“PLAY-BALL” ( play-ball echoes through an empty stadium )
Today kicks off opening day - 2020 Major League Baseball. To those that just came out of a cave "YES", it is opening day! Today is June 24th and normally at this time we would be just after the All-Star Break, but we all know NOTHING is NORMAL this year. The coronavirus has "No-Hit" all major sports. Here in town, we have been enjoying the crack of the bat, and the crackle of people walking over peanut shells thanks to the Bismarck Larks! The virus halted spring training, the players and the owners haggled over everything, and just when it looked like MLB would go dark, both sides agreed on a 60 game schedule. So many details had to be sorted out, like being safe and avoid as much travel as necessary ( teams will play a majority of games against their division opponents ).
Unlike what we are enjoying here at home, sitting in the sun at Bismarck Municipal Ballpark watching the Larks win, fans will not be permitted to attend any Major League Baseball game this season. There will be television and some teams like the Philadelphia Phillies will air their entire schedule. Wait, so there are no crowds, only the players and the umpires, won't that be extra weird and QUIET? All 30 teams are aware of that last question, which is WHY they will all be piping recorded sounds of fans into the ballparks - Example: You'll see an empty sea of seats in the background as one of my San Diego Padres crack a grand slam and as Manny Machado is circling the bases you'll hear some canned crowd noise recorded from who-the-heck-knows-when.
When "Play-Ball" is bellowed out by the home plate ump, play-ball will echo forever through the empty 47,000 plus cold seats.