I must begin by clarifying that arguing the politics of the situation is not the intent of this article. Quarantines and social distancing will help stop the spread of the virus. That’s just how it is. However, that doesn’t make the difficulties brought on any less challenging. As more restrictions or shutdowns are put in place our lives are forced to change, seemingly every day. Even before the virus inserted itself into our lives, everyone already faced their own daily challenges. Everyone already had to find solutions, ways to cope, or sometimes just a distraction. Many people, in difficult times, turn to sports for a distraction. Not only is this virus forcing people to change their daily lives, it’s postponing these distractions in a form of entertainment relied upon by many.
More Than a Game
For me, opening day is much more than just the beginning of the baseball season. I know I can always look forward to it all offseason to help get me past my gloomiest days of the year. It’s proof that the world around me is waking up from winter. Proof that my favorite pastime and distraction from the stresses of normal life is back. With those reasons in mind, I was looking forward to the 2020 MLB season, since the 2019 season ended. When the recommendations to self-quarantine came I thought, “at least I’ll have baseball to entertain me through this.”
Then the MLB announced that opening day would be delayed for an undetermined amount of time. Even with less expectations of results for the season, as a Mariners fan, it would be beyond an understatement to say I felt disappointed. Now uncertain of how I would spend the suddenly free time in spring, normally allocated baseball, I realized I still need my baseball fix. Then I soon realized I wasn’t the only one.
It’s now apparent more than ever how much this team means to some, and sport to many more. In the midst of a season delay, fans find themselves needing a new way to connect with the sport. In this time of need, it was a familiar face that would save the day. Providing this needed connection for Seattle’s fans was the Mariners’ very own analyst and former pitcher Ryan Rowland-Smith. Ryan stepped up to share his time in a unique way to engage with his fans.
Ryan created the Facebook group “Mariners quarantined community”, soon after the delay was announced. This group serves as an incredible way for him to interact with fans, and make a difference within the community. One of many which is yearning for it’s typical beginning to springtime. Ryan’s sincere intent to interact with the group created a genuine connection with the fans. This also created a unique way for fans to hear from a familiar face of the team. As well as get an inside perspective on current events and even prior happenings of the team. He has shared his on-field perspective of multiple bench-clearing brawls, the personal thought process on how handedness would affect his approach, and much more within his live streams to the page. As a lifelong fan of the game, I have learned things through Ryan’s new page I wouldn’t have been able to anywhere else.
For that reason, I thank him for sharing his time and insight. I also urge any baseball fan needing an opening day to arrive as soon as possible, to join the Mariners Quarantined Community and wait out the virus.
Also, be sure to check out the Overtime Heroics Forums page to join in on the discussion!
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