This time last year, baseball fans in Southern California and across the county were lamenting the loss of Opening Day at its usual time at the start of April. Thanks to, you guessed it, the coronavirus pandemic, Major League Baseball was forced to push back its season start three months to July 23rd, about a week after when the league’s All-Star game is typically played, which cut the usual 162 game schedule to a meager 60 games that fans couldn’t even attend if they wanted. But a year later, we’re turning the corner on the pandemic as a nation, and as state and local health departments continue to ease restrictions, it means baseball fans will once again be able to gather in person at stadiums across the country to enjoy a baseball game on Opening Day today, albeit at diminished capacity. The Dodgers and Angels will see their stands 33 percent full after the state health department reclassified L.A. and Orange Counties to the orange tier under the state’s color-coded reopening blueprint. But that restriction may not last for long if things continue to move in the positive direction with regard to the pandemic. Yesterday, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said he hoped to see stadiums at capacity by this summer.
The Dodgers enter the season as defending World Series champions and odds-on favorites in Vegas to repeat, with their season win total projected to be around 102, depending on the sportsbook. And with the majority of their main lineup and bullpen returning, they’re well-positioned for back-to-back boats. They start the season on the road today against the Colorado Rockies. The Angels kick off their season at home tonight against the Chicago White Sox, and they enter the season looking to make some noise in a division that is far from a sure thing. And with some new toys in the lineup and bullpen for manager Joe Maddon to play with, plus at the time of writing this) a healthy Shohei Ohtani, fans are hopeful this could be the start of a new era for Halos baseball.
Wednesday night, as part of KPCC’s “I Can’t Believe It’s Not A Gala,” Larry Mantle, Nick Roman and A Martinez, a.k.a. The Triple Play got together for a small group of generous KPCC donors to talk a little baseball. Today on AirTalk, we’ll share a portion of that conversation with you as we get ready to kick off the 2021 MLB season.
There are still events to come in KPCC's "I Can't Believe It's Not A Gala" series! For more information, including how you can get tickets, click here.