Last week, Bob Nightengale reported that MLB was optimistic about getting the season started in late June or July. The NBA owns Christmas, the NFL owns Thanksgiving, and this is the chance for MLB to own the 4th.
While the MLB plays on 4th of July every year, this would be different. During normal times, many people are at the beach, at BBQs, or doing something else outside. However due to Covid-19, even if the country opens back up, there will still be people who will prefer to stay inside.
This is an absolute golden opportunity for MLB to make a monster splash.
With the entire country pining for sports, MLB can come back with an absolute bang. Here’s how it should go in the Eastern Division:
Friday, July 4
11 AM Eastern- Mets @ Nationals
1 PM Eastern- Red Sox @ Yankees
4 PM Eastern- Marlins @ Orioles
7 PM Eastern- Pirates @ Phillies
7 PM Eastern- Blue Jays @ Rays
The Nationals always play home games at 11 am on the 4th, so that was easy. What better way to kick off the season than Jacob DeGrom vs. Max Scherzer in the nation’s capital?
The Yankees always play their home opener at 1 PM, and this won’t be any different. I thought about a subway series or a match-up with Washington, but in the end I went with the oldest and fiercest rivalry in the sport. Having the Yankees start out at night just wouldn’t feel right.
Neither of these teams will be competitive, but I wanted to have the Orioles start the season at home in Camden Yards as opposed to Miami. Obviously this isn’t an exciting match-up, but the goal is for baseball to be on all day.
The Pirates and Phillies have a longstanding PA rivalry, and the Phillies should start the season at home where the Declaration of Independence was signed. Philly may not be a huge baseball town, but they know how to throw a party.
With everything up in the air in Canada, I decided to have the Rays and Blue Jays face off at the Trop. Despite the smaller fan bases, both of these teams have a lot of young talent, and die hard baseball fans will certainly tune in.
The idea here is that with the central and west divisions playing later into the evening, we would essentially get 14 straight hours of baseball! Additionally, MLB can add a charity component to this as well. Advertise this as a baseball marathon, and have former players or celebrities doing telethon fundraising during commercials.
How would you structure a 4th of July Opening Day in the East?