MLB is Back!

Pros give it a go
Sliding On Third Base
Getty

 

Major league baseball has returned to the field. Teams won. Teams lost. Players popped up fly balls. Players popped up positive for the coronavirus. Lacking for anything else to do whatsoever I dove headfirst into watching the games, lived through it and I’m here to tell you about it. Let’s go.

The first game of the season was the New York Yankees versus Washington Nationals which, in 2020 fashion, was called due to rain. The game was considered complete as it was into the sixth inning so the Yankees went 1-0 on the season. However, that just doesn’t sit right with yours truly and I propose adding a new rule.

Every game, no matter the weather, will be a nine-inning affair. Upon inclement weather each team will report to its clubhouse, rest five minutes, and then get online and conclude the game via the video game MLB “The Show.” I know, I know, I’m a genius and you’re welcome.

Last week I wrote about how every sport during the pandemic will have a big asterisk by its season’s champion, so why don’t we get really asterisky? I’m sure that’s a word but don’t look it up.

I’m still stunned every time I hear that the Washington Nationals won the World Series last year.

So, in the past two years, the Washington Capitals won the Stanley Cup, the Washington Nationals won whatever the trophy is called for the World Series and the Washington Redskins changed their name to Football Team. Victories all around.

I may have mentioned this before (maybe not, because time has lost all meaning) but, a lot of these baseball games seem normal, in that, most of the time these parks are more than half-empty anyway.

I’ll call it right now. Some team will get wise and cut to old footage of crowds cheering after a big play. Actually wouldn’t be that hard.

OK, I wrote that on Friday night. On Saturday, FOX was creating virtual crowds for the Chicago Cubs game and it was weird. “A” for effort though.

Yet another great idea I have is why not have a concert during the game? There’s obviously plenty of space, so use it. Post Kool and The Gang up in the left field bleachers and all of a sudden a boring Tuesday night becomes “Ladies Night.”

If you wanted local band talent – Chicago could have Chaka Khan, Detroit could have Funkadelic, Cincinnati could have Wussy, L.A. could have L7, Oakland could have Too $hort and on and on. Dear lord, someone connect me to the MLB home office.

I have five words for you — Seventh. Inning. Home. Run. Derby.

The first home run of the year was hit by former Tulane commit who never made it to campus, Giancarlo Stanton. Roll Wave (sorta).

Pumped in noise is corny. Who do these teams think they are, the Atlanta Falcons?

Out of all of the historic events in the long history of baseball I can say I was there to watch the first extra innings game where a player was put on second base for doing nothing at all. It’s a rule now.

My new BFFs, the Oakland Athletics, won their opening game when Matt Olson grand salami’d into right field. The cutouts went wild.

Evidently there is a Bieber in baseball. Shane Bieber of the Cleveland Indians. Beebs struck out 14 batters in six innings on Opening Day.

If you don’t have fans in the stands your Opening Day should have been called Fauxpening Day.

Sweeping a series this year is massive, especially when you’re playing a division rival. After doing some mathing, I can tell you that sweeping a three-game series this year is the equivalent of going 8-0. To be precise, 8.1-0.

Once I decided I was going to jump back into watching some major league baseball I figured out who I was going to root for (the A’s) and didn’t read much else. I guess I was waiting for the ‘Rona to shut it down. So, it came as a total surprise to find out that the league has expanded its playoffs this year. Sixteen teams will make the playoffs. That’s awful and sort of ruins the do-or-die-right-friggin-now vibe of a 60-game season.

With the expanded playoffs you can already pencil in teams like the Dodgers and Astros. It doesn’t matter what happens this first couple of weeks because all you have to do is be average.

This weekend’s games proved that pitchers are way ahead of batters at this point. Strikeout and strikeout did not make for great viewing.

Since I haven’t been watching major league baseball for, well, decades, I forgot how awful it was to listen to announcers. It’s dreadful. Someone please get current New Orleans Pelicans (and former Tulane Green Wave) announcer, Todd Graffagnini, back on the mic for baseball.

If you pause a baseball announcer two words into a sentence you can finish 83% of his sentences for him. And why are all these announcers all dudes anyway?

The Milwaukee Brewers have the coolest uniforms this year.

After cheating their way to the World Series title in 2017, and having it exposed last year, the Houston Astros had three batters hit by pitch over the weekend. This will be a fun stat to watch this year.

Even though it’s still not the most exciting thing to watch on TV I’m happy that baseball is back. To improve the experience I’m going to buy a bag of peanuts and throw shells all over the living room floor while giving someone $9 for a beer.

 

And like a fine wine with a steak dinner, every game should be accompanied by a beverage and song.

 

Beer Pairing: You can still buy beer from local breweries. Go buy stuff!

Playlist Recommendation: Dua Lipa – “Break My Heart”

 

 

Around the Way

If I’m talking or thinking about baseball I quickly get around to thinking about the Tulane Green Wave. The boys in Uptown were 15-2, ranked #20, sporting their best starting rotation in years, and entering a major series versus #16 Long Beach State when the season was cancelled. What could have been. Roll Wave.

 

 

 

Categories: Full Sport Press