March 26 was supposed to be one of the best days of the year. Maybe the best one on the entire sports calendar.
It was Opening Day, with capital letters. All 30 teams were scheduled to play, the way it’s supposed to be, instead of misguided staggered starts of years past that were designed to put eyeballs on one or two games on one of two particular networks.
But there will be no actual baseball played on March 26, as you know. It’s a shame, but it’s the right thing as the world deals with the coronavirus impact (seriously, people, stay home and wash your hands regularly).
All times are Eastern.
MLB Opening Day schedule 2020
There are no live games, but there’s plenty of baseball to watch. Lots and lots of baseball, actually. And that’s a good thing, with MLB leading the way to make the best of a bad situation.
Baseball fans, there is a plethora of games to be watched on Thursday (and, yes, we know what a plethora means.)
We’ll start here, with the league’s flagship network. MLB Network is showing what it deems to be four classic opening day games. I’ve never actually sat down and ranked Opening Day games, so I can’t say whether these are the four best or not, but the one that always comes to mind for me is in there, so that’s good.
1 p.m. — Yankees at Indians, 1996. Derek Jeter’s first Opening Day
4 p.m. — Giants at Dodgers, 2013. Peak Clayton Kershaw homers and tosses a shutout.
6 p.m. — Giants at Diamondbacks, 2017. MadBum vs. Greinke. Lots of fun
9 p.m. — Padres and Rockies, 2005. Peak Coors Field; no spoilers, but the losing team hit five home runs that day.
Midnight — Mets at Cubs, 1994. Tuffy Rhodes, who had five total career homers heading into the game, popped three — THREE — home runs off Dwight Gooden.
There are few things in sports better than a Game 7 with a championship on the line, and FS1 has a couple of doozies lined up.
7 p.m. — Cubs at Indians, 2016. You remember this one. Neither team had won a World Series title in generations, so of course this one went to extra innings.
10 p.m. — Yankees at Diamondbacks, 2001. Just an unforgettable series. Fitting, maybe, that in a classic with so many home runs, the winning run was chased home on a bloop single.
Baseball programming most of the day, including Tim Kurkjian’s new show. ESPN2 is broadcasting four classic Home Run Derbys starting at 6 p.m. ET — 2019, 2018, 2017 and 2015.
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The baseball gets started early here. Bacon and baseball, that’s one heck of a combination. There are games scheduled both for MLB’s primary YouTube channel and the MLB Vault YouTube channel.
8:30 a.m., MLB — Rockies at Brewers, 2018 NLDS G1. Drama! One team tied it with two runs in the ninth, and the other one won with a run in the 10th.
Noon, MLB — Angels at Yankees, May 26, 2018. A certain generational superstar turned in his first career 5-for-5 game, in a pretty well-known venue.
1 p.m., MLB Vault — Pirates at Reds, Opening Day 2019. Because baseball should always open in Cincinnati.
3 p.m., MLB — Nationals at Astros, 2019 World Series Game 7. You remember this one.
4 p.m., MLB Vault — Tigers at Orioles, 2014 ALDS Game 2. Because baseball was once good in Baltimore, a big comeback win for the O’s!
6:05 p.m., MLB — Cubs at Indians, 2016 World Series Game 7. In cases you don’t have FS1, apparently.
10:30 p.m., MLB — Giants at Royals, 2014 World Series Game 7. Tune in to see MadBum dominate and question whether they shoulda sent Alex Gordon (spoiler: they should not have).
Early start here, too, but an extra half-hour if you can’t get up for breakfast. Games on both MLB’s primary Facebook page and the Spanish-language Las Mayores.
9 a.m. — Brewers at Tigers, June 12, 2007. Justin Verlander tosses the first of his three (and counting?) career no-hitters.
9 a.m. LM — Royals at Indians, Sept. 14, 2017. No biggie. Just a walk-off win for Cleveland. The 22nd win in a row for that club.
11 a.m. — Rangers at Cardinals, 2011 World Series Game 6. Maybe the greatest non-clinching game in baseball history? Watch again and decide for yourself.
12:15 a.m., LM — Rangers at Blue Jays, 2015 ALDS Game 5. The Bat Flip. Enough said.
2:50 p.m. — Red Sox at Yankees, 2003 ALCS Game 7. When the current Yankees manager hit a walk-off home run to send his team to the World Series.
3:30 p.m., LM — Mariners at Rays, Aug. 15, 2012. King Felix was Mr. Perfect.
6 p.m. — Yankees at Red Sox, 2004 ALCS Game 4. Dave Damn Roberts.
6 p.m., LM — Marlins at Yankees, 2003 World Series Game 6. Young Josh Beckett dominated the vaunted Yankees with the title on the line.
10 p.m. — Yankees at Diamondbacks, 2001 World Series Game 7. Again, if you don’t have FS1, apparently.
10 p.m., LM — Yankees at Rangers, 2010 ALCS Game 6. The Rangers punched their first ticket to the World Series thanks to eight brilliant innings from Colby Lewis.
Same thing with Facebook here; a slate of games on MLB’s primary Twitter page and a slate of games on the Las Mayores Twitter page.
9 a.m. — Cubs at Phillies, Aug. 15, 2019. Mr. Contract, Bryce Harper, walked off this one with a grand slam.
8:30 a.m., LM — Reds at Pirates, 2013 NL Wild-Card. Francisco Liriano was outstanding, but Johnny Cueto dropped the ball in this one. Pirates win.
Noon — Blue Jays at Astros, Sept. 1, 2019. And here’s JV’s third career no-no.
11:15 a.m., LM — Tigers at Twins, Oct. 6, 2009. The Twins had won five in a row to force a tie-breaker, then won this one with a 12th-inning walk-off.
3 p.m. — Giants at Rockies, June 18, 2017. Nolan Arenado completed his cycle with a walk-off homer on Father’s Day. That’s all.
3:05 p.m., LM — Dodgers at Braves, 2018 NLDS Game 3. Ronald Acuña introduced himself to the postseason with grand slam that helped the Braves win.
6 p.m. — Mets at Dodgers, 2015 NLDS Game 5. Mets top Dodgers to advance to the NLCS.
6:05 p.m., LM — Royals at Mets, 2015 World Series Game 5. Poor Matt Harvey.
9 p.m. — Rockies at Dodgers, June 18, 2014. Peak Kershaw again: 15 strikeouts, no hits.
9:30 p.m., LM — Padres at Rockies, June 14, 2019. Pads scored 12 in a row to come back from an 11-4 deficit to win, 16-12.
Leaving no stone unturned, MLB’s Cut4 Twitter page is showing hardball goodness, too.
11 a.m. — Yankees at Rays, Sept. 28, 2011. Maybe the craziest regular-season day ever. This was the gem, the Rays coming back from a 7-0 deficit to win and clinch a playoff spot.
4 p.m. — Rays at White Sox, July 23, 2009. Mark Buehrle was brilliant, Dewayne Wise was the golden glove and Buehrle wrapped up his perfecto in a tidy 2 hours, 3 minutes.
6 p.m. — Royals at A’s, Sept. 4, 2002. You know the scene in “Moneyball,” when Chris Pratt homers to give the A’s their 20th consecutive win.
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