In the midst of further controversies surrounding delays in multiple MLB teams getting their COVID-19 test results in a timely manner, MLB decided to toss fans another distraction to discuss. Behold, the Mariners opening day opponent!
If there is a season, the Mariners are slated to open it at the Astros for a 6:10 PM PT start on Friday, July 24. pic.twitter.com/yaE3YnWWKU— John Trupin (@JohnTrupin) July 6, 2020
Opening in Houston, gee, thanks MLB, you really shouldn’t have.
On one hand, hey, everyone gets to be a Mariners fan for a day against the now universally-hated Houston Astros. Yeah, remember the whole cheating thing that came out during the offseason? Yeah, that was like in-between the last time we had live MLB baseball and now, not 8 years like it feels like. Not to downplay the massive tsunami of bullshit that has consumed all of the 2020 thus far, but we must constantly remember and consider that the Astros systematically cheated to steal signs, then lied about it, and then were lightly tickled as punishment. Fuck the Astros. Give ‘em hell, Mariners.
On the other hand (yeah I almost forgot you, other hand), pretty big bummer to open on the road in a city where COVID-19 numbers have spiked severely in the last few weeks against one of our least-favorite divisional rivals in a generally unpleasant stadium.
Anyways, here is the rest of the 2020 season schedule for the Mariners, should there be a season:
Mariners open the truncated 2020 on the road in Houston and Anaheim. Opening day is July 24 vs. the Astros at Minute Maid Park.— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) July 6, 2020
Home opener is Friday, July 31 vs. A'shttps://t.co/zoom94ruHG pic.twitter.com/79y76zMJcD
That’s (counts on fingers) four homestands. I don’t know what I was expecting, but that feels pretty light. Not that anyone should be going to the games in person, which somehow makes it feel...even worse. Huh.
I’m just going to get into some stray observations.
- Earlier start times for most games! As you’ll notice, almost all the weeknight 7:10 PM starts have been replaced with 6:10 PM and 6:40 PM starts. This is apparently a league-wide thing to try to get more kids watching the game so that when COVID-19 is done killing a massive portion of the sport’s prime demographic, there will still be some people alive who are into baseball.
- Starting the season off with series against the Astros, Angels, A’s, and then the Angels again is a good way to stoke any dormant fires of hatred you may have against the other AL West teams, I guess. Yeesh.
- In mid-August we get treated to a road trip to see the new Rangers stadium, back to Houston, and then to Dodger Stadium only to have the Dodgers follow the Mariners back to Seattle (insert 90’s joke about Californians moving to Seattle here). I mean, who knows what any of these rosters will really look like in mid-August, but that’s a 10-game streak that could easily net a big ol’ 0-10 for the Mariners. So, 2021 draft pick watchers, this 2020 schedule has your back.
- Of the non-divisional games, we do get some fun visits to all the NL West cities: San Francisco, Arizona, San Diego, and the aforementioned Los Angeles. This graphic makes the regional travel thing make quite a bit of sense, or rather it would make sense if the Texas teams were not in the god damn AL West:
Having 2/3rds of an already short season be against teams that we Mariners fans have nothing but familiar contempt for feels kinda punitive when it’s all laid out in navy and teal, as it were. But, bad baseball against teams we hate is still baseball, and if it happens, I’ll certainly be watching.