BEAUMONT, Texas — It's was supposed to be one of the best days in the sporting world, Opening Day of Major League Baseball. Instead ballparks are empty while fans are still waiting on the return of America's pastime due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Former Major League pitcher Brian Sanches is among the fans eagerly awaiting the return of baseball.
"Yeah it really didn't hit me until now, because I've always had an opening day. Whether it's myself or my kids since I was four years old. We kind of don't know what to do. You're running out of chores to around the house. It's been an adjustment for all of us. We play a lot of pickup wiffle ball games in the backyard, and just mess around doing a lot of different drills. You know I've had an opening day since I was four-years-old so this is a little different for me."
When asked how he thinks players are adjusting to the season being pushed back, the Nederland graduate thought back to when he was still in the league.
"Yeah I was trying to put myself in their shoes and just the way I'm feeling. You play for so long, all those guys have that little internal clock that goes off in them, like it's go time right now. You know just like when you're in the offseason, you got that internal clock it's time to start working out, play catch. The spring training clock goes off and then those guys are probably getting the itch to compete. I can remember what that feeling was like and you know you get tired. Spring training is great, but you get tired of it and you get ready to break off to go to your city and start competing."
Representatives of MLB have said they are determined to play the season, even if that means playing multiple doublheaders in a week.
"I like the approach they're trying to do whatever it takes to get the season in, and to get as many game in as possible. The seven inning doubleheaders, that's actually what they do in the minor leagues. It helps as far as relievers and your starters it helps. To have doubleheaders, two nine innings multiple times a week, I'm not sure the schedule, what they're looking at as far as the doubleheaders. To me that's very taxing on your bullpen and day-to-day guys."
Another plan has the World Series ending in December possibly being played in neutral sites to avoid brutal weather in cold weather cities.
"I don't like that, cause to me it's not fair to the fans that has a team that's in it. But I also understand this year is just an exception to the rule and you're just doing the best you can with what you got at hand. Because I can't imagine having to play some playoff games in those cold cities in December. I know personally I wouldn't like that, it'd be rough. So I would say as a fan let's just bear with it, do what we can to get the season in. If we get a complete season in and it goes through Christmas, I mean that's great. We do whatever it takes this year and then next year hopefully everything works out, you can just stay normal."
Brian Sanches appeared in 195 MLB games over seven seasons with the Phillies, Nationals and Marlins. The 1999 second round pick of the Kansas City Royals finished his career with a (13-7) record and a 3.75 earned run average.