While the first pitch of the 2014 Major League season was thrown in Australia a few weeks ago, and the first pitch in the States was thrown last night, the “real” Opening Day for baseball is today! The only teams that will not have played after today is over are the New York Yankees and Houston Astros who open up their seasons tomorrow at Minute Maid Park. It will be the final Opening Day for Derek Jeter who announced that 2014 will be his final season playing baseball.
Although I am not a fan of having the first games of America’s Pastime being played on a different continent, there is still so much to look forward to with the rest of the teams finally getting underway. There are so many story lines for every team and everyone is mathematically in contention for the playoffs. Some people may say otherwise for Cubs fans.
The saying goes that, “There is always next year.” Well next year starts today. Spring training is over with, 25-man rosters have been made, and starting lineups will be pretty consistent except for Joe Maddon and the Tampa Bay Rays. There is hope and a positive outlook for every team until there is not.
Ryan Braun is coming back from a season in which he was frowned upon by all of baseball for his use of and lying about PEDs. The Red Sox are trying to defend their World Series title, but there could be another team this year that goes from worst to first as Boston did a year ago. Could Houston be a team that has their stars start to shine or are they still a few years away from being contenders?
Jeter is in his last season and Robinson Cano bolted for Seattle rather than take over the Jeter legacy. Will Cano be able to sustain his power numbers in a park that is not as friendly as Yankee Stadium? How will the Prince Fielder–Ian Kinsler trade work out for the Rangers and Tigers? Is Jose Abreau the next Albert Pujols? He has the body and the swing to at least give that impression.
Baseball is finally here and it couldn’t be better. There was a petition to even make Opening Day a national holiday. It reached the needed 100,000 signatures to be sent as a formal petition to the White House but was ultimately turned down. Although there won’t be an added holiday in honor of baseball’s Opening Day, it is still one of the best days of the year. Baseball season has started!