After a four-month delay, pandemic play during the 2020 MLB regular season will be a whole new ball game. Outside the park, there are still lots of ways to take it all in.
DETROIT, MI — The Detroit Tigers’ opening day is almost here, Michiganders, four months after Major League Baseball regular season typically begins each year. Despite the delay — and despite the fact that no fans will sit in the stands this year — ’Ganders young and old and near and far are excited to see their home team back in action.
We’ve got a guide to all the ways you can take in the Tigers’ season opener against the Cincinnati Reds this year, as well as the rest of the 60 games of the Tigers’ 2020 season.
A Slow Start to the 2020 Season
Baseball fans across the country were thrown a curve when Major League Baseball (MLB) announced March 16 that the start of the 2020 regular season would be pushed to an unknown date following recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
At the time, commissioner Rob Manfred reiterated to fans that the league was taking a wait-and-see approach with regard to the regular-season schedule, according to a report from MLB.com.
That’s why both fans and MLB were thrilled when Manfred officially announced a return to play through a June 23 press release, which confirmed players’ ability to report for training July 1 and the start of the 2020 regular season July 23 or 24 for teams.
“MLB is working with a variety of public health experts, infectious disease specialists and technology providers on a comprehensive approach that aims to facilitate a safe return,” the press release said.
New Rules for Pandemic Play
Strict COVID-19 testing rules are in place for the upcoming season. Players, coaches, and support staff will be tested for COVID-19 every other day during training camps, the regular season, and postseason. Anybody testing positive will be quarantined. Two negative tests are reportedly required for a return. Players will also receive temperature/symptom checks at least twice per day, and antibody testing will be conducted approximately once per month.
That’s far from the only new health and safety protocols MLB has instituted, though. It’s a whole different ballgame during the coronavirus pandemic.
Some of the noteworthy new rules in place for the MLB 2020 season include:
- Suspended games: If weather forces a game to be cut short before it is official, it will be continued at a later date rather than started from scratch.
- Unsportsmanlike conduct: Players and managers will be expected to maintain physical distance from all umpires and opposing players on the playing field whenever possible. Players or managers who leave their position to argue with umpires, come within six feet of an umpire or opposing player or manager for the purpose of argument, or engage in an altercation on the field will be subject to immediate ejection and discipline, including a fine and a suspension.
- Wet rag: Pitchers will be permitted to carry a small wet rag in their back pocket to be used for moisture in lieu of licking their fingers.
But Tigers fans are already familiar with one of the biggest changes to the game this year in Michigan: Gov. Whitmer signed an executive order June 25 that set guidelines for the return of professional sports to the state without a live audience, “for the time being.”
While fans won’t be congregating in Comerica Park this year, they’ll still be glued to each game on TV, the radio, and through some unexpected socially distant avenues this baseball season.
Here’s how to watch and listen to the Tigers beat the Reds during their season opener this Friday, and how to catch the remainder of the 60 games that’ll carry them through September:
Detroit’s opener in Cincinnati on Friday will air on the MLB Network starting at 6 p.m. Most games, however, will air on Fox Sports Detroit. Find what channel FSD airs on your cable or satellite service:
DIRECTV 664 / 664-1 (HD)
DISH NETWORK 444-453 or 473-478 for both SD and HD
ACE COMMUNICATIONS 56
ACR AUBURN HILLS 64
AT&T U-VERSE 738 / 1738 (HD)
BLANCHARD CABLE 46
BOARDMAN RIVER COMM. 51
BRIGHT HOUSE NETWORKS 86 / 286 (HD)
BUCKEYE CABLEVISION 110/653 HD
CABLE AMERICA 48, 49, 65 or 96 (varies by community)
CEBRIDGE / CEQUEL 38, 46, 52 or 61 (channel varies by location)
CHARTER 88 / 762 (HD) in most areas; 57 in Grayling/Roscommon/Higgins Lake
CITY OF CRYSTAL FALLS 37
CITY OF NEGAUNEE 51
CITY OF NORWAY 65
COLDWATER CATV 95
COMCAST 901 / 707 (HD) in most areas, 103 / 252 (HD) in Niles, Cass/Dowagiac, Watervliet, Benton Harbor & St. Joseph
CRYSTAL CABLE TV 13
D&P CABLE 210
IRON RIVER CO-OP TV 57
LEWISTON COMMUNICATIONS 61 / 14.2 (HD)
MICHIGAN CABLE PARTNERS 16 or 42
NOVA CABLE 18
PACKERLAND DAGGETT 62
PARISH COMMUNICATIONS 24, 26, 97 or 98
SOUTHWEST MI COMMUNICATIONS 56
SUMMIT DIGITAL HOLDINGS 29
TOWN & COUNTRY 67 or 70
TVC 95 / 348 (HD)
VOGTMANN ENGINEERING 110 / 87 (HD)
WOW! METRO DETROIT 195 / 221 (HD)
WOW! LANSING AREA 138
fuboTV, which offers a 7-day free trial
Tigers games are available on regional stations. Please note stations are subject to change.
Detroit WXYT 97.1 FM
Alma WQBX 104.9 FM
Alpena WRGZ 96.7 FM
Angola, IN WLKI 92.7 FM
Ann Arbor WTKA 1050 AM
Archbold, OH WMTR 96.1 FM
Battle Creek WFAT 102.7 FM 930 AM
Big Rapids WBRN 95.1 FM 107.7 FM 1460 AM
Cadillac/Harrietta WKAD 93.7 FM
Caro WKYO 1360 AM
Cheboygan WCBY 100.7 FM 1240 AM
Clare WMRX 97.7 FM
Escanaba WDBC 680 AM
Frankfort WCCW 107.5 FM (Only games after 6pm ET)
Gladwin WMRX 97.7 FM
Grand Haven WGHN 1370 AM
Grand Rapids WOOD 1300 AM (Weekday games after 3pm ET, All weekend games)
Grand Rapids WMAX 96.1 FM (Weekday games before 3pm ET)
Grayling WGRY 101.1 FM
Harrison WMRX 97.7 FM
Hillsdale WCSR 92.1 FM
Holland WHTC 99.7 FM
Holland WHTC 1450 AM
Houghton WCCY 99.3 FM 1400 AM
Jackson W270CJ 101.9 FM WKHM HD 2
Kalamazoo WKZO 590 AM
Lansing WJIM 1240 AM
Ludington WLDN 98.7 FM
Manistee WMLQ 97.7 FM
Marine City WHLX 1590 AM
Mt. Pleasant WQBX 104.9 FM
Muskegon WOOD 106.9 FM (Weekday games after 3pm ET, All weekend games)
Muskegon WMAX 96.1 FM (Weekday games before 3pm ET)
Muskegon WKBZ 1090 AM (Weekday games before 3pm ET)
Newberry WNBY 1450 AM
Oscoda WWTH 100.7 FM
Petoskey WMBN 104.7 FM 1340 AM
Port Huron WPHM 1380 AM
Rogers City WRGZ 96.7 FM
Saginaw WSGW 790 AM
St. Ignace WCHY 100.7 FM
St. Joseph WSJM 1400 AM
St. Joseph WSJM 95.7 FM
Sandusky WTGV 97.7 FM
Sault Ste. Marie WSOO 1230 AM
South Haven WCSY 103.7 FM
Sturgis WBET 1230 AM
Toledo, OH WMTR 96.1 FM
Traverse City WCCW 107.5 FM (Only games after 6 p.m. ET)
Traverse City WCCW 1310 AM
Some groups of Tigers fans are finding safe, socially distant ways to get together and celebrate the season opener. If you can make it out to Lake Orion Friday, Canterbury Village is showing the game on the big screen at the Canterbury Drive-In. 200 cars will be admitted for free to the event, which will include BBQ, a taco stand, Germack’s Tiger Peanuts, ice cream and treats, and a 14′ 32′ large LED wall that will be raised up for all cars to see. Check out details of the event on Facebook, and get your free tickets here.