For many of us, it’s typically the best day of the year. A day that feels as though it should be a national holiday.
Just the words “opening day” boost the spirits of baseball fans everywhere, especially those of us who love the game, its history, players, rituals, and yes, even its pace.
But 2020 is no ordinary year and this is no ordinary Opening Day. The usual world order is upended, and, of course, that applies to baseball, too.
The regular season was suspended earlier this month, a time that seems eons ago already. And while the delays have generated near-endless business concerns about issues of scheduling, compensation, and player service times, to fans, the unprecedented halt to this regular routine of spring, a routine is jarring, to say the least.
On Thursday, Rob Manfred, the Commissioner of Major League Baseball, issued an open letter to baseball fans everywhere promising the baseball will return, just as soon as it’s safe to do so.
As noted in the Commissioner’s letter, the MLB web site’s coronavirus resources page has general information about the virus and how to protect yourself. It also provides links to charities worthy of your support, if you’re able, during this tough time. These include Feeding America and Meals on Wheels America, to which MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association together have donated $1 million.
Watch baseball online
MLB has made a wide collection of games available for free streaming. Here are links to where you can find them:
- MLB channel on YouTube has over 100 classic, full games and has promised to add more to the collection in the weeks ahead.
While the YouTube collection has some forgettable moments in Red Sox history, let’s focus instead on some of the big-time Red Sox thrillers, like:
- The last two years of Major League Baseball games, including the postseason, are now available to everyone for free. All you need is a free MLB account.
For Red Sox Nation, opening the vault means easy access to 108 wins of the remarkable 2018 season all the way to a World Series win. A few highlights to consider (courtesy of Ian Browne’s review on the MLB web site):
- April 8: Sox explode for 6 straight two-out hits to come back from a 5-run deficit in the bottom of the eighth to beat the Rays, 8-7.
- May 2: Mookie Betts belts 3 home runs (for a second time in the young season) and the Red Sox need all of them in a 5-4 win over the Royals.
- May 10: J.D. Martinez comes up with his first big “rivalry moment” in a game against the Yankees.
- June 30: Chris Sale goes 7.0 shutout innings with just one Yankees hit allowed, leading the Sox to an 11-0 win. Rafael Devers goes 5-for-5 with a grand slam in this one!
- July 2: Rick Porcello clears the bases with a double off Nationals ace Max Scherzer.
- July 12: A Mookie Betts classic, with a grand slam after a 13-pitch at-bat. Was the first time a player hit a grand slam in an at-bat of 13 pitches or more since Gary Scott did so for the Cubs in 1992.
- July 27: After Craig Kimbrel blows a save, Devers ties it with a solo shot in the bottom of the ninth and Betts sends everyone home happy with the first walk-off homer of his career.
- August 2: Steve Pearce records three home runs in a 15-7 win pounding of the Yankees.
- August 5: Down 4-1 in the bottom of the ninth inning, Red Sox rise up to beat Yankees at home 5-4.
- September 5: Down 7-1 entering the eighth against the Braves, the Sox roar back with a six-run rally. Hard to pick just one, but this is likely the top comeback win of the season for Boston.