MLB’s opening day comes after closing

The Champions League in the baseball season starts on Thursday afternoon, a week later than planned. But the bitter labor dispute between the team owners and the players’ union, which lasted for 99 painful days and pushed the season back into a week, seems distant to me now.

Whether baseball is better or worse for the changes agreed in those talks will become clear in the future. Until then, the game returns to mark days and weeks and months, relentless in its daily presence again.

Never before has baseball been so delicate, so dependent on the whims of the world that it was designed to help all of us escape. Two years ago, the coronavirus epidemic meant that the season would not begin until mid-summer. A year ago, there were only a few thousand fans at Yankee Stadium on the opening day – and after a year without fans, it felt like millions. This year, trouble within the sport threatened to ruin it all again.

But here the baseball goes back, with all the usual hope and knowledge and promise into another season, the fragility only intensifies the feeling that everything is a gift, whatever the thorny details may be.

Svrluga: Can Stephen Strasburg rediscover his dominant form in 2019? “I do not really know.”

And that information is as complex as ever – especially in Washington, where the Nationals are starting a new era without most of the stars defining the former. They could meet the man who could become Cooperstown’s first compatriot, Max Scherzer, on Friday. Scherzer broke the hearts of fans when he signed with league rival New York Mets. But in seven seasons, the world title and 189 starts to drip of possibilities, he cut himself in those hearts too.

His Mets are the oldest reality show and the latest villains in the major leagues, encouraged into this era by the free-spirited owner Steve Cohen, who hired veteran fighter Buck Showalter to lead the usual chaotic and undeniably talented team into October. Cohen spends so much that one of the key points in the closure was whether to add a surcharge to the luxury tax bracket simply to account for his expenses.

Josiah Gray and Keibert Ruiz, in the beginning

That threshold, the so-called “Cohen tax,” was set at $ 290 million – $ 60 million above the first tax threshold, which most teams consider far out of reach. Cohen said he would still pay the Cohen tax.

His spending has reduced the prestigious New York Yankees to something that looks like snow, at least as the New York baseball game goes. They plan to hold the Boston Red Sox in New York on Friday afternoon, a rain-delayed encounter which became an almost tangible reminder of how much the game depends on non-baseball whims.

Until two weeks ago, New York City’s coronary heart disease policy meant that unvaccinated athletes like NBA man Kyrie Irving – and many Yankees stars – were not allowed to play in the city. The Yankees and Red Sox were among the teams most affected by the epidemic last season, in part because many of their stars had refused to be shot.

What is left when the concession is restored? Fan group with questions.

But now the big test will come when these teams head to Toronto, where Canadian commissions remain in force and those who are not vaccinated will not be allowed to play. The Texas Rangers are the first team to go north in a row against the loaded Blue Jays. Their general manager, Chris Young, said the Rangers are fully vaccinated and will have their entire team at their disposal.

But the Blue Jays – young, talented and in need of outside help – could get it if their strong rivals in the league lose a star or two every time they cross the border. No team has been more affected by a pandemic than Toronto, which has played home games in Dunedin, Florida and Buffalo in the past two seasons. A slightly increased advantage at home could be considered a dose of baseball arm, as the breaks finally turn around. The Blue Jays, the victims of their powerful division more than a lack of talent, fell right behind in the finals in 2021. But the finals are bigger now.

As a boy, Cade Cavalli wrote down his goals and ambitions. Now his dreams are coming true.

They – like the Seattle Mariners hoping for their first place in the finals since 2001, like the Los Angeles Angels hoping to push Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani into the spotlight in the finals – have second place to play for this year: After the season six teams will contain six teams from each. division instead of five. Teams suddenly have more margin of error, but not all teams will have their hopes fully renewed.

For all the big spending at the top and all the talk of adjusting the competitive balance, the Oakland Athletics, Baltimore Orioles and Pittsburgh Pirates will start the season with such a low payroll that they would not even support Scherzer’s salary.

Athletics spent much of the season after closing in sending their key talents – third baseman Matt Chapman to the Blue Jays, left-hander Sean Manaea to the San Diego Padres, right-hander Chris Bassitt to the Mets. Meanwhile, their Texas league rivals pledged half a billion dollars to two-star insiders Marcus Semien and Corey Seager for a ban. The inequality in the sport is still there.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are a team dream

But instead of being in talks about wage agreements, the owners’ fault or the needs of the players, this difference will mean (or not) a win and a loss, into baseball data. Instead of serious worries off the field, it’s relatively funny to check with “sticky stuff” and an analysis of what it means that the National League teams will now use the nominated batsman as well.

This is the ball that baseball builds itself every year, a place where living in the daily weeds means feeling at home. That sphere no longer feels as impermeable to the outside world as before, however it felt, the sphere was always fragile. But fragile as it is, baseball is back, ready to take its place in everyday life, ready to help ward off the fear of life beyond the wrong lines – just as it always has, in one way or another. .

Leave a Comment