Opening day of the Major League Baseball season is today and while weather in some places may resemble winter it is a sure sign that spring is here. For fans it gives them something to be a part of for the next 7 months or so as they follow their favorite team. In our area that would most likely be the Yankees, Mets or Phillies but there’s plenty of interest in other teams as well. The good news is that our “local” teams should all be good and contenders for the playoffs and even the World Series.
The Yankees open up in the Bronx this afternoon against the Giants and there is some irony in that at one time it looked like free agent Aaron Judge might end up in San Francisco. A big contract, being named captain and the chance to be a legendary wearer of the pinstripes was enough to keep him in New York.
The Phillies also have a day game in Arlington, Texas. They are coming off an outstanding season in which they won the National League Championship before losing in the World Series. With the addition of free agent Trea Turner there is no reason why they can’t make another title run this summer.
As for the Mets, well expectation are as high as the payroll…if that’s possible. With a record-breaking $375 million luxury-tax payroll and a pair of 3-time Cy Young Award winners in Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander fans like me are hoping this is the season we go far in the playoffs. In full disclosure if you are a fan of the Mets you expect bad things to happen…and I do. They open the season in Miami later this afternoon.
This season will also feature the introduction of new rules that are sure to play a big part in the sports, especially early in the season. The biggest one is the pitch clock which will impact both pitchers and batters with the goal to speed the game up by about 30 minutes. We shall see.
So here we go…the first of 162 games. Play ball!