There is nothing quite like MLB Opening Day (2017). In most places it’s barely spring, with a crisp chill in the air as thousands of fans eagerly anticipate that first pitch. Everyone is united with the hope the new season will be the beginning of a magical World Series run. On April 2, 2017 at 1:00 PM EST the Major League Baseball begins the grueling 162 game regular season. The New York Yankees travel to Tampa to take on the Rays at Tropicana Field.
The lack of fandom in Tampa to me is baffling – they continually build homegrown teams, loaded with talent despite always a low payroll and consistently feature easy to root for players. Right now young fire-baller Chris Archer leads their rotation with stalwart Evan Longoria still maintaining third base. Archer was dangled in trades the entire off-season so he should be motivated to pitch his heart out, to get out of Tampa. The Yankees are exciting – and as a New York Metropolitans fan that makes me a bit ill. They FINALLY have young, emerging talent. 24 year old Gary Sanchez hit 20 home runs in 53 games last year. But MLB Opening Day (2017) is a fresh start for everyone – everyone starts with zero homers.
A quick rundown of the off-season:
The Chicago White Sox traded Chris Sale to the Boston Red Sox for top Cuban prospect Yoan Moncada. The White Sox had enough of Sale despite immense talent. He criticized management for not allowing Adam LaRoche’s teenage son to hang out in the club house. I actually probably would have been relieved for management to step in. He also bizarrely took scissors to the entire team’s alternate uniforms because he found them uncomfortable. In another move, the Sox fleeced the Washington Nationals in trading middling center fielder Adam Eaton for a gift basket and a few top prospects.
The New York Mets did everything but put Jay Bruce on an ice float to get rid of him. No one took the bait. The Mets did little else after resigning the baddest man on earth – Yoenis Cespedes.
Dexter Fowler left the Cubs for the Cardinals. Despite World Series heroics, he probably will be bullied any time in Chicago now.
Edwin Encarnacion signed with the anonymous Cleveland baseball team.
The Yankees re-acquired Aroldis Chapman via free agency. After pitching an obscene amount in the playoffs, his arm may be silly puddy.
Opening Day Schedule – Sunday, April 2
New York Yankees vs Tampa Bay at 1PM EST Masahiro Tanaka (NYY) vs Undecided (TB)
San Francisco vs Arizona at 4PM EST Undecided (SF) vs Zack Greinke (AZ)
Chicago Cubs vs St. Louis at 8:30PM EST John Lester (CHI) vs Carlos Martinez (STL)
And some predictions for 2017:
Bryce Harper continues to be a .250 hitter.
Mike Trout takes another AL MVP
Chris Sale takes AL Cy Young
Trea Turner takes the NL MVP
Noah Syndegaard takes NL Cy Young
World Series: New York Mets over Boston Red Sox in 6 games (what can we say, we’re New York homers)
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