LINDEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Thursday was supposed to be Opening Day in Major League Baseball, but stadiums around the country were empty because of the spread ofCOVID-19.

The Mets were supposed to be hosting the defending champion Washington Nationals at Citi Field in Queens and the Yankees were slated to be on the road in Baltimore against the Orioles.

CBS2’s Otis Livingston caught up with former Mets manager and Sacred Heart University athletic director Bobby Valentine to talk about what it was like to be an MLB manager while the country healed from the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

“The game itself… the release, the routine of being fearful and uncertain to the opponent. All those things are part of the daily life that’s missing right now,” said Valentine. “Sport was able to bring that to our community.”

On Opening Day in 2019, the Yankees beat the Orioles 7-2. Luke Voit smashed a three-run home run in the first inning of that game. Meanwhile, Robinson Cano returned to New York last year and made his debut for the Mets. He homered and helped his team beat the Nationals 2-0. Jacob deGrom had 10 strikeouts in that game, as he started his path to a second straight Cy Young Award. The Nationals would go on to win the World Series against the Houston Astros.

The Major League Baseball season is suspended until at least mid-May due to coronavirus.

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