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May 21, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; A detailed view of Major League Baseball baseballs baring the signature of Robert Manfred Jr. before the game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Releases its 60-Game Schedule

For those itching to watch some baseball again, the wait won’t be much longer. Major League Baseball released its 60-game schedule Monday night with all the action kicking off July 23.

 

Notable Games, Dates

Opening Night will see the defending World Series-champion Washington Nationals begin their title defense against the New York Yankees. The match up could feature two of the best pitchers in the game going head-to-head in Max Scherzer and new Yankee Gerrit Cole.

Following this game, two longtime rivals face off when the Los Angeles Dodgers welcome the San Francisco Giants to town. Both games will be televised on ESPN with Yankees-Nationals set to begin at 7:08 p.m. ET and Giants-Dodgers at 10:08 p.m. ET.

These two games will be just the beginning of what is a two-day span jam-packed with baseball. In those two days, there will be a total of 29 games played across the league, including a special Opening Day for the Texas Rangers when they break in their new ballpark against the Colorado Rockies.

In terms of the schedule, of course, each team will play 60 games. Of those, 40 will be against divisional opponents, while the other 20 will be interleague matchups. Additionally, every squad but those playing on Opening Night will get six days off. Those other four teams get an added off-day.

There are also certain dates the MLB has circled on the schedule as well. On August 13, the Chicago White Sox will go up against the St. Louis Cardinals in what will be the league’s first-ever game in the state of Iowa. It’s all part of the MLB at Field of Dreams, where the two squads will play at a new ballpark in Dyersville that was built near the grounds of the film “Field of Dreams.” 

Other dates to point out include Jackie Robinson Day on August 28 and Roberto Clemente Day on September 9.

Concerns From the Players

While there is excitement surrounding the return of baseball, players are also expressing their concern given the recent spike in coronavirus cases. Since athletes began making the move back to team facilities last week, there has been a multitude of teams that have had players test positive for COVID-19.

Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman is one of the athletes who has contracted the virus, and now Freeman’s teammate, Nick Markakis, has made the decision to sit out the entire season.

Markakis said he loves the game of baseball, but not having fans in attendance was one of the ultimate reasons he made the choice to sit out and be with his family.

Markakis also went on to say that speaking with Freeman was tough, and it kind of opened his eyes to what was going on.

Will there continue to be more athletes who decide to go in the route of Markakis and a number of other players and forgo this season? That remains to be seen.

But one thing is for sure. The schedule is set, and baseball is back.

Sound used in this story is courtesy of ABC Newscall.

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