MLB made a mess of getting the 2020 season started, but league officials deserve credit for scheduling the Yankees and Nationals on Opening Day.
Baseball fans deserve to see MLB make some good decisions after botching the restart of the 2020 campaign. Fortunately, the Opening Day match-up between the Yankees and Nationals is the perfect way to get the league started back again.
Per the New York Post, the league currently intends to feature the game between the defending World Series champions and the league’s most storied franchise in primetime on July 23. The interest for that game, in particular, should be off the charts given its scintillating pitching match-up.
The Yankees figure to trot out Gerrit Cole to begin their quest to end their current World Series drought. The organization gave the former Astros’ star a mammoth nine-year, $324 million deal this offseason to win high-pressure games against high-quality opponents.
The Nationals will confidently trust their own ace to start their season with a win. Max Scherzer last faced off against Cole in the opening game of the 2019 World Series. He isn’t the sort of competitor who’s going to back down against the Yankees or their big-money signing.
The real question MLB must answer is whether or not they can keep their current plans on the tracks long enough to make this dream match-up happen. The first order of business for the league is to get Spring Training up and running. Simply put, the league has a lot of hurdles to overcome between now and July 23rd to allow Opening Day to happen on schedule.
At the very least, the decision to put the Yankees against the Nationals on Opening Day is a sign that league officials are trying to win fan backs as quickly as possible. MLB’s protracted negotiations with the Players Association may have turned some fans off from the sport altogether, but droves of fans will come back to watch the spectacle of Cole versus Scherzer on Opening Day.