Spring Training Has Arrived

2013 Spring Training

The 2013 MLB season has arrived with the Chicago Cubs having pitchers and catchers reporting for Spring Training today! Over the next week the other 29 teams will be doing the same and I can’t wait for the regular season start.

A couple of things that will seem odd to baseball fans when the regular season starts will be the Houston Astros switching from the N.L. Central to the A.L. West. The Astros move gives both leagues 15 teams and means that we’ll have interleague matchups all season which is fine with me. Each division will now have five teams. This is something that MLB should have done a long time ago.

I do think MLB hit a home run by adding a second Wildcard berth in each league last season. It produced the most exciting stretch run in the history of the sport in my opinion. I’m expecting this season to be more of the same!

There’s plenty of intriguing storylines as Spring Training gets going:

  • Can the Baltimore Orioles and Oakland A’s continue building on last season’s revival that saw both teams in the A.L. Playoffs?
  • Are the Washington Nationals ready to take that next step and send manager Davey Johnson off into retirement with another World Series ring?
  • Is A-Rod’s career over?
  • Has the window really closed on the Philadelphia Phillies?
  • The Toronto Blue Jays and Los Angeles Dodgers have both added loads of veteran talent, but will it come together on the field?
  • Will age finally catch up with the New York Yankees?
  • Can the Upton brothers push the Atlanta Braves to the top of the N.L. East?
  • The trio of Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton, and Mike Trout could do some serious damage for the Los Angeles Angels and be fun to watch.

Here’s a few other changes I’d like to see MLB make:

  •  Stop having home field advantage in the World Series decided by the All-Star  Game. That is something that should be decided on the field and having an exhibition game decide it is completely ignorant in my opinion.
  • Instant replay for close plays that a manager could challenge. They could follow the NFL’s modal with each team having a limited number to use each game. A wrong challenge costs an NFL team a timeout, but since MLB doesn’t have a set number of timeouts they could take an out away in the team’s next at bat. There’s way to many close calls that go the wrong way and can be the difference in winning or losing a game. The goal should be to get the call right.
  • Have a league wide DH or scrap it altogether. Personally I’d like to see it used league wide.
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