NEW YORK — As the mere existence of Summer Camp fades, our anticipation to witness a baseball game — that counts — reaches its peak. Many of us will watch the sun tuck itself underneath the horizon for the final time tonight, knowing the next time we feel the heat of the sun’s radiance will be when major league players don their uniform and step onto the lush green grass of a baseball field on Opening Day.
30 teams will wake up and see that their teams are aligned with identical 0-0 records. To think it was all supposed to begin four months ago — at the tail-end of March. But little did we know of the ominous curveball the year was ready to throw.
Despite 2020’s intentions to strike us out, here we stand.
It has felt like we’ve been in a 3-2 hole all these months, but we’ve stood tall and firm in our own batter’s box. The doubts, the uncertainty, the fear can’t outmatch the passion and love for a game that’s cemented in the hearts of players, coaches and fans across the nation and the world.
The most important steps that gradually allowed us to get to this point focused on the health and safety of all players, coaches, team personnel and media members.
In May and June our hopes to see baseball this year were shattered multiple times as Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association failed relentlessly to come to an agreement that would benefit both sides of the table.
It seemed impossible that we would be welcoming Opening Day on July 23rd, but look how far we’ve come. Those days of grueling frustration towards baseball has now become an unfazed memory.
Now we prepare to witness history.
The New York Yankees and Washington Nationals will be the first teams to square off on Opening Day. Both dugouts hold a substantial amount of weight when it comes to expectations for the 2020 season.
Despite captivating the World Series in 2019, the Nats have not been showcased to be the clear favorite to win the World Series or National League East in 2020. Latino Sports senior baseball writer Dan Schlossberg has the Nats landing a postseason spot via the NL Wildcard in a 60-game season.
Regardless of outside speculations, Washington Nationals Dave Martínez can become the first Latino manager in history to win back-to-back World Series. “I know once Opening Day rolls around I’m going to be ready to compete,” Martínez said on the last days of Summer Camp.
The New York Yankees have been so close to stepping onto a World Series field but have fallen short the past three seasons, two seasons in which they were sent home in the American League Championship series. As Summer Camp comes to an end, the potential is as clear as day in the Yankees clubhouse. Now with the acquisition of ace Gerrit Cole the pressure is more evident in The Bronx.
“They’re really good at bringing a certain intensity, a certain focus, a certain neutrality to every single day,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “Our guys are focused, our guys are ready and I’m confident we’ll go out and be really good.”
Cincinnati Reds 2019 home run leader Eugenio Suárez — who demolished 49 home runs last year — said it perfectly earlier this week, “I’m ready, I’m ready. I can’t wait.”
Right there with ya, Eugenio. Can’t Wait.
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