It’s Opening Day. Baseball Is Closed.

Depart it to Rogers Hornsby, who starred for the St. Louis Cardinals a century in the past, to seek out the phrases that neatly match our troubled occasions.

“Folks ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball,” Hornsby as soon as stated. “I’ll inform you what I do. I stare out the window and look forward to spring.”

Spring is right here, however baseball — alas — shouldn’t be. Main League Baseball had deliberate to open its gates on Thursday with a full slate of video games, unfold out from Toronto to San Diego, Seattle to Miami. It was to be the earliest league-wide opener ever, with a number of extra off days baked into the common season and the World Sequence nonetheless scheduled to finish earlier than November.

Now these plans, like seemingly every thing else on the earth, have been scrambled by the coronavirus pandemic. The season has been postponed indefinitely, the gamers scattered, the ballparks shuttered. Mike Trout practices chipping from his balcony to his lobby. Gerrit Cole and his spouse play catch of their yard. And Noah Syndergaard undergoes Tommy John surgical procedure, as a result of the Mets are nonetheless the Mets.

The opening day we anticipated is gone: the standard parade in Cincinnati; the afternoon chill of the video games within the Midwest and Northeast; the pink, white and blue bunting alongside the dealing with of mezzanines, the ace-versus-ace matchups in 15 ballparks. The pure rhythms of the pastime are off.

“You get so near opening day and the beginning of the season and it’s not right here,” Yankees Supervisor Aaron Boone stated on Wednesday. “All of the work that goes into that, that’s disappointing. That’s irritating. However you additionally mood it with: That is all greater than me and us and baseball.”

As a substitute of video games, we’ve got negotiations, because the gamers and the homeowners attempt to account for service time in case the season by no means takes place. If a season is performed, myriad particulars must be sorted: When wouldn’t it begin, what number of video games can be performed, and when wouldn’t it finish? Might there be extra doubleheaders, with every sport lasting solely seven innings, minor-league fashion? Maybe neutral-site postseason video games stretching into November, and possibly past?

It’s all into account as baseball, like each different business, plunges into the nice unknown.

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