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Here's how to watch classic Nationals, Orioles games through MLB's social platforms

Here's how to watch classic Nationals, Orioles games through MLB's social platforms

It's a tough time being a sports fan these days. The lack of live events has brought many fans to turn to past, classic games for entertainment while stuck inside.

Sports leagues have done the same, and Major League Baseball is the latest to look to the past. MLB will be streaming classic games on its social media pages as a part of its #MLBAtHome offerings for fans. Teams who are playing in the featured games will also have a live stream on their websites.

Per MLB, the weekly schedule of games will have themed days, including dominant pitching performances, postseason classics, unlikely comebacks and more.

The games can be streamed on MLB's Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages.

Local fans will want to tune in this week, as both the Nationals and Orioles are featured prominently.

Here's how to watch those games, and why each was chosen by Major League Baseball.

Orioles vs. Yankees

Date: Wednesday, April 1
Time: 7 p.m.
Original game: September 25, 2014

It's easy to understand why Major League Baseball chose Derek Jeter's final home game. The most popular player of his generation, Jeter managed to walk it off against the Orioles with a slap hit the opposite way - a fitting finish for a Hall of Fame career.

Orioles fans may not enjoy watching the loss, but it will still be fun to remember the magical 2014 season, in which the Orioles ran away with the AL East to win their first division title of the century.

Nationals vs. Cubs

Date: Friday, April 3
Time: 7 p.m.
Original game: August 12, 2018

This was a tough one for the Nationals, as David Bote walked it off for the Cubs to take down Washington. What made it interesting, and worth airing for MLB, was how it happened.

When you're a kid playing in your backyard, the situation is always the same - bottom of the 9th, two outs, bases loaded. It rarely happens in the big leagues, however.

But on August 12, 2018, rookie David Bote came to the plate as a pinch hitter in just that scenario. The game ended the way every backyard scenario does too - with a walk-off grand slam to win it all.

Orioles vs. Blue Jays

Date: Saturday, April 4
Time: 7 p.m.
Original game: October 4, 2016

This was a crushing game to watch as an O's fan. The 2016 American League Wild Card game ended with an 11th inning walk-off three-run homer by Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion, with all-world closer Zach Britton staring in from the Orioles bullpen.

Hey, at least it's a chance to watch the Orioles' most recent postseason game. Hopefully next time MLB will pick an Orioles win to air.

Nationals vs. Brewers

Date: Sunday, April 5
Time: 7 p.m.
Original game: October 1, 2019

Finally a win for local fans to enjoy! This is one of the iconic games from the Nationals' historic postseason run. Kicking it off with extra drama, they trailed much of the game.

Then, Juan Soto happened.

The Nats' young superstar drove a ball to right field, the Nationals won the 2019 NL Wild Card game, and the rest was history.

See where the postseason all began by tuning in Sunday night.

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If teams start 19-31 like the Nationals, it really is over in a 50-game season

If teams start 19-31 like the Nationals, it really is over in a 50-game season

To put 50 games in context, just flashback to last season. It’s easy enough. Say it: 19-31. If the Nationals could, they would trademark those numbers together.

Fifty games is a flash. Almost a death knell to the eventual 2019 World Series champions. That’s a season over in late May. Think of it this way: Teams play around 30 games in a normal spring training alone.

The owners have pushed this number into the public with their non-counter-counter to the players’ suggestion of 114 games. Commissioner Rob Manfred is trying to use the March agreement between players and owners as a cudgel. Players are refusing to take a further pay cut on top of the one already negotiated. Manfred in turn is saying, “Fine. Then we will schedule the amount of games that are in line with what you are being paid.”

In play now is the 48-game season, according to ESPN. A smidge under 50. A full blitz that would be looked back at as a farce if it’s attempted to be played in the regular way. Playing half a season in the traditional manner is probably the minimum for any legitimacy. Even then, 2020 will be awash in caveats.

The Nationals’ 2020 recovery came against restrictive odds. The manager was supposed to be fired. Some suggested trading the best players, and to do it sooner than later. Season simulations said the Nationals were done. Or as close to it as possible.

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A 50- or 48-game season would cook anyone who has a bad two weeks. Lose a frontline starter? It’s over. Have your shortstop and leadoff hitter hit on the finger by a pitch and miss three weeks? It’s over. Half a season feels like a baseball sprint. Fifty games or less defines the league’s desperation to put some pennies back in its pocket in 2020.

There is one fun idea around a 50-game season. It was hatched at Fangraphs. The premise is one big 50-game tournament. Not the usual three-game series in this town, and four-game series in that city.
Fangraphs makes the on-point mathematical argument that 50 games determines next to nothing when comparing the best in the league to the mediocre. It’s just games for the sake of games.

Since baseball is trying to wade through extraordinary times, why not attempt something extraordinary, such as the tournament?

The model used at Fangraphs included 32 teams, all 30 major-league clubs plus two futures teams, one from each league. Let’s use that premise.

Stage the whole thing in the Texas Rangers’ new park -- Texas is already saying it will allow fans. Have a loser’s bracket. Make the final a five-game series. Pay the players what was already negotiated. Pin more money to the outcome. Run it from early July to the end of September. That way, you still play through much of the summer but duck under a possible fall coronavirus spike the owners are so wary of.

No caveats about if the season was long enough for an authentic champion. This is a complete outlier. The tournament year. Players wore microphones. Some kid from Double-A struck out Bryce Harper in a big at-bat. No leagues. Everyone in the same pot. Have some fun amid an historically troubling time.

What’s not working is the public whining from both sides. The inability to make a deal. The lack of common ground. Both groups are working toward one idea: loss mitigation. A 50-game season does little of that and carries even less validity. Just ask a team that opened last year 19-31.

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

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MLB return: Union fires back at owners in latest statement, reject additional concessions

MLB return: Union fires back at owners in latest statement, reject additional concessions

The latest whack of the negotiation tether ball came Thursday night when Tony Clark, the executive director of the MLBPA, issued a statement of discontent.

“In this time of unprecedented suffering at home and abroad, Players want nothing more than to get back to work and provide baseball fans with the game we all love. But we cannot do this alone,” it began.

Clark went on to cite the league’s most recent suggestion of a “dramatically shortened” season “unless Players negotiate salary concessions.” The league suggested a 50-game season would be reasonable for the amount of money players agreed to in salary following a late-March negotiation.

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The statement went on to refer to the league’s stance as a “threat,” as opposed to the players' proposal, which in Clark’s view, was designed to move the negotiations forward. He rattled off the various items in the union’s proposal, which was framed around a 114-game season: more games, two years of expanded playoffs, salary deferrals and the exploration of additional “jewel events” (All-Star Game, etc.).

Clark said a conference call with the MLBPA’s eight-person executive board, which includes Max Scherzer, and several other player leaders concluded “the league’s demand for additional concessions was resoundingly rejected.”

Clark went on to say the players are ready to compete and get back on the field.

The union’s reaction to MLB’s non-reaction is not a surprise. Players are adamant they are not taking further salary cuts. The league solidly believes salaries should -- and need to be -- negotiated if there is to be some form of 2020 season. Everyone continues to wait for a solution.

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

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