Today was supposed to have been Opening Day for Major League Baseball.
It was to have been the day many of us have waited several months and all winter for, to finally catch some games that were going to count in the standings.
And there were going to be some intriguing storylines entering this particular Opening Day.
In Cincinnati, where Opening Day is tradition because it was where the first professional baseball club was formed (the Cincinnati Red Stockings in 1869), they were going to have their annual Opening Day parade through downtown Cincinnati and fans would have been flocking to Great American Ball Park to see a team considered in some circles as a favorite to win the National League Central.
In Washington, they were going to raise a flag in the outfield during a pregame ceremony, symbolizing the Nationals as the defending World Series champs.
In Houston, they were just wanting to finally play baseball after a cheating scandal that pretty much dominated the headlines all off-season. The scandal led to the firing of the Astros' manager; not to mention the resignations of the managers for both the Red Sox and the Mets, both of whom had ties with the Astros during the scandal's height.
In Anaheim, maybe the greatest player ever to never win a postseason game, Mike Trout, now embarks on a journey with a new manager, Joe Maddon, who knows something about playing, and winning, in the postseason.
Up in the Bronx, high hopes were going to be abound over the prospect of the Yankees maybe winning it all this year. But then again, when was the last time those expectations never took place before a season up there?
On the North Side of Chicago, the Cubs were beginning anew without the aforementioned Maddon in the dugout. And on the South Side, the White Sox were getting plenty of buzz about being a possible sleeper team in not only the division but the entire American League.
In Los Angeles, was this the year that the Dodgers were finally going to put it all together after so many times coming up short in recent seasons?
In Arlington, Texas, there was excitement over the opening of a brand-new retractable-roof ballpark that was finally going to give fans there a chance to experience something rare come July and August: Air conditioning.
Up in Kansas City, there was hope the Royals could take a cue from their next-door neighbors over at Arrowhead Stadium and put together their own championship-caliber ballclub. Then across I-70 over into St. Louis, there would have been the usual excitement over the local nine in a place where sometimes just making the playoffs isn't quite good enough.
In Atlanta, it meant another season to watch one of the up-and-coming teams in the bigs, and maybe have better playoff success this time out.
Over in San Francisco, this would have marked the first time in ages that Bruce Bochy wasn't going to come out of the dugout with a lineup card ready to bring over to the umpires before the game. The Giants' new manager, Gabe Kapler, had been in the same role at Philadelphia, where former Yankee skipper Joe Girardi was now going to make his much-awaited return to lead a club.
Then in places like Detroit, Baltimore, Seattle, Miami and Pittsburgh, a chance to just forget about last season.
That, of course, is one of the great things about Opening Day. Everybody is 0-0 and every team believes that this will be the year to win it all.
But alas, Opening Day isn't going to take place today. Or tomorrow. Or next week. Or maybe next month. Or even not at all this year.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, it's going to be a while before we start baseball season.
It's been part of the drastic changes that have taken place in the span of a couple of weeks that we've all been subjected to, this vastly different lifestyle.
Forget about the ballparks being closed, places like restaurants and schools have also shut down.
So who knows when Opening Day this year will take place, if at all.
I know this, though: With the weather finally turning warmer, today would have been a great day to catch a game or two.
But this year, in this unique time we are in, we continue to patiently wait for Opening Day. And eagerly awaiting its return, whenever that may finally take place.