Opening Day 2020 Has Finally Arrived

Remain calm Red Sox Nation – Opening Day 2020 is finally here! After many months of negotiations, we finally have baseball. The Red Sox open the season against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park starting tonight at 7:30pm. From there, the New York Mets come to town for two games, then the Red Sox head to Citi Field for two games. This is going to be a wild season for sure, but it’ll be interesting to see what happens.

The 2020 Red Sox will look different, there’s no doubt. With Eduardo Rodriguez stillopening day 2020 recovering from COVID-19, Nathan Eovaldi will take the ball tonight. The Red Sox have a pretty solid team, but the pitching will be the mystery of 2020. How will the Red Sox fair on Opening Day 2020? Well, hopefully better than the Nationals and Giants did last night.

Opening Day 2020 vs The Baltimore Orioles

As mentioned above, Nathan Eovaldi will be getting the start for the Red Sox tonight. The Orioles will be sending Tommy Milone to the mound to face the Red Sox. Originally, the Orioles had John Means making the Opening Day start, however, he will be starting the season on the injured list with shoulder fatigue. Both Eovaldi and Milone will be making their first career Opening Day starts. Both had a solid Spring and Summer training prior to the start of the season.

In 23 games for the Red Sox last season, Eovaldi went 2-1 with a 5.99 ERA in 67.2 innings. After a 2019 that saw him on the injured list, Eovaldi is looking to have a better 2020. His last faced the Orioles on September 27th 2019, going 5 innings giving up 5 earned runs while striking out 3. Tommy Milone came to the Orioles via free agency after spending the 2019 season with the Seattle Mariners. In 23 games, he went 4-10 with a 4.76 ERA in 111.2 innings. Milone last faced the Red Sox in 2014 as a member of the Minnesota Twins.

Tomorrow’s 1:35pm game will have Alex Cobb going up against Martin Perez. The Boston native only pitched in 3 games last season, going 0-2 with a 10.95 ERA. Perez will be making his Red Sox debut after pitching for the Minnesota Twins last season. He was 10-7 in 32 games for the Twins with a 5.12 ERA. Sunday’s final game, also at 1:35pm, will feature Wade LeBlanc against Ryan Weber. LeBlanc, who pitched for the Mariners last season, went 6-7 in 26 games while posting a 5.71 ERA. Weber is looking to make a name for himself in the Red Sox rotation. Last season in 18 games, he went 2-4 with a 5.09 ERA

Welcoming Back Rick Porcello and Eduardo Nunez

The Red Sox will be welcoming back Rick Porcello and Eduardo Nunez when the Mets come to town on Monday. While Red Sox fans won’t be seeing Porcello pitch, they might get to see Nunez play at Fenway. No pitchers have been announced yet for either team,  however, Porcello won’t be one of the two this time around. He will be making his Mets debut against the Braves on Sunday.

Eduardo Nunez last played in July 2019 before the Red Sox designated him for assignment. In the offseason, he signed a minor league deal with the Mets. Rick Porcello, after five seasons with the Red Sox, signed a one-year contract with the Mets this past offseason. The New Jersey native stated in his press conference that he was looking forward to pitching for team he rooted for as a child.

Both home games against the Mets will be at 7:30pm. From there, the Red Sox will travel to Citi Field to take on the Mets on Wednesday and Thursday to start their first road trip of the season. The Red Sox will close out July against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium.

Last Night’s Games

Opening Day 2020 officially began last night for the Yankees, Nationals, Dodgers and Giants. Both the Yankees and Dodgers got their first wins of the season, and a few hit home runs. The Yankees – Nationals game ended after 5 innings due to rain, and the final was 4-1. The Dodgers and Giants played a full game, which saw the Dodgers beat the Giants 8-1.

Gerrit Cole made his Yankee debut last night, where he struck out 5 batters, and allowing a home run to Adam Eaton. Max Scherzer made the start for the Nationals, striking out 11, but allowing 4 runs in 5.1 innings. Giancarlo Stanton got the offense going for the Yankees, hitting his first home run of 2020 off of Scherzer in the first inning.

Clayton Kershaw was scheduled to make his Opening Day 2020 start against the Giants, but was scratched due to an injury. Dustin May took the ball in game one against Johnny Cueto. May went 4.1 innings, allowing one run and striking out four. Kike Hernandez hit the lone home run for the Dodgers, however, the Dodgers managed to have 12 hits and drove in 8 runs. Even though they got 8 hits, the Giants only managed to get one run across the board thanks to a Pablo Sandoval sacrifice fly in the 3rd inning.

A Week Away From Opening Day 2020

Yes, we are officially one week from Opening Day 2020. While the Red Sox won’t be starting on July 23rd, they will be starting on July 24th at home against the Baltimore Orioles. Unlike in previous seasons, this one is a bit unusual for the average baseball fan. For one thing, the Red Sox will be playing against the American League and the National League East. Also, it’s July, who had Opening Day in July on their COVID-19 Bingo board?

Back in March when the season was put on hold, we never thought that this day wouldopening day 2020 come. Well, here we are a week away from Opening Day 2020. Pitchers in the zone looking for that strikeout, hitters looking for that game winning hit. Fans, well, fans won’t be apart of the 2020 season in the stadiums. While COVID is still here, MLB won’t be allowing fans inside of any of the stadiums during games. I know, it’s not normal. However, it’s 2020.

Opening Day 2020 for the Red Sox

The Red Sox will be starting the season at home, with three games against the Baltimore Orioles and two games against the New York Mets. This Opening Day won’t have a 2pm start time. The games for most MLB teams will either start at 7:30pm or 1:30pm. This is mainly due to the fact that MLB wants more fans to watch at home. Also, Opening Day is on a Thursday and a Friday this year, which is also a first. Thursday’s Opening Day lineup will consist of the Yankees vs the Nationals, and the Giants vs the Dodgers. The rest of Major League Baseball will begin on Friday.

While the Red Sox don’t have a clear vision of what their rotation will look like, it is looking as though Nathan Eovaldi is going to be named the Opening Day 2020 starter vs Baltimore’s John Means. Eovaldi, who will be entering his second full season with the Red Sox, was 2-1 last season in 23 games, 12 of which were starts. Between Spring Training and the Summer Camp at Fenway, Eovaldi looks like a clear cut candidate to have the ball on opening day. Also, with the Red Sox placing Eduardo Rodriguez on the ten day injured list, it’s a no brainer.

 The Rest of 2020

When Major League baseball came out with the improved 2020 schedule, it was known that teams will be playing within their division and their areas. For the Red Sox, they will be playing 20 interleague games, first against the Mets at Fenway Park, then against the Phillies in August. The Red Sox will finish off the season with a three-game series in Atlanta against the Braves.

This is going to be a challenging season for the Red Sox. With the loss of Rick Porcello to the Mets, and with Mookie Betts and David Price being traded to the Dodgers, the Red Sox will look a bit different this season. One thing that the Red Sox need to do though is find a way to beat the Yankees. Right now, the Yankees are on a revenge tour of sorts. After losing the American League Championship Series to the Houston Astros last October, the Bronx Bombers are looking to get back into the postseason, and win their 28th World Series Championship.

There Will Be Baseball in 2020

Baseball fans rejoice, there will be baseball in 2020! After about three months of no baseball, the MLB and the MLBPA have reached an agreement to play in 2020. I know, I didn’t think this day would come, but here we are. Many players are making their way to their respective cities right now in anticipation of the season. July 1st is the official date to start training camp, and from there, we have Opening Day at the end of July. It’s been a crazy year so far, so let the games begin – On July 23rd.

The bad news for fans, however, is that they will not be in the stands at any of the Majorbaseball in 2020 League ballparks in 2020. Yes, that includes Fenway Park. For fans who were looking forward to seeing the Red Sox play at Fenway or at an away game, you’re going to have to either watch it on NESN, or listen to the radio. Due to COVID-19, MLB and other professional sports aren’t allowing spectators at games until further notice.

Baseball in 2020

It’s hard to believe that baseball in 2020 is going to happen, but it is. After what seemed to be a lifetime of negotiations, there will be a season. MLB announced this week that Opening Day will be on July 23rd, with training camps starting July 1st. To make things easy for teams, MLB is setting up the schedule geographically. For the Red Sox, they will be playing against both the American League East, and the National League East. The same will go for teams in the Central Divisions and in the Western Divisions.

MLB proposed this idea to limit team travel in hopes that the season will be completed without interruptions. Teams will start off with thirty players, then go down to 28 players after fifteen days. Two weeks later, teams will be set at their normal roster number, 26. Baseball in 2020 will not have an All Star game, sorry Los Angeles. However, the trade deadline will be on August 31st. It will be interesting to see how the season plays out, especially with teams playing within their own divisions, and a designated hitter in both the National and American Leagues.

How Will The Red Sox Do in 2020

That’s the big question many Red Sox fans are asking. After a crazy offseason, the Red Sox have a lot to prove to their fan base. There will be some new faces coming to town, like pitcher Martin Perez and outfielder Kevin Pillar. There will also be some familiar faces coming back to town, like Mitch Moreland, who resigned with the Red Sox this past offseason.

General Manager Chaim Bloom stated that both Alex Verdugo and Collin McHugh are expected to play this season. Verdugo, who was part of the Mookie Betts trade, is recovering from a stress fracture in his back. McHugh, who the Red Sox signed as a free agent in March, is recovering from a flexor tendon strain that he sustained in 2019.

As for Chris Sale, he will not be pitching this season. Shortly after the season was halted to to COVID-19, it was announced that Sale was getting Tommy John surgery, and will not be pitching again until at least 2021. Lucky for the Red Sox, they have some pitchers who are looking to make a name for themselves in Boston, and a few who are looking to improve upon their 2019 season.

Eduardo Rodriguez, who went 19-6 with a 3.81 ERA in 2019, is looking to improve in 2020. Manager Ron Roenicke has yet to name his Opening Day starter, but odds are that Rodriguez will get the call. Catchers Kevin Plawecki and Jonathan Lucroy, who came to Boston via free agency, will be competing for the backup role at catcher behind Christian Vazquez. Both veteran catchers signed one year deals with the Red Sox this past offseason.

Around The MLB

A lot has happened since Spring Training was stopped due to COVID-19. Many fans didn’t think that baseball in 2020 would happen. However, here we are. Fans are used to a 162 game season, however, due to negotiations, the fans, players, and MLB are at a 60 game season instead. A lot can happen in 60 games. For the Red Sox, they were 31-29 in their first 60 games in 2019. In order to get to the postseason this year, they’re going to have to do way better than that.

Both the American League East and the National League East will be a challenge for the Red Sox. Not only are they facing their usual rivals like the Yankees, but the’re facing the 2019 World Series Champion Washington Nationals. Going into the 2019 season, the Nationals were not the favorite to win the World Series. Their first 60 games had them at a record of 27-33. They finished with a 93-69 record, and were second in their division.

Each team, and each division is going to have their set of struggles and triumphs this season. Each team in each division is going to have their ups and downs. For some, it’s getting used to the universal designated hitter rule, while for others, it’s figuring out the best lineup to have for each game. While fans won’t have to worry about 10pm games, many will wonder how this season will affect the 2021 season and beyond. Only time can tell that. For now, we have baseball in 2020, which is pretty remarkable.

Astros Cheating Scandal Exposes Conflicting American Values

It’s been weeks since news of the Houston Astros cheating scandal broke in the news. Since then, few people in baseball have hesitated to express their outrage over what the Astros did. If anything, it seems to be intensifying, with few coming out of it any wiser. In fact, it’s bringing the worst out in people.

According to a Yahoo Sports article, Astros’ outfielder Josh Reddick, a member of theastros cheating scandal 2017 World Series championship team at the center of the sign-stealing controversy, recently received messages from angry baseball fans telling him, “I will kill your family…I will kill your kids.” The same article quotes Reddick as saying, “And it’s really depressing to read because it’s over a game of baseball.”

Reddick is right, but only to a certain degree.

Yes, it is over a game of baseball. American baseball fans are threatening to kill a player’s family all because he was on a team that went to great lengths to steal signs from opposing teams. But baseball’s involvement ends there. Telling someone that they want to kill their kids not only shows a truly revolting side of someone’s personality, but that they think their opinions, no matter how threatening, are justified. Ironically, while this psycho thinks he’s lashing out at the Astros for cheating, it’s the cheating that enables such unstable behavior in the first place.

Threats Against Reddick Expose a Larger American Problem.

If you ask Americans today if we’re a country that embraces hard work, honesty, and integrity, you’ll probably get more people saying no rather than yes. It’s an attitude that’s exemplified in every day life. When people don’t get their way they threaten to sue. They make up a false story about their employer rather than accept responsibility. When a fan’s team doesn’t win, they look for any excuse they can find to criticize the victor. This idea includes threatening a player’s family. They think their anger equates to the offense, and therefore justifies their response. Fans make threats. Cheaters feel emboldened by the lack of accountability. Those who are disgusted with both lose respect for the game and everyone associated with it. Is this a true reflection of the MLB though?

Players Criticizing the Astros Cheating Scandal Aren’t Exactly Innocent.

There’s no shortage of current players criticizing the Astros. But according to a bleacherreport.com article, former Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Logan Morrison stated, “I know from first hand accounts that the Yankees, Dodgers, Astros, and Red Sox all have used film to pick signs.” So why have the Astros become the whipping boy for Major League Baseball if other teams are involved too?

Are these players angry that their efforts to play an honest game were disrespected? Or are they angry that they were outsmarted? It’s understandable that teams like the Yankees would be angry over what the Astros did in 2017. Why didn’t it stop then though? Did teams like the Yankees actually steal signs using the same kind of technology too? If so, would the villain/victim roles be reversed if the Yankees had won and the Astros hadn’t? Would those same Yankee fans call out their own team for cheating? Most definitely not.

It seems like other teams and their fan base aren’t angry about sign stealing. They’re angry that their own tactics didn’t net them a World Series victory. Instead of self-reflecting and saying “Our approach didn’t work that well,” they look to accuse other teams of cheating. It reflects this “I’m the best, and if someone beats me they must have done it by cheating.” I’m not trying to excuse the Astros. If anything, I wonder why they, and other teams, are getting away with it.

Is Everyone Guilty? No.

Players who claim they shouldn’t be held accountable because “other teams do it too,” are in effect committing the additional offense of being complicit and abetting in the acts of other team’s offenses by turning a blind eye and not calling them out. In other words, if everyone is committing an offense like sign stealing, they are all at fault. By joining in, they become guilty too. Furthermore, they encourage horrible people to threaten people like Josh Reddick. When psychos like those who make such threats see teams like the Astros get away with cheating, they think they have a right to fly off the rails themselves. That’s the ripple effect that scandals like this can have on American society. The Astros may not be directly responsible for the unfair things that happen in American society. They are, however, responsible for how people perceive their actions.

Honest Players and Fans Are the Victims Here.

Of course, I’m not saying that all MLB players were in on this Astros cheating scandal or knew about it. As I’ve insinuated, it’s tremendously unfair to those who didn’t know about the cheating. Players like L.A. Angels’ Mike Trout, who commands great respect in baseball, said as much. “It’s sad for baseball,” Trout was quoted as saying in a Yahoo Sports article. “It’s tough. They cheated.”

The Astros cheating scandal hurt players like Trout badly. Trout represent those in American society who put in an honest day’s work and have true grievances, but no one takes them seriously because of those who’ve exploited the system; they become indistinguishable. It’s players like Mike Trout that Major League Baseball should promote and make more visible to baseball fans. Right now, people are looking at baseball and thinking that cheating is acceptable in baseball because no one’s really doing anything about it (Commissioner Rob Manfred seems to be working harder to avoid the issue than I’m working to avoid the gym). Mike Trout would do what Babe Ruth did for baseball following the Black Sox scandal of 1919–restore its integrity. Players like Trout are the ones who baseball needs to see more of to show that not everyone in the sport is corruptible.

Despite the Astros Cheating Scandal, Integrity Is Still Salvageable.

I’m a teacher by day, so this issue of cheating is something with which I’m familiar. So I’ll tell Major League Baseball the same thing I tell my students when it comes to cheating. Don’t cheat and you’ll have less to worry about in the long run. You cheat, and you’re guilty. Of course, there’s always the argument that it makes no difference if no one cares and lets it happen. Our current system of government certainly seems to be exemplifying that idea. That doesn’t mean those who strive for honesty should give up though. If anything, it’s a chance for them to step up and become an example of integrity.

Corrupt people hold onto power, but not forever. When they fall, society looks to someone who never gave in to that corruption. It’s in that instance that those who resisted corruption not only find validation, but are called upon to lead.

Baseball Hall of Fame Class Announced

Tuesday was a very important day for those looking to be elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Names such as Derek Jeter and Josh Beckett entered their first year on the ballot, while Colorado Rockies legend Larry Walker was waiting to see if he finally made it in after ten years.

The announcement came shortly after 6pm on Tuesday night. Both Derek Jeter and LarryBaseball Hall of Fame Walker will be enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame in July 2020.

Walker’s Long Wait into the Hall of Fame Paid Off

In what was his 10th and final year on the ballot, Rockies legend Larry Walker is finally going into the Hall of Fame. The 53 year old Canadian joins Fergie Jenkins as the second Canadian inducted into Cooperstown. Throughout his career, Walker played for the Montreal Expos, Colorado Rockies, and St Louis Cardinals. He is a 5-time All Star, 7-time Gold Glove Award winner, 3-time batting champion, and 3-time Silver Slugger Award winner. Walker has a lifetime batting average of .313, with 2,160 hits, and 383 home runs.

Walker, who wore the number 33 throughout his career, will have his number retired by the Colorado Rockies on April 19th. Like many professional athletes, Walker is superstitious of the number 3. Not only did he wear the number 33, but he was married on November 3rd at 3:33PM. Also, with his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame, he is the 333rd inductee.

The Captain Joins Other Yankee Legends in the Baseball Hall of Fame

From Babe Ruth to Mariano Rivera, many Yankee legends have been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Now, Derek Jeter has joined them. After receiving 99.7% of the votes, Jeter will be inducted alongside Larry Walker in Cooperstown. It’s no surprise that Jeter got voted in. Many are surprised that he wasn’t voted in unanimously like Mariano Rivera was last year. Jeter had an amazing career as a New York Yankee. The 45 year old from New Jersey has a career batting average of .310, with 3,465 hits, 260 home runs and 1,311 RBI’s.

Jeter also was a 5-time World Series Champion, and World Series MVP in 2000. He was American League Rookie of the Year in 1996, 5-time Gold Glove winner, 5-time Silver Slugger Award winner, 2-time Hank Aaron Award winner and won the Roberto Clemente Award in 2009. The captain had his number 2 retired by the Yankees on May 14th 2017, joining the long list of retired numbers by the Yankees. He was also honored at the Yankees Monument Park. The current CEO of the Miami Marlins, Jeter continues to stay connected to the baseball world. Now, he will forever be connected to it.

Former Red Sox Players on the Ballot

After the announcement on Tuesday, many former players will have to wait another year to get the call. One of those is former Red Sox pitcher, Curt Schilling. On his 8th ballot, Schilling only received 70% of the votes, 5% shy of the necessary 75%. Other former Red Sox pitcher, Roger Clemens received 61% of the votes on his 8th ballot. Billy Wagner (5th ballot) received 31.7%, while Manny Ramirez (4th ballot) received 28.2%.

First time Red Sox players on the ballot, Brad Penny, Carlos Pena and Josh Beckett didn’t meet the required 5% to move onto the next ballot. Therefore, they are ineligible to be voted into the Hall of Fame.

The 2021 Ballot

The 2021 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot has a lot of first timer on it, including two former Red Sox players. Some notable players are Mark Buehrle, AJ Burnett, Torii Hunter, Nick Swisher and Barry Zito. Former Red Sox players Shane Victorino and Adam Laroche are also first timers on the ballot. If I were to predict who would get the call in 2021, it would be Schilling, Torii Hunter and Mark Buehrle.

While the baseball world is preparing for the 2020 season, it’s hard not to think about the Baseball Hall of Fame, and the legends who are enshrined. This year and next year’s inductions will be interesting to watch.

Alex Cora Out As Manager of the Red Sox

I never thought that I would see the day that Alex Cora was not at the helm of the Red Sox. The now former manager of the Red Sox is joining A.J. Hinch and Jeff Luhnow in the unemployment line. Following MLB’s report on the cheating scandal, the commissioner suspended Hinch and Luhnow for one season, and took away draft picks for the Astros for 2020 and 2021. The Commissioner’s office is now focusing on the Red Sox. With Alex Cora out now, it’s only a matter of time to see what will happen to Boston.

Just one day after the Astros fired Hinch and Luhnow, the Red Sox mutually parted waysalex cora out with Alex Cora. The Red Sox are now without a manager to begin 2020. Plus, the Red Sox are waiting to see the commissioner’s report regarding the sign stealing that occurred during the 2018 season.

All Signs Pointed to Cora

Not too long ago, former Astros and current ‘s pitcher, Mike Fiers, sat for an interview and claimed the 2017 Houston Astros were stealing signs. From there, the baseball world learned about the banging of trash cans and the real use for the centerfield camera. It was only a matter of time before names were named. One name was Alex Cora. Not long after the Astros won the World Series, their first in franchise history, the Red Sox named Cora their new manager. He went onto lead the team to 108 regular season wins, and won the 2018 World Series.

When the report came out handing down the punishment for the Astros, it mentioned that the bench coach knew what was going on, and assisted in the sign stealing. The report mentioned that the team used the video review room, and alerted batters to pitches by banging on a trash can. The report mentioned that Alex Cora was the mastermind behind it, and many players followed suite.

As far as the Red Sox side of things, it looks like they used the replay room to steal signs during the 2018 season. No trash cans, no baseball bats, and no centerfield camera. Just a replay video room, and only three players admitted it. As far as the mastermind behind that, nobody knows. All we know is that MLB is doing an investigation into it, and it’s only a matter of time before a punishment is handed out.

The Reality of Sign Stealing

This isn’t the first time that teams have stolen signs. People accused the Yankees back in 2015. Back in 2001, members of the New York Giants stated that they stole signs during the 1951 season, most notably against the Brooklyn Dodgers in the famous Game Three when Bobby Thomson homered off Ralph Branca to push the Giants into the World Series. Unless teams or players get caught, there is no way of knowing who knows what.

Sign stealing evolved over time. Technology helped teams steal signs and get ahead in the game. It’s not just a Red Sox or an Astros problem, it’s a Major League Baseball problem. Now with this report out, only time will tell what will happen going forward. The Red Sox will know their fate soon enough.

With Alex Cora Out, Who Will Be the Next Manager of the Red Sox?

With Cora out, and spring training around the corner, the big question is, who will be the next manager of the Red Sox? Many names have been floating around, from Jason Varitek, to Buck Showalter. For Chaim Bloom, this is going to be a tough decision, and one that everyone is going to be watching.

One name that keeps popping up is Ron Roenicke. For the past two seasons, he has been the Red Sox bench coach, and has experience managing a ballclub. Prior to Boston, he was a coach for the Angels and Dodgers. He was also the manager for the Milwaukee Brewers from 2011 to 2015. Roenicke has a record of 342 wins and 331 losses in 673 managerial games.