Every day has been stranger than the last. A global pandemic will do that to our certainties. There won’t be any new baseball today. Oh sure, you can sit at home and binge the bushel of repeats the league has offered on what is supposed to be 2020’s Opening Day, but we’ll get nothing new from the sport today.
I’ll get this out of the way right now: this won’t be a memorable post. A decade from now, you might remember that there was no season or maybe even just part of a season, because the toll of time taxes our memory just as much as our physical well being. We’re far more likely to remember the pandemic in greater detail.
In that light, it’s not a problem to have to wait a little longer to see how a 13-person coaching staff coaches up a 26-man roster of castoffs, sunk costs, and assorted fringe guys. It also means that I don’t have to write a sweaty post trying to find a silver lining in all this.
For years and years we’ve talked about how Baseball might not exist in a few generations because of its fandom’s aging demographics. Here we are without it on March 26, 2020 and I think we can all agree that the Giants will return and play baseball games again, but the world of before will not.
And that’s when Baseball will come in and do the thing it always does: provide a welcome diversion. The promise of every Opening Day is optimism. An unwritten future where anything is possible. There will always be more important things happening out there than on the field, but at the very least, the leisurely pace of a season gives us a chance to turn our hearts and minds away from humanity’s existential despair and towards the Giants. At least their brand of despair features some likable players in french vanilla.
But for now: no diversion. We can’t ignore reality. We won’t be able to spend time thinking about how the Giants can get through a 162-game schedule with that rotation. That bullpen! That lineup! I said I wouldn’t try to find a silver lining in all this, but maybe that’s not a bad thing. We’ll spend a lot less time watching the Giants be bad this year. That seems good.
Joey Bart, Heliot Ramos, and Marco Luciano, to name a few, will lose out on a key year of development, of course, and that’s incredibly not good, to say nothing of the financial sword that hangs over every affiliated minor league team. They’re having to weather this crisis without money or even the confidence of Major League Baseball.
Okay, you see what I did there? I found a storm cloud in the storm cloud. The shiver lining. Let’s try not to think about what Baseball will look like when this is all over. Let’s try to think about what we need to do to take care of ourselves and each other. We won’t have new games and new managerial mistakes to help us with that, but once this pandemic ends and we step into a new normal, we won’t just be hungry for Baseball, we’ll fall in love with it all over again, ready to experience the unwritten future where anything is possible.
In the meantime, wash your hands and stay inside.