Story by Zoe Harmon, Staff Writer
Photo courtesy of Perform Group
Cleats crunching through a softly raked infield. Wooden bats cracking after a fast pitch is released. Leather gloves snapping as a crisp white cowhide ball flies in from the grass. With spring in the air, it is almost time for Major League Baseball’s (MLB) opening day.
Each February/March, the 30 teams travel to Central Florida or Central Arizona to participate in Spring Training. These few weeks spent practicing and playing give teams, and their fans, a glimpse of what to expect in the upcoming season. As these few weeks come to a close, the boys of spring are ready for the big time.
Last year’s reigning champions, the Kansas City Royals, say they don’t just train to win once. Hoping to claim another world title in 2016, the team has been working hard in the offseason. However, if they really want to win, they are going to have a lot of work to do.
One of their main challengers may be the New York Mets. With new shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera and second baseman Neil Walker, their middle infield is solid. These two only add great depth to the already solid lineup which includes Yoenis Cespedes, David Wright, Curtis Granderson, and arguably one of the best rotations in the league.
Another team to look out for in 2016 will be the Chicago Cubs. With an outstanding season in 2015 behind them, the Cubs are looking strong once again. Their lineup is coming into it’s prime and by adding Jason Heyward, John Lackey, and Ben Zobrist, they have only gotten stronger. Not only were these solid additions for the Cubs, but Heyward and Lackey came from their National League Central division rival, the St. Louis Cardinals.
It will also be interesting to keep an eye on teams like the Boston Red Sox and Texas Rangers who both have solid lineups and could be prove to be quite successful.
As for our hometown heroes, the Detroit Tigers, things are looking up. With a new general manager (Al Avila) and additions like Jordan Zimmerman, Justin Upton, Francisco Rodriguez, and Mark Lowe, the team has increased their chances of success. This is before even mentioning what could be one of the most solid lineups in Major League Baseball.
With Ian Kinsler, Upton, Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, and J.D. Martinez presumably at the beginning of the lineup, and the speed of Jose Iglesias and Anthony Gose at the end, the Tigers have potential to produce a number of runs against their opponents. However, it will be incredibly important for the team to stay healthy.
The excitement of the 2016 Major League Baseball season is upon us. Opening day is April 3, when the Royals will take on the Mets, the St. Louis Cardinals will take on the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the Toronto Blue Jays will take on the Tampa Bay Rays. Teams will continue to begin in the following days (April 4 and 5).
Tune in on Tuesday, April 5 to see the Detroit Tigers open their season at the Miami Marlins.
About the writer…
Zoe Harmon is in her final year at Aquinas College, majoring in Sports Management/Business Administration and minoring in Communication. Zoe is a member of the Sports Management Club where she serves on the board as Treasurer.She is also a Disney College Program Alumni after spending 7 months in Orlando. Zoe has a great passion for travel and health/fitness and in her free time, she enjoys hiking adventures, biking, and spending time with her friends and family.