Baseball begins as players report to camp after a busy offseason

By Joseph Yamulla || Layout Assistant

It may not seem like it in the Northeast, but baseball is just around the corner. This past week, most Major League Baseball teams have already had their pitchers and catchers report to camp in either Florida or Arizona. Plenty of people have baseball fever right now as we become more and more anxious for Spring. The offseason has been filled with plenty of news regarding the roster moves made by each franchise, the always dramatic Alex Rodriguez, and the new rules that will be implemented this season.

The San Francisco Giants have already reported to camp in Scottsdale, Arizona. They have key returning players such as World Series MVP, Madison Bumgarner and Buster Posey. ESPN power rankings also has the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Washington Nationals, Los Angeles Dodgers, Baltimore Orioles, Detroit Tigers, and Saint Louis Cardinals all ranked in the top six spots in that order. However, if there’s one thing about baseball that is just about always reliable, it is any team can surprise us when the dog days of summer roll in. The Chicago Cubs, for example, are ranked 24th in the preIt may not seem like it in the Northeast, but baseball is just around the corner. This past week, most Major League Baseball teams have already had their pitchers and catchers report to camp in either Florida or Arizona. Plenty of people have baseball fever right now as we become more and more anxious for Spring. The offseason has been filled with plenty of news regarding the roster moves made by each franchise, the always dramatic Alex Rodriguez, and the new rules that will be implemented this season.

The San Francisco Giants have already reported to camp in Scottsdale, Arizona. They have key returning players such as World Series MVP, Madison Bumgarner and Buster Posey. ESPN power rankings also has the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Washington Nationals, Los Angeles Dodgers, Baltimore Orioles, Detroit Tigers, and Saint Louis Cardinals all ranked in the top six spots in that order. However, if there’s one thing about baseball that is just about always reliable, it is any team can surprise us when the dog days of summer roll in. The Chicago Cubs, for example, are ranked 24th in the preis a large obstacle for even the deep-pocketed Yankees to overcome. The relationship between the team and Rodriguez has been tumultuous to say the least over the years with his multiple suspensions and instances of lying. The most the Yankees can hope for is to squeeze the last years of baseball out of him while they endure the remainder of his monstrous contract.

Major League Baseball has also implemented several controversial rules that are set to be put into use for the 2015 season. These rules include: managers have to make instant replay challenges from the dugout, hitters must keep one foot in the batter’s box between pitches, play resumes when television broadcasts end commercial breaks, pitching changes are timed, and pitchers can wait no longer than 20 seconds between pitches. The new rules are obviously used to speed up the pace of play in Major League Baseball. Most regulation games exceed three hours. On the other hand, baseball is certainly not a fast game, nor is it meant to be played at a high pace. Baseball fundamentalists are in absolute disagreement with the new rules, believing that it is a game that should never be rushed but rather enjoyed for its patient intrinsic value. Less fundamental fans believe that a faster paced game will be more enjoyable to watch, and easier to sit through. These rules seem pretty drastic, but they will not change the game as much as it appears on the surface. For example, it is pretty rare for someone to take longer than 20 seconds to throw a pitch. What will be just as interesting as the introduction to the new rules, is how the umpires enforce them during play.

The days of Spring Training always provide a feeling of opportunity and new life. Across the league, from Seattle to Boston, fans are optimistic about their teams chances this season. Before we know it, the sun will be shining, the flowers will be blooming, and we’ll hear the crack of the bat across baseball fields everywhere.

 

First-year Joseph Yamulla is a Layout Assistant. His email is jyamulla@fandm.edu.

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