Day 15 without sports 😭: It’s impossible to ignore the Opening Day that isn’t

Yeah, this one is going to hurt. 

This pandemic-forced shutdown actually is a lot easier when your commute from kitchen to home office or couch or some other makeshift nook leaves you asking, "What day is it?" 

Because losing track of time is a lot easier to endure than losing Major League Baseball's opening day. 

We have reached the point in the calendar where the eyes don't lie — just peeking out the window lets you know what time of year it is, and what rituals you might be missing with a sports shutdown that's now in its third week. 

For years, the intersection of baseball's opening day and March Madness culminated in what many considered the Greatest Day Ever: The start of the Major League Baseball season and the continuation of the men's basketball championship. Fantasy leagues launching, office pools wrapping up, a 12-hour cacophony of fun. 

WE NEED SPORTS: Making the most of the sports shutdown. Your inbox approves. Sign up!

THE LATEST: Sports figures who have tested positive for coronavirus

OPENING DAY: 10 things we’ll miss with no games

In recent years, with MLB opting for a Thursday start and the NCAA tournaments stretching later, this day means regional semifinals and 15 ballgames. 

This week, it means no regional finals and instead empty domes in Houston and Indianapolis, shuttered arenas in New York and Los Angeles, two of the areas hardest-hit by COVID-19. 

And today, it means 15 ballparks quieted, at least for the foreseeable future.  

What I'm watching today

Well, baseball! Hollow though it might be, MLB, ESPN, FS1, YouTube and its myriad social channels literally have every team covered with a wall-to-wall selection on screens of all sizes. 

On what would have been Opening Day tomorrow, MLB announces it is showing classic games involving all 30 teams across all its TV and streaming platforms. Full schedule: pic.twitter.com/I32bPRqRDq

Sports video of the day

The regional semifinals are the unappreciated child of the NCAA tournament – they don't bring the automatic context of a "five over 12" upset, they don't send anyone to a Sweet 16 or a Final Four. Oh, they've had their moments, though, few better than Tate George's buzzer-beater to beat Clemson in the 1990 East semifinals, 30 years and four days ago. 

Like Christian Laettner's Kentucky-killer two years later, this 94-foot work of art was greatly aided by a perfect length-of-court pass. Little wonder: Scott Burrell was a first-round pick of the Seattle Mariners as a pitcher in 1989, and later pitched two seasons in Toronto's organization. (Also: The Husky's reaction top left corner is priceless).

Story time! Here are some of our best

  • STAY HOME:Miami Heat star rips spring breakers
  • NFL GRADES:Patriots get an F … wait, what? 
  • SEAN PAYTON: Saints coach says he's cleared after coronavirus battle
  • JOE MONTANA: Says Patriots erred in Tom Brady situation
  • MLB OPENING DAY: 10 things we'll miss with no games
  • COMMISH SPEAKS:Manfred says 162-game season unlikely
  • WORLD SERIES ON CHRISTMAS?: Agent pitches idea to save season
  • NFL FREE AGENCY:7 best value signings by teams

This date in sports history

2006: George Mason defeats No. 1 Connecticut to win the East Regional and become the first mid-major team to make the Final Four since Larry Bird's 1979 Indiana State squad and Penn both qualified. 

Notable birthdays

Basketball Hall of Famer Wayne Embry (83), basketball Hall of Famer Ann Meyers Drysdale (66), Hall of Fame running back Marcus Allen (60), Hall of Fame point guard John Stockton (58), former Olympic cyclist Rebecca Twigg (57), former NHL defenseman Ulf Samuelsson (56), Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk (47), former NHL center Michael Peca (46), former infielder Jose Vizcaino (52), Broncos linebacker Von Miller (31), Nationals outfielder Michael A. Taylor (29), Patriots linebacker Kyle Van Noy (29), Bulls guard Ryan Arcidiacono (26), Heat forward Justise Winslow (24)

Sports we're missing

Oh, not much, really. 

NCAA basketball tournament

  • Regional semifinals, Indianapolis region
  • Regional semifinals, Houston region

MLB (15 games)

  • Washington Nationals at New York Mets
  • Detroit Tigers at Cleveland Indians
  • Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee Brewers
  • Kansas City Royals at Chicago White Sox
  • New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles
  • Boston Red Sox at Toronto Blue Jays
  • San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Minnesota Twins at Oakland Athletics
  • Texas Rangers at Seattle Mariners
  • Philadelphia Phillies at Miami Marlins
  • Colorado Rockies at San Diego Padres
  • Pittsburgh Pirates at Tampa Bay Rays
  • St. Louis Cardinals at Cincinnati Reds
  • Los Angeles Angels at Houston Astros
  • Atlanta Braves at Arizona Diamondbacks

NBA (six games)

  • Los Angeles Lakers at Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Philadelphia 76ers at Chicago Bulls
  • San Antonio Spurs at Minnesota Timberwolves
  • Charlotte Hornets at Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Utah Jazz at Dallas Mavericks
  • Atlanta Hawks at Sacramento Kings

NHL (8 games)

  • Toronto Maple Leafs at Carolina Panthers
  • Ottawa Senators at Boston Bruins
  • New York Rangers at Washington Capitals
  • Florida Panthers at Montreal Canadiens
  • Buffalo Sabres at New York Islanders
  • Philadelphia Flyers at Detroit Red Wings
  • New Jersey Devils at Minnesota Wild
  • Los Angeles Kings at Nashville Predators

Source: Read Full Article