With the MLB beginning its shortened 60-game season this past weekend, baseball is officially back.
And if you only consumed the games as background noise, you may not have noticed anything had changed.
Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, fans aren't currently permitted to attend games at any of the league's 30 stadiums. That, however, hasn't stopped teams and broadcasts from doing their best to recreate the experience -- or at least simulate it for those watching from home.
In order to replicate the feeling of an attended game, some stadiums have filled seats with cardboard cutouts with fans, while certain broadcasts opted to digitally impose crowds. Nearly every game also included piped in artificial crowd noise, which has reportedly been provided by the MLB The Show video game.
As one might imagine, the unconventional approach drew plenty of attention on social media. Some loved the effort, while others were distracted by it -- but most agreed to just being happy that baseball is back.