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(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

The New York Mets will now open the 2021 season against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on Monday night.

Major League Baseball has officially postponed the season-opening series between the New York Mets and Washington Nationals. Longtime MLB insider Jon Heyman was first with the unfortunate news.

Both teams were supposed to kick off their respective 2021 seasons on Thursday night as part of Opening Day. Unfortunately, Washington returned multiple positive COVID-19 tests among players and health comes first.

Jeff Passan of ESPN added that in light of the series’ cancellation, the Mets would now begin their season in Philadelphia on Monday night. Washington, meanwhile, will play the waiting game until they have an idea of how bad their outbreak is.


JB’s Take

This is not the story MLB wanted clouding Opening Day. All signs pointed to a full 162-game season with limited fan capacity in most places. It was supposed to be a much-needed return to normalcy after one of the worst years in human history.

Now, fans are treated to yet another MLB COVID outbreak sequel. First, the Miami Marlins nearly upended their season last year, and the St. Louis Cardinals soon followed. The Nationals’ outbreak, though not yet as big as Miami’s or St. Louis’s, still puts scrutiny on just how strictly teams are following health and safety protocols.

Remember, new health and safety protocols were established prior to spring training this year. Blatant violations could mean fines, suspensions, and even loss of game salaries for the players. The Washington Nationals had better hope contact tracing only shows bad luck as opposed to violating protocols because suspensions would obviously not be a good look for the team.

The New York Mets, on the other hand, can look forward to having a well-rested Jacob deGrom ready to go on Monday. Philadelphia is expected to send lefty Matt Moore to the mound, with the first pitch slated for 7:05 p.m. ET.

Josh Benjamin is a Bronx native who lives and breathes the New York Yankees despite being born into a family full of Mets fans. He is the MLB Editor at RealSport and considers himself a student of the game. When not writing, he can be found either at Yankee Stadium or deep in discussion with his fellow sports nuts.