KEY POINTS

  • Baseball fans can only ponder what might have been
  • Los Angeles Is hardball heaven
  • Weaker squads assisted by suspension

Thursday was supposed to be Major League Baseball's Opening Day for 2020. Here’s are some dramatic face-offs fans were especially looking forward to.

The Minnesota Twins were to visit Oakland in a game pairing a couple of 2019 playoff contenders. The A's, who won 97 games, lost the play-in game to Tampa, 5-1. The New York Yankees beat the Twins 3-0 in the AL Division Series.

Mike Fiers, the player who went on the record about the sign-stealing scandal, opened for Oakland last year and was expected to start this season. Minnesota was forecast to counter with All-Star hurler Jose Berrios.

New acquisition Josh Donaldson was purported to power an already strong Twins' offense with Jorge Polanco, Miguel Sano and Nelson Cruz. The A's could have countered with Matt Chapman, Marcus Semien and Matt Olsen.

Angeles fans wanted to see what a $245 million third baseman looks like and how Anthony "Tony Two-Bags" Rendon, Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani worked together in a batting line-up. Their season was supposed to open in Houston with Andrew Heaney throwing at the still loaded Astros.

Maybe fans will simmer down and forget about the sign-stealing scandal by the time play resumes. Maybe America will be back at work and churches full by Easter like the president said.

The New York Mets were scheduled to host the Washington Nationals. Washington still has openings at second and third base and a questionable lineup following the loss of Rendon. The Mets pitching staff was healthy and had Yeoenis Cespedes ready to play. One of these teams had to get off to a fast start to challenge the Atlanta Braves out of the gate.

The Baltimore Orioles were scheduled to host the Yankees. Chris Davis was slugging again in the exhibition season with a .467 batting average, 1.682 on-base percentage + slugging and three home runs in seven hits. He walked three times as often as he struck out.

Davis hit .168 and .179 in 2018 and 2019. He combined for 28 home runs in those seasons. He managed only 80 base on balls those years but struck out 331 times. If Davis provided some offense, the Birds had a chance to take the three-game set.

The Yankees are helped more than most teams by the delay. New York has a pair of starting pitchers Luis Severino and James Paxton, and two starting outfielders, Arron Hicks and Arron Judge, injured.