In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, Major League Baseball has shut down all of its operations, canceling spring training and delaying opening day indefinitely. This is necessary, of course, but still a heartbreaker for diehard baseball fans everywhere. It may be even more heartbreaking, however, for the players who no longer get to partake in the game they love.
The news is not all bad, though. Some major league players realize the predicament that minor league players are in and are helping out. Shin Soo Choo, a professional player with many seasons’ worth of experience and pay, has pledged to donate $190,000 to minor leaguers who are not getting paid enough, according to SB Nation. According to the same article, St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright also donated $250,000 to minor league players in need.
While these are valuable efforts by major league players to help others during a trying time in America, players still must wait to take the field again in an effort to stay safe during the outbreak.
As for when baseball will continue, it will likely be months from now, much like everything else that has been delayed as a result of the virus. This is an extremely difficult time for everyone, undoubtedly, but it is still harder for there to be no baseball to help fans through. So, even in the face of quarantine, the question must be asked: what is there for a baseball fan to do during these long days without the national pastime to keep us company?
Well, MLB is doing a fantastic job of trying to fill the void for baseball-starved fans like us. Here’s a list of everything you can watch and do to try and sate that craving for the beautiful game during your time at home:
Full-Length Broadcast Games on MLB.com
MLB knows you miss baseball. They seem to miss it too because they’re compensating quite well for the delay of opening day by putting every single game from the past two seasons, including the postseason ones, on MLB.com for free streaming. Did your team have a crazy, memorable night within the past couple of seasons? Thanks to MLB, you can relive that. These are also great games to just throw on in the background if there’s work you have to do, making for excellent background noise if you’re working or learning from home.
Livestreams of Iconic Games and Events on YouTube
MLB is also live-streaming some fantastic baseball moments from recent years on its YouTube channel on a regular basis now. One of their most recent streams consisted of a replay of 2019’s exhilarating Home Run Derby contest, which consisted of one of the most exciting slugfests of all time between Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Joc Pederson. These live streams can not only let fans relive experiences, but also provide the bonus of live chat rooms with other baseball fans. These are especially fun if you just miss talking baseball with friends, as the YouTube chats during the streams are very active and fun to mess around with.
Follow MLB Social Media
MLB’s social media teams on Twitter, Instagram, etc. have been pulling their weight as well during the quarantine and lack of baseball. Trivia, new articles, votes for all-time teams, unique player facts, player interviews and much more are being posted regularly by the folks in charge of the league, and just scrolling through their Instagram or Twitter pages can lead to some great fun. Plus, sometimes they’re even giving away free baseball stuff as they did on Instagram with a giveaway of a few copies of the MLB The Show 20 video game. They’ve even held a tournament for MLB The Show between actual MLB players during the break that was endorsed by MLB and chronicled on MLB.com.
If you are truly insatiable and these resources still don’t fulfill your desire for baseball, then so be it. Perhaps YouTube can provide the entertainment you’re missing. After all, in the face of baseball-lacking quarantine, one is left to their own devices. Here are some fantastic YouTube channels for baseball fans that provide amazing baseball content.
This channel is arguably the king of all baseball content on YouTube, creating incredible analysis videos that focus on statistics and player values and tell amazing stories about baseball history along the way. A particularly fun video by them is the entry telling the story of why 24 players were drafted by now MLB superstar Mike Trout.
Jon Bois/The History of the Seattle Mariners
SB Nation’s Jon Bois has always been an incredible sportswriter and content creator, and his YouTube content has been no exception, especially his baseball videos. While there are many in his archive to provide entertainment during the break, Bois and fellow sportswriter Alex Rubenstein have an ongoing series titled The History of the Seattle Mariners that is not just exciting for baseball fans, but really for anyone due to its fantastic storytelling and weird anecdotes. This is a full-scale documentary series that is definitely not to be missed by any baseball fan.
Made The Cut Baseball
Don’t want all this fancy documentary stuff? Just want to watch straight-up highlights of awesome plays and memorable moments? Made The Cut is exactly the channel for that, providing numerous compilations of basically any type of baseball play you can think of, ranging from amazing outfield throws to moonshot home runs. This channel is great if you simply want to have your jaw drop at the athleticism required to be a pro baseball player.
Micah Johnston ‘22 is a journalism and media studies double major who has written for The Cluster since his freshman year at Mercer. He has written on and reported for Georgia Public Broadcasting, The Macon Telegraph and The Macon Newsroom on a variety of topics. He received the Center for Collaborative Journalism’s Junior Honors Award for the 2020-2021 academic year. Micah’s other interests include obsessively following Braves and Mariners baseball, constantly listening to all kinds of music and probably eating junk food.