen bases and glove catches, Wil Myers 3-run homer…Manny Machado home run. That’s what they are being paid for.
WHAT TO WEAR…The Indians, in a middle of a fierce debate over the team nickname, decided not to wear their home uniforms their home white jerseys with the Indian script logo across the front, going instead to the blue road top with block letter ‘Cleveland’ on the front.
All that for the first weekend of the season, as we sprint thru a 60-game season.