The black eye that was Major League Baseball’s offseason that was marred by cheating scandals, insincere apologies and a manager leaving his post before he managed a game was supposed to come to an end Thursday.
Players outfitted in their new uniforms after an offseason of transactions were supposed to take the field at MLB ballparks.
Nike’s jerseys were set to make their debut after Nike and the MLB agreed on a deal, which led to new looks for the San Diego Padres, Milwaukee Brewers and the Texas Rangers and powder blue jerseys coming back.
The Texas Rangers’s Globe Life Field was also set to make its debut when the Rangers were scheduled to have their home opener March 31.
Crowd noise, announcers, the crack of the bat, launch angles, thoughts of being at a ballpark enjoying typical ballpark food was supposed to occur Thursday.
The MLB tried to make up for the lack of baseball by playing older baseball games Thursday, but it wasn’t the same, but also made me that much more hungrier for the regular season.
Opening Day has long been one of my favorite days out of the year because it meant my favorite sport was back.
For 162 regular season games, plus playoffs, I got to watch a sport that I fell in love with as a kid.
As I’ve talked about numerous times before, I’m a Chicago Cubs fan and for me, last year’s baseball season ended on Sept. 25 when the Cubs were officially eliminated from playoff contention in a disappointing season.
Though the Cubs’ offseason was slow, making minimal adjustments to a team that finished four games above .500, there was hope that new manager David Ross was going to breathe a new fire into the team.
The National League Central looks to be a competitive one when play resumes with the St. Louis Cardinals taking the division last year, the Brewers should be good and with the moves the Cincinnati Reds made, it should make for a four-team race.
In addition to the NL Central, I’m always excited to see how rookies perform.
Who will be the next crop of young stars that will be filling up all-star games?
Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna has become a must-see player, Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger has arisen to become one of the best players in the league and is now teamed with another one of the best players in the league in Mookie Betts.
But, those guys have established themselves in their young careers.
I am excited to see how Cubs middle infielder Nico Hoerner can build off his short stint.
Will the Dodgers continue their string of having good young players when middle infielder Gavin Lux joins the big league team this year?
Can the Chicago White Sox continue their rise with outfielder Luis Robert set to make the southside of Chicago his home this season.
And, Los Angeles Angels outfield prospect Jo Adell will join baseball’s best player Mike Trout, along with a stud third basemen in Anthony Rendon.
The Houston Astros will undoubtedly get booed out of stadiums because of the findings of the 2017 cheating scandal and the seemingly weak punishments.
Former Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch were fired and will have to serve a season-long punishment.
Former Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora and the team parted ways because of Cora’s connection to the Astros scandal with the Red Sox having a cheating scandal the following season in Cora’s first year as Red Sox manager.
Carlos Beltran was set to become the manager of the New York Mets, but he and the Mets parted ways before Beltran managed a game.
When the dust settles on this virus and baseball resumes, we’ll get to enjoy those things at the top of this column, and I can’t wait.