Spring Training has officially begun with Pitchers and Catchers reporting to their respective training camps. But if you’re anything like me, the home stretch of the off season always feels like it’s never going to end. I figured in preparation for spring training and opening day, I’d make a baseball wish list of what I’d like to see this season.
The Mets Go Back To The World Series. As a loyal Mets fan it’s clearly no surprise that this is at the top of my list. The rotation has fully recovered from their round of surgeries, and if there is at least one week where I get to see the Fab 5 (Syndergaard, DeGrom, Harvey, Matz, Wheeler) active all at once, I will be overjoyed. It’s been every Mets fan’s dream to see that rotation since Spring of 2015. There was some talk in the off season about how the Mets didn’t do too much to change the face of the batting order. This is the least of my concerns going into April. There may not be too many different faces in that lineup, but through out everything last season, that was the line up that still managed to get them into the wildcard game against the Giants. And of course, we have the king, number 52, who has officially returned. You’re going to be reading nothing but articles about health issues for that rotation till opening day. Most writers airing on the side of “Well I guess they’ll be good if…” I get it. But As I’ve said plenty times before, it’s when you count the Mets out, that they’ll come back to surprise you, and maybe even surpass those expectations.
Toronto Gives The Sox A Run For Their Money. Last season the AL East had 3 teams qualify for a post season slot. It was pretty impressive to say the least. The Red Sox decided to trade away a decent chunk of their young talent like they were having a fire sale. In return, they got a Sale of their own, which helped to strengthen the rotation. There’s a lot of expectations on this Sox team in a post Papi era. Despite most picking them to finish at the top of the AL East, the Blue Jays aren’t going to make it very easy for them. Despite losing Encarnacion to the Tribe, the Jays still have plenty of power in that line up. Bautista, Donaldson, and Kendrys Morales, as their new DH. Then there’s their starting rotation, Aaron Sanchez, J.A. Happ, Marco Estrada, Marcus Stroman and Francisco Liriano. There won’t be any battles for these spots going into spring training and this rotation finished at the top of the AL in nearly every category last season.
The A’s Are Just Entertaining. The A’s are rebuilding, I don’t expect them to be contenders this season but I do find them entertaining as a team, and they have a stellar social media presence. Follow the A’s on Twitter. They’re feed just lights up my day sometimes. Also, who doesn’t enjoy that stellar stache on Mengden?
A NL Midwest Showdown. While I do see the Cubs running away with that division again, it would be cool if the Cardinals made it a bit more difficult for them this year. The Fowler trade reminded me of the Heyward one the previous season. Heyward didn’t do too much for the Cubs last season but I could see Fowler having a much bigger impact on the Cardinals.
The Nats Starters Get…Tired. The Nationals. The thorn in the side of every Mets fan, with their Walgreens logo, rooster right fielder, and a rotation that rivals the Mets fab five. They once again dropped the ball in the NLDS last year. And worst of all they made me root for the Dodgers. It would be bad karma for me to root for rotation injuries for the Nats, so my only hope is that, they’re a bit “tired out” from last season.