From late March till the end of October, there’s a special buzz in the air. Even those who aren’t baseball fans in the slightest are in a better, more chipper mood due to the end of winter and nothing but warm weather on the horizon. But for those who cheer on the boys of summer, there’s no better time of year.
Football will always remain king in my preference of sports fandom, but the college and professional season go by in the blink of an eye. That’s not the case with baseball however. It’s a grueling and tough marathon compared to the football sprint. Ups and downs, trades and call ups, there’s simply nothing else like it.
A 162 game campaign becomes a part of your day-to-day life if you want it to. That’s the thing, you don’t even need to invest yourself that much. If you’re the type of fan who only tunes into games as your down the Jersey Shore badloading on the Wildwood beach, lost in the sauce at Carousel or at La Costa for a Sunday Funday in beautiful Sea Isle City; it simply does not matter – you’ll still be paying attention to roughly 60 games of the campaign just from the summer weekends alone. So at the end of the day, you’ll still have a good idea of how your hometown team is doing.
Now before I lose the interest of all 8 people reading this blog, this isn’t a sales pitch for people to become big time baseball fans. I’ve been wanting to write a piece that goes over the current state of the game.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, this has been one of the most wild off seasons in MLB history. Unfortunately, for reasons that don’t include a monster trade or an explosive signing outside of Washington throwing Strasburg an AWFUL contract and Gerrit Cole signing with the team
he’s always wanted to play for**.
** indicates a massive lie.
Even before winter meetings began. Roughly 3 weeks after the season ended, news started to come out that the Astros were illegally stealing signs and relaying them to the field via banging on a trash can. This news came to light because of pussy ass Mike Fiers squealing to the Athletic what the Astros were doing. Soon after, videos starting popping up left and right breaking down every single second of Astros games from 2017. MLB announced they would begin investigating Houston immediately.
I say Mike Fier is a pussy because he was totally fine with winning a ring while on the Stros in 2017 but now that he’s in Oakland, NOW all of a sudden he has an issue with it?! If you’re a man of morales, you don’t put that code you live up to on the back burner just because it’s convenient to you. What a fucking jabroni.
Although baseball Twitter was irate for a week or two, things seemed to die down quickly with the all the other sports going on and the holidays right around the corner.
After that week or two, baseball had its typical boring offseason with an average reliever here and there signing a 1-2 year deal. (Seems like every one of them this year was a deal with the Nationals.) That would all change when last week MLB concluded their investigation resulting in a $5M fine to the Astros organization paired with GM Jeff Luhnow and skipper AJ Hinch being suspended for one year. Then hours later it was announced that Houston would fire the suspended duo.
Soon after the “groundbreaking” news, more rumors starting flying everywhere that several Astros players were wearing remote buzzers that would buzz if/when a breaking ball was coming. Most of this was lead by Altuve telling his teammates not to rip off his jersey following the walk off homerun against Chapman in game 6 of last years ALCS Game 6.
Sure the video doesn’t look great, but if I’m Altuve and I wanna hold on to that jersey, hang it in my basement, or donate it to charity… I don’t need to answer to anyone. We’re also gonna ignore that Sanchez called for a slider low and in and he threw it belt high and outside?
Every position player in baseball and many high school and college players could have taken Chapman deep on a beach ball pitch like that. Let’s also not stray too far away from that fact that Altuve has an unreal career .319/.462/.825 road slash line.
The head chopping didn’t stop just there. Within the week both Alex Cora of the Red Sox and Carlos LOL Beltran LOL of the New York LOL Mets we’re both canned. In the wake of all of this, many people shouted on Twitter that they would never watch baseball again. Sure, a couple people here and there may not tune in ever again? Guess what? MLB is gonna flourish with or without those people for the rest of time.
Cheating is never a good look for any sport and it can be a draining distraction to fans of all types. While although the entire 2020 season narrative is going to be cheating and sign stealing, I don’t think there’s been a more exciting offseason ever in the history of baseball.
If ya don’t mind, let’s hop in the time machine real quick to just 365 days ago. At this time last year, Manny Machado was a free agent. Bryce Harper was a free agent. After Patrick Corbin signed in December, everything got very boring and downright annoying. As a Phillies fan, I had a dog in the fight and I was still annoyed by the waiting game played by Boras and whoever the fuck represents Machado. Yea cheating is bad, but people have been talking about baseball the entire offseason. That NEVER happens.
This offseason has had a ton of ups and downs and this season is brewing up to be great. Between the expectations on the Astros players to prove they are still dominant without stealing signs, 3 head coach vacancies still needing to be filled and seeing if the Yankees added the last missing piece they needed. How are you not excited?
One final note. Me and Double B have a little podcast project in the making. More details to come as we inch closer to spring training.
How many days till March 26th?