Is it a coincidence that Spring Training starts around Valentine’s Day? While I like talking about football, basketball and hockey, I love when it’s time for baseball. The sound of the ball hitting the glove or being struck by a bat. This is my first love when it comes to sports.
For the 86th year of the Midsummer Classic, baseball turns its sights to Petco Park in San Diego, California. This will be the first time the MLB All-Star game will be played at the San Diego Padres new ballpark. It was first opened back in 2004. Now every year there is always a lot of discussion and some of it a little dated about how the teams are put together. No system will ever be perfect. Fans don’t always get it right and managers won’t either. The fact that the players are able to vote for participants was a great choice and they know who is deserving. Regardless of who should or shouldn’t be in the game lets just accept that the best players will always be involved one way or another. Here are my all-stars keeping with the rules that every team be represented and a total of 34 players for each league.
* – indicates new to team
1. Toronto Blue Jays
Some question marks in the pitching staff will be overlooked thanks to their scary good lineup.
2. Boston Red Sox
Getting a legitimate closer and an ace in the rotation puts them back into the contender category.
3. New York Yankees
They’re one injury in the lineup and/or rotation away from struggling mightily.
4. Baltimore Orioles
They also have a good lineup, but their pitching staff has far too many question marks.
5. Tampa Bay Rays
Pitching is something they have plenty of, but their lineup has always struggled to keep pace within the division.
Halloween came and went. We stuffed our faces during Thanksgiving and celebrated the season at Christmas. We rang in the New Year and let Valentines go to the wayside. Pretty soon the unofficial holiday of Opening Day will be upon us and there are always a ton of questions as to what the new baseball season will bring us. I only have ten, but they are the ten most important and burning questions going into Spring Training.
As with past deadline deals these will be highly scrutinized for many years. Instantly we see and decide who got the better end of the deal, but we really won’t know until at least two or three seasons down the road. The only way to know in real time is if the team getting the established major leaguer goes on to win a World Series. Time will tell if that happens this year with the flurry of names (a few marquee ones) being dealt this July.