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.
NL MVP – OF Bryce Harper Washington Nationals
AL MVP – OF Mike Trout Los Angeles Angels
NL Cy Young – Clayton Kershaw Los Angeles Dodgers
AL Cy Young – Chris Archer Tampa Bay Rays
NL Rookie of the Year – SS Corey Seager Los Angeles Dodgers
AL Rookie of the Year – OF Byron Buxton Minnesota Twins
NL Manager of the Year – Bruce Bochy San Francisco Giants
AL Manager of the Year – A.J. Hinch Houston Astros
NL Division Winners – Cubs, Giants, Mets
NL Wild Card Winners – Cardinals, Pirates
AL Division Winners – Royals, Blue Jays, Astros
AL Wild Card Winners – Rangers, Red Sox
NLCS – Giants over Cubs
ALCS – Royals over Astros
World Series – Royals over Giants
* – indicates new to team
1. Kansas City Royals
Their chances of repeating rest solely on the bullpen being a dominant force.
2. Cleveland Indians
The starting rotation is stacked and can match up with any in baseball.
3. Detroit Tigers
An offseason was spent finally remaking the bullpen.
4. Minnesota Twins
They peaked earlier than most expected. Now there are some expectations to compete for a postseason berth.
5. Chicago White Sox
Acquiring Todd Frazier might be a mute point for a team that had a lot of underachieving players last year.
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.