Opening Day has come and gone. Most teams got their first game of the season under their belt. Not so for the Washington Nationals. Earlier in the week, I wrote about how it seems like baseball is finally getting back to normal, with fans in the stands and teams slated to play a full 162. Later that day, news broke that the Nationals and Mets game wasn’t going to be played after all, due to a COVID outbreak on Washington’s side.
Ah, of course: Why would it be any other way? Lately, I’ve had a knack for writing an article, submitting it for publication, only for news to break shortly thereafter giving an official answer to my inquiry and/or speculation, only to have to reroute the article for publication, coming up with a new thesis and conclusion. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case on Opening Day, but it does send this particular article into a different direction.
I intended to find something unique, interesting, historical, etc. to write about from the Nats’ Opening Day. Obviously, that’s not what we have here. I should’ve expected to claim some sense of normalcy only to have it smacked back into my face, as though mid-2020 was having a resurgence for this very particular part of my — and all of our — existence.
What we ultimately ended up with was that the Nationals and Mets series got “scrapped,” as the New York Post says. As expected, that article goes on to claim a competitive advantage for New York (and by extension, the rest of the NL East), stating that COVID players have to shut it down for a period of 10 days, meaning the Nationals could be short-staffed for the imminent portion of the season.
In a division where every game seems as though it’ll matter, this is important news.
Hopefully as we move into the summer, these types of issues will happen with either: 1) less frequency, or; 2) no frequency at all. Navigating the season without COVID postponements seems as though it will be impossible, although it shouldn’t affect games nearly as much as it did a year ago.
As for myself, I became too sure that things were returning to normal. No, the series postponement isn’t dire, nor does it point to more ominous news looming ahead, but it did remind me not to put the cart before the horse.
As we became well versed in doing last season, we’ll have to take things as they come — all of us: The fans, players, coaches, and organizations — and roll with the punches whenever they’re dished out. As for the Nationals, this now means that their season is set to begin April 5 for a series against the Atlanta Braves. As with all things, however, those games are “subject to change.”
Looking to the future, the only thing we can really hope for at this point is that this is less of a derailment and more of a delay. Like the Nats, we’ll have to wait it out from the sidelines, and be left to wonder when, with any certainty, the Nationals will take the field again.