This year, there is no excuse not to be excited about the opening of the 2016 baseball season. In just a short week, the sport has churned out drama at levels to match a Cam Newton interview–and I, for one, am riveted.
Remember how you angrily deleted your MLB at-bat app at the end of last season? Remember when you hung up your jersey, only to watch it collect dust for the season? Remember how you relinquished watching Hot Stove for your “Georgetown-sized” homework load?
Well it’s time to swallow your pride, ladies and gentlemen, remember your At-Bat password, and settle in for a long summer of baseball. And if you’re still one of those lame “yeah, yeah, I’m gonna try to get back into baseball this season, wait, Robinson Cano isn’t a Yankee anymore? Wow, I’m behind, I’ve just lost interest because, well, baseball is boring” I implore you to reconsider.
At the end of the 2015 World Series, I wrote an article imploring sports fans to reinvest in baseball. The time has come…and not just because of the idealistic reasons I wrote back in November, but because 2016 is going to be a wild, unpredictable, and story-riddled year.
And it’s going to make you fall in love with baseball again.
Let’s begin with the glamour: rivaling the high-paced, high scoring football and basketball games our country loves so much are a slew of games defined not by the traditional pitcher’s duel but rather an absurd amount of home runs (although if you’re looking for a pitcher’s duel, check out the Dodgers). If you’re hungry for scores, read this article on MLB.com listing virtually every important home run in the last few short days–but chances are, you’re still suffering from Short Attention Span Sports Fan Syndrome…so I’ll give you a quick synopsis:
The season’s first grand slam came last night when Houston Astros right fielder George Springer made Yankees starter Michael Pineda really miss his pine-tar. Both Robinson Cano (who, for your information, currently plays for the Seattle Mariners) and Colorado Rockies rookie Trevor Story hit four home runs in the first three games of the season. Victor Martinez, who has visited home plate exactly twice so far this season as a pinch-hitter, is 2 for 2…home runs, that is. And to make up for delivering three shutouts in a row, the Dodgers have delivered to baseball fans pitcher Kenta Maeda, whose home run in last night’s game is predicted to be his first of many.
Now if that paragraph wasn’t dripping with baseball glitter, I don’t know what is.
Looking for records? Here are a few: Cano and Story have made 2016 the only season in baseball history in which not one but two players have four homers in their first two games. Big Papi (not to be confused with Champagne Papi, who also dropped bombs this week) is now the second player in history, save Ted Williams, to go deep in the first two games of the season as a player over 40. And yes, you pitiful baseball apathetics, David Ortiz has not retired yet. New Yankee Starlin Castro’s seven RBIs have also set a franchise record for this hitherto short season. And Los Doyers? First team since 1963 to open with three straight shutouts.
I think it is important, at this point, to remind you that all this has taken place in less. than. a. week.
And if you’re hoping for some controversy, or you’re sorely missing game calls being passionately debated in the media, have no fear. Not one but two playing controversies have surfaced since Opening Day–the first during Tuesday’s Yankees-Astros game and the second during the Tuesday’s Rays-Blue Jays game. Both involve questions of base-running etiquette. Jose Bautista’s wild arm reminded players to throw out their spikes rather than their hands when breaking up a double-play, and an in-depth analysis of baseball’s baseline-crossing rule encourages fielders to throw the baseball at any runner running inside the baseline in order to induce an automatic out.
Gone, it seems, are the simplistic days of the tried-and-true banana turn.
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons is practically promising fans that his team will show up clad in dresses! Yasiel Puig is instagramming photos of his face as an emoji! Ninja turtles are sitting in the Yankees’ Legend seats for 25 cents a game! BASEBALL IS EXCITING, PEOPLE.
There’s no question this year; grab your cracker jacks, your iced lemonades, your cold beers. And get ready for the season of a lifetime.