Baseball Begins, Minus Fans; Other Notes of Note

Baseball season started last night. No one knows if and when it will finish.

Here are some of the takeaways from Opening Night:

- It was bizarre watching a game with no one in the stands except cardboard cutouts. A little noise was piped in, but not enough to make a difference.

- Players appeared to adhere to the “no spitting” rule, but there were a few high fives and fist bumps.

- The Yankees’ acquisition of Gerrit Cole is going to pay off big time. The Yankees beat Washington, 4-1, in a rain-shortened game highlighted by Cole’s dominant pitching performance, a monstrous home run by Giancarlo Stanton, and the ceremonial first pitch by Dr. Anthony Fauci.

- The Dodgers are loaded. They crushed the Giants 8-1. Seemingly every player in the Dodger lineup is a dangerous hitter. The Giants, meanwhile, have a bunch of no-names and minor leaguers. Other than pitcher Johnny Cueto, everyone struggled. Hunter Pence didn't get a ball past the pitchers' mound. The relief pitchers were awful.

- I'd say it's going to be a long season, but it's only 60 games. I think the Giants will be lucky to go 20-40.

- Giants players wore Black Lives Matter t-shirts during warmups. Players on both teams knelt before the national anthem and held a long black rope in a display of unity while a video on racial injustice was played. Several players remained kneeling during the anthem, along with Giants’ manager Gabe Kapler.

- Earlier, in Washington, D.C., Yankees and Nationals’ players knelt and held a similar demonstration before rising for the anthem.

- All of this, of course, enraged the president. One has to wonder if Trump is going to demand that MLB teams find a way to make their cardboard cutouts stand when the anthem is played.

Elsewhere:

“Redskins” Replacement: Washington’s NFL team, which has finally banished the Redskins’ name, announced that it will temporarily be known as the “Washington Football Team” until it can settle on a permanent moniker. That’s about as creative as all those soccer teams that go by “FC.”

More Stanford Bloat: Not content with 37 people in his athletic administration, Stanford Athletic Director Bernard Muir just posted a new job for an Associate Athletic Director, Communications and Digital Media, who will “manage a team of 14 full-time communications, public relations, content creation, and digital media professionals.”

Muir already has an Assistant Athletic Director for Communications and an Assistant Athletic Director for Digital Media, but apparently that wasn't enough.

Here’s a radical thought: Why not spend that money to keep the men’s and women’s fencing team? Or the rowing team? Or men’s volleyball?

Just askin’.

Vacation: The Inside Track will be on vacation next week. Our next post will come during the week of August 3.

Gary Cavalli - Bowl and League co-founder, author, speaker 

Gary Cavalli, the former Sports Information Director and Associate Athletic Director at Stanford University, was co-founder and executive director of the college football bowl game played in the Bay Area, and previously was co-founder and President of the American Basketball League.

Get in touch//@cavalli49//gacavalli49@gmail.com

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