"Take me out to the balllllllll game..."
Okay, fine, it's on the couch. We'll bring our own peanuts and Cracker Jacks. We don't care because, as every new beer, snack food and sneaker commercial is giddily proclaiming, sports are finally back, baby! The NBA tipped off their restart from the Orlando bubble on Thursday and Major League Baseball is already a week-and-a-half deep into the truncated 60-game regular season.
Of course, the 2020 version of baseball is a whole new ball game, not quite the sun-drenched, beer-soaked stadium outings of yore. The piped-in generic cheering is admittedly a bit odd, pitchers have to be reminded not to lick their fingers between throws, and there's the worry that they're just one more COVID-19 diagnosis from full collapse.
But, for now, things are off and running, with athletes masking up and adhering to the new batch of rules outlined in a 101-page guide. The Miami Marlins are hopeful they've reeled in their current outbreak, postponing games and quarantining in place for the time being. And we're all adjusting to the 2020 way of playing ball.
Because the cardboard cutout fans are kinda entertaining as is seeing managers angrily hash it out with umpires while maintaining proper social distance. And who wasn't amused watching Cubs' first baseman Anthony Rizzo dutifully pass out hand sanitizer to his opponents?
Plus, there's plenty to root, root, root for off the field—with some of baseball's biggest players moonlighting as dedicated family men with their at-home squads. With romances that are truly in a league of their own, you could say these lucky athletes hit it out of the park.