Talk To Me Tell Me What It Is You Need………It Can’t Be All About The Money……..
It seems funny that as the Major League Baseball season has come upon us. It oughtn’t to surprise us that many of the teams who’ve made a big splash in the free agency market to sign in some cases a marquee player. Those players in particular will be under a great deal of pressure to justify the bounty that they’re being paid.
The Philadelphia Phillies start off the defense of their World Series title with a game against the Atlanta Braves. The Phillies for their part are looking to be the first team since the New York Yankees in 1998 and 1999 to successfully defend their title. The Yankees would actually go on to win a third consecutive title in 2000. As to whether or not they the Phillies will be able to do this can only be assessed by their performance on the field this season . Most certainly their All Star short-stop Jimmy Rollins seems to think that they’re capable of doing so.
The New York Mets for their part with the additions of J J Putz and Francisco Rodriguez and now veteran stalwart Gary Sheffield make this a team a formidable opponent. On both sides of the ball they’ve got to be considered worthy of being mentioned as potential contenders for the World Series. However the caveat would be for the team to overcome their near end season jitters and unraveling. If they’re able to do that then they can create a rivalry with the Phillies that’d be worthwhile watching .
And with the NL East seemingly up for grabs it makes this upcoming season seem somewhat special. The AL East as a division may appear to be where the action and stories will come from . But I’d like to think that the division that also possesses the Florida Marlins and the Washington Nationals as well as the Braves. One could argue that here within the division you’ve got some very good teams. And those teams may well elicit a great deal of entertainment for their respective fans.
The consencus once is again is the NL East will be a hard fought battle between the Mets and Phillies. I’d somehow like to see the Florida Marlins be a part of the debate. They’ve got a pitching staff would be the envy of a number of teams across the league. But it’d be remiss to think that the Phillies, Brave and Mets don’t possess adequate pitching on their roster. With Derek Lowe anchoring the pitching staff of the Atlanta Braves. It can be said are of the hope that they can recapture the form of bygone years when they had Maddux, Smoltz and Glavine anchoring an all too menacing pitching lineup.
As much as the country is undergoing some turbulent economic times. Many of the franchises around the league have no doubt seen fit to follow suit and lay off ancillary staff they deem none essential in their day to day operations. A sign of the times and no doubt of things to come concerning the game as well. The viability of a number of teams will come into question should things become more acute. As to the game’s hierarchy we’ve seen them all too often obfuscate their responsibilities to the game as custodians. As well to their most ardent patrons the fans. Needless to say Commissioner Allan H. ‘Bud’ Selig will see fit to give the customary state of the game speech without acknowledging the financial difficulties faced by a number of teams around the league. Within Selig’s world it’d appear that all things are merely just a part of someone else’s imagination. With the way the league and the Players’ Union have handled the steroid abuse issue within the game. Should we expect anything else ?
With the one event that we had foisted upons us as fans having about as much resonance as a docile mouse in the form of the World Baseball Classic. I for one envisage that this upcoming season will be enthralling for all of the fans of the game. As well meaning as the event was meant to be , in reality the event itself became something of a tedious bore once the United States’ team fell at the hands of Japan in the semi-finals. With their pride on the line it’d appear that even wearing the national uniform for the US players was about tedious as having to walk away from their lives of luxury merely but for a short period of time. Well paid stars who once again came up short , just as they did at the inaugural event. It seems times heals no wounds when it comes to the US participation in the World Baseball Classic ?
All things being equal if the game can maintain its rapture amongst the fans. It may well survive the turmoil that will come about as the economy continues to unravel. With last year’s attendances for games being at an alltime high. In total over 78m people attended the games. And the league average was 34,000 plus. This season we may well not see those sort of numbers come through the turnstiles. But on Opening Day we will see a number of teams have a throng of fans within their various stadiums. It’s hoped that this can be maintained throughout much of the regular season and into the postseason itself. So much will be resting not just on Opening Day itself but also the well being of the games and above all its fans. Without them the game will just cease to be viewed as the nation’s passtime.