I've been so starved for sports that watching Tiger - Peyton Manning vs. Phil Mickelson - Tom Brady was a big event. I had wondered if it would be exciting to see baseball back on TV and would I watch? After all, it's been months and people have found other things to do... Like me going back and watching all six seasons of Lost.

Well, let me be the first to say how exciting it has been to see baseball back! Here are some of the differences with baseball's return this season.

MATCH-UPS: Now because of regional scheduling we get to see some great match-ups that really make sense. Loved seeing AL Boston Red Sox play the NL NY Mets. In a few weeks the match-up I've been waiting from AL Detroit Tigers at NL Chicago Cubs Monday 8/24. And then the Tigers head north on the west side of Lake Michigan to play the Milwaukee Brewers for four games.

DIVISIONS: Even though the Tigers are only playing teams from the Midwest, the rank still goes by the AL-Central. So on Friday 7/31 The Tigers are just a game back of first and in third place in their division.

PITCHING CHANGES: The pitcher coming into the game will now have to face at least 3 batters. This will really speed up play, there is nothing more boring than managers switching pitchers from Lefties to Right Handed based on the next batter. Good Rule Change!

EXTRA - INNINGS: Absolutely love this new rule. When teams go into extra innings. The last player that scored an out on offense goes to second base to start the top of the tenth inning. Got to see this play out with the Tampa Bay Rays vs. Atlanta Braves and runs were scored right away. Of course they did this to speed the game up.

(Tangent thought - NBA should adopt - first team to 100 Wins - talk about exciting!)

Oakland A's/KPIX=TV

CARDBOARD CUTOUTS OF FANS: The Oakland A's may have the best with a young Tom Hanks when he was a hot-dog vendor. Other teams are offering you the chance to have a cardboard cutout of you or maybe your pet. Several teams like the LA Dodgers have an entire pet row. Tigers are charging around $100 to do that at Comerica Park, but I have not been able to find the link. One Chicago White Sox fan bought 100 of them - now there's a fan. What's really been funny is seeing how may cardboard cutouts have already been a victim to foul balls. And teams need to work on their quality control - your cutout may have a totally different proportion than the one next to you. What's different? The Cardboard Cutouts are looking at the game and  no one is on their phones during a game. It will also be interesting to see how these hold up with the summer rains.

IS THE BASEBALL JUICED?: There have been a lot of home runs on the first week and a lot of football scores - like the Tigers losing 14 to 6 to KC Royals. The Minnesota Twins 14 - 2 over Chicago White Sox. A lot of teams have scored double digit runs this week. Don't get me wrong, I love this - who doesn't want to see more home runs? Baseball was accused of same thing the year after the strike, but maybe it was the players that were juiced back then.

MASKS & COVID-19: Is everyone surprised that half of the Miami Marlins tested positive for COVID? They were flying into Philly from the epicenter of the pandemic in the US. Want players to take this serious? If teams can't play they, forfeit the games and the players lose the salary from the lost games. Good to see managers and the umpires wearing their mask and taking it serious.

BT/Townsquare Media

Next well see how the NBA does in their bubble and hope both of them figure out how to do this right so we get to see the NFL this fall. Thanks MLB it has been a very exciting week to be a fan.