MIAMI — The reality of the coronavirus hit home a little harder today as baseball fans across the country woefully remembered that today was supposed to be Opening Day for the 2020 MLB season. Instead of flocking to ballparks to watch their favorite teams smack a few dingers and eat a $13 18in. hot dog that no one would ever consider eating otherwise, fans took to Twitter to commiserate their Opening Day spent at home, appropriately hash-tagged #OpeningDayAtHome.
Everyone had a unique way of celebrating this unorthodox/unofficial christening of the 2020 season: some shared memories, some posted photos, while hundreds of others were forced into their backyards by their fathers to practice tee-work and learn to “HIT THE BALL TO THE FUCKIN’ OPPOSITE FIELD GOD DAMNIT!! IF THIS VIRUS DOESN’T KILL YOU, I WILL! OH, HERE WE GO. HEEEERE COME THE FLOODWORKS. MAYBE THAT’LL HELP, LORD KNOWS YOUR ABILITY TO PICK UP A CURVEBALL CAN’T GET ANY WORSE!! GO AHEAD, JUST GIVE UP AND GO WRITE IN THAT BLOG OF YOURS SOME MORE! HEY HONEY, THE BIG WANNA BE WRITER IS GONNA WRITE HIS WAY TO THE MAJOR LEAGUES I GUESS! GIVE ME A BREAK!”
…sorry I um, I got carried away there a little bit.
Anyway, not everyone was celebrating Opening Day in home-based quarantine-forced solitude. Scott Stapp, lead singer of the Grammy award-winning band Creed and creator of the timeless baseball classic, Marlins Will Soar, was scheduled to perform a set of original songs and sing the National Anthem before the start of the Miami Marlins game. Apparently, no one from the team notified Stapp that the game, and the entire season, had been postponed for eight weeks at minimum.
“I thought it was kind of weird when I had to hop the gate to get in,” said Stapp, “but there’s an old saying I learned back in my Creed days: ‘If you perform, they have to pay you.'”
Despite the fact that that is a.) not a saying and b.) not true, we pressed on with the interview. After all, was Stapp not deterred by the fact no fans were in attendance?
“Ah well, you see, towards the end of my run with Creed, we played a lot of shows in front of nobody. At the time, it really bummed us out. But then, we started thinking of them as ‘extended sound checks.’ Once we rebranded the fact that no one wanted to see us play anymore, it actually became quite soothing,” Stapp said, really bumming us out.
“Besides, have you ever been to a Marlins game? This is pretty much the average attendance regardless of what’s going on or how they’re doing. It’s funny, it’s kind of how my relationship with the team developed. In a weird way, we kind of bonded over that shared reception of indifference.”
We asked if Stapp planned on coming back to Marlins Stadium on the actual Opening Day, should the MLB be able to proceed with its plan of a shortened season starting in June.
“Coming back? Buddy, I’m not leaving. You seen what’s going on out there? Plus, I’m not ‘homeless,'” he said making air quotes, “but I definitely don’t have a house either.”
We reached out to the Marlins for comment, and to see if they planned on escorting Stapp out in the coming months before the season started. They replied: