Beginning with a matchup between the defending champion Washington Nationals and the New York Yankees, this years shortened Major League Baseball season will be like no other. Because of safety measures in place due to COVID-19, fans will not be in attendance at the ballparks to cheer their team on. The atmosphere that all baseball fans have grown accustomed to will not exist, for the foreseeable future. Whether it’s a Monday Night Baseball game between rivals Yankees and Red Sox or a game seven playoff game, fans are extremely important.
Sadly, fans won’t be able to react to clutch, game tying homers (and the fake crowd noises won’t be able to make up for that). There will not be any boos rained down towards opponents or umpires. Even your favorite television broadcasters won’t be traveling to away games, and instead you will receive the feed from the home team.
With the roar of the crowd gone, home field advantage won’t mean as much anymore. For example, Yankees Stadium is packed pretty much every day of the week, meanwhile the Rays have trouble filling 15,000 seats. While the ballparks themselves will still give some advantage, it is nowhere near the same as being an opponent at Dodger or Yankee Stadium under the bright lights.
And then there’s the Astros.
What quite possibly could be the most hated team in America right now. If you were one of the fans that said the Astros would get lucked out by COVI-19 well, you were right. The players that cheated will have up to a year until they have to face the rough and angry crowds of all teams. Even during Spring Training back in March, fans were letting the Astros know how sorry they should feel. Now, it seems what they’ve done has been forgotten. Imagine what they would’ve faced in the regular season and hopefully they get what they deserve soon enough.
While there are many other consequences of no fans, such as revenue loss, none of them compare to the fact that baseball will not be the same. The crowds and the electric atmosphere they create make baseball what it is. Hopefully things are back to normal by the 2021 season, but right now, fans will take what they can get.
It’s been too long since we’ve had sports.