Alas! Opening Day is within a pitching arm’s reach away. The grass is green, the sky is blue [for much of the country], and the ballparks are calling our names. Do we remember what joyous sensations the summer brings to us all?
Who can capture the picture perfect sight of Fenway on Opening Day when every Bostonian carries the smile of success from the Boston Celtics’ playoff run/New England Patriots’ Super Bowl victory over to April? What about tasting the first two, or three, or four hotdogs at the first game of the season at Dodger Stadium? Can anyone actually put into words the beauty of playoff hopefulness as a Seattle Mariners’ fan the first few weeks of the baseball season? OH! Let’s not forget that there isn’t a feeling more comforting than downing that ice-cold pint of beer as you sit there in that warm, plastic seat at Wrigley on a blistering Thursday afternoon in the dead heat middle of summer. Awwww…the blissfulness of the baseball season.
The beauty in the craft that the Chicago Cubs cultivated in 2016 that resulted in their very first World Series victory in 108 years was not only memorable, but also breathtaking and monumental. Although it was somewhat expected with the roster accumulated from the years prior, the fact still remains that nothing is absolute when it comes to sporting events–even when it comes to professional wrestling! Not even star-filled rosters the Yankees seem to collaborate every year ever seem to evolve into a World Series title on a routine basis. THOUGH–to see a team that has such a large fan base break out of the longest active championship drought streak in the history of ALL sport and finally accomplish the ultimate goal was beyond anything we as humans could EVER put into exact verbiage. In short, we could resemble it to the David and Goliath story but within oneself…and THAT goes beyond defeating a historical mark. That conquers ALL.
So what will Major League Baseball bring us in 2017?!!?!?
I can promise five things.
TOP FIVE PROMISES OF THE 2017 MLB SEASON.
5. Atlanta is a Stop Nobody Wants: The Braves will be a force nobody wants to face. Aside from their well-seasoned pitching staff that includes Bartolo Colon, RA Dickey, and Jaime Garcia, the Tribe produces threatening youth and all-star veterans to support the arms. Some of those faces include: Freddie Freeman [1B], Dansby Swanson [SS], Brandon Phillips [2B], and Matt Kemp [OF]. Maybe not a World Series contender, but definitely a team that could alter the playoff outlook.
4. The Blue Jays & Red Sox are NOT in the World Series in ’17: There were too many key departures in the captain/leadership steamboat from both the Toronto Blue Jays and the Boston Red Sox this past offseason and that will present issues when clutch moments come into play. Although both teams seem strong on a youth basis and have a little team chemistry carrying from the past season, there is still some question marks on who will lead the stead.
3. The Yankees are Light Years Away: This is the most awkward era for New York Yankee baseball…this team is a hot mess of young and old. Yes, they do have potential in the youth department; and yes, they do have talent in the veteran field. But, what in the actual fuck are the Yankees doing? For one, there are no stud sluggers on this roster that will slug the skin off the ball. Two, is there a starting pitcher that is threatening? Better start shipping and finding your stripes, Yanks.
2. Bryce Harper will LAUNCH!: Rebounding off a shaky 2016 second half, Washington National OF Bryce Harper will find his rythym and will produce a .320BA/25HR/140RBI season that will guide a Washington into a matchup with the Chicago Cubs in the National League Championship Series. As odd and redundant as it seems, the kid resembles “The Kid” too much to not rebound from a bad finish of a season.
1. The Cubs May Repeat: Despite the retirement of David Ross and key departures of Dexter Fowler and Travis Wood, the Chicago Cubs seem to be in good hands. For the most part, their pitching rotation is intact and they were quick to replace a key component in Fowler. With the leadership of Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, Anthony Rizzo, and Kris Bryant still afoot, the Cubs are a stern threat for a repeating Series run.
I leave you with this….Go Cubs!