Ryan Vespi and Murphy Foss
Spring was in the air as the first crack of the bat sounded on April 3, signaling Opening Day and Major League Baseball’s return. A day full of games stirred early season excitement in fans who hope that their teams would show signs of championship potential in their first day back. “I’m glad it’s back, the last game of the World Series left me wanting more baseball,” said freshman Harry McTernan.
Last season was very historic in baseball, as the Chicago Cubs broke a 108-year championship curse by winning the World Series. Many fans think that because of their young talent and strong leadership, they will be able to repeat their success. “Kris Bryant won MVP and Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta are great pitchers, they’ll be back,” said freshman and Yankees fan Riley LaTray. However, some fans think the Cubs were a on- hit wonder. “They won’t repeat, they got lucky last year and Kris Bryant got lucky too. The Indians should’ve won that series,” said sophomore and Red Sox fan Nolan Giblin.
Some fans think that if the Cubs make it back, they will face the early favorites, the Boston Red Sox, in the World Series. “[The Red Sox] have a good system with young talent,” said sophomore and Red Sox fan Mateo Santos; ”they’ll probably win a championship this year.” Some fans think the Red Sox pitching is what will push them over the edge as a championship caliber team. They acquired lefty Chris Sale to add to their already bolsterous rotation during the offseason. “Chris Sale will win the [American League] Cy Young,” predicted Giblin.
There will be a lot of interesting things to watch this season, including a potential National League Cy Young campaign from Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers, who is considered to be among the best pitchers ever. However, there is a void left in the NL after the tragic death of Miami Marlins’s young star pitcher Jose Fernandez, who looked to make a Cy Young run this year. Fernandez died in a boating accident in the fall.
The league is also filled with exciting rookies, such as Andrew Benintendi of the Boston Red Sox and Dansby Swanson of the Atlanta Braves. “Benintedi will win Rookie of the Year, (because) he’s a great fielder and hitter. He’s an all-around good player,” said Santos. Usually a handful of players have a breakout season in the league. Some players to watch will be Nolan Arenado of the Colorado Rockies and Christian Yelich of the Miami Marlins. “I’m a Red Sox fan but Arenado’s my favorite player,” said Giblin.
As always, there are many candidates for MVP, but in the AL the battle rages on between outfielders Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels and Mookie Betts. “Betts will win it this year,” said freshman and general baseball fan Bryan Fennell. “He’s one of the best in the league at both hitting and fielding, that’s rare,” said Santos. In the National League Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals looks to fend off Kris Bryant for his second MVP award.
The start of the 2017 MLB season set high expectations as fans and their teams as they look forward to the upcoming season. With a lot of new talent and some old talent, many teams are expecting the opportunity to be crowned World Series champions, providing for an interesting season.