BRONX, NY – Only a couple of more weeks until “pitchers and catchers,” and that hopefully goes double for all of the Mueller-indicted as well. (*rim shot*) Baseball will be a nice distraction for what will surely be a horrendous Super Bowl and the long wait until Golden State wins their third straight NBA title. Sure, we still need to navigate the two worst months on the calendar, February (easily the worst month, and the month of my birth) and March (as Homer Simpson would say, “Lousy Smarch weather”). But April and baseball bring hope. Even Mets fans were deliriously ecstatic one month in last year. Everyone’s got their predictions for the upcoming season, but what are some of the other stories? Let’s have a look-see.
Yankees and Mets Fans Living in Harmony? OK, I realize that this is a preposterous suggestion, but hear me out. Last year we witnessed Yankees fans booing Rudy Giuliani, which was downright magical. We also saw most Mets fans abandon the Matt Harvey hype and happily help see him and his super-sized ego to the door. It seems like we are closer than ever to reaching across the crosstown aisle and achieving some sort of bipartisan Big Apple baseball truce? Sure, there are still some major hurdles to clear, like the unlovable Wilpons, John Sterling, constant, can’t-help-but-laugh Mets injuries and pretty much every Yankee fan on Staten Island, but let’s give this a shot… or not.
Gateway to the Worst. Can the boringest franchise in baseball, the St. Louis Cardinals, rebound from mercifully missing the playoffs last year to torture MLB fans into submission with their milquetoast team and fanbase and maybe… just maybe… win the World Series? You bet they can! In case things start trending this way, make sure to have alternate summer pursuits like bass fishing or Dead Language classes at The New School at the ready to fill the void.
The Return of Ted Williams. You thought the Red Sox were tough last year? Last time I checked, Teddy Ballgame’s head is still in frozen storage. The year is 2019, stranger things, MUCH STRANGER THINGS, have already happened. If we have the technology to make sexbots, surely someone can construct a 1940s baseball body to carry The Splendid Splinter’s melon around the diamond. Even if a team like the Yankees signs Machado and/or Harper, good luck beating Boston with the reigning MVP and maybe the best hitter ever. Still, as we mentioned, St. Louis could bore Williams to the grave for good.
Mets Stay Healthy But Entire Pitching Staff Goes Bald. This would be the most Mets thing to ever happen. I made myself laugh just writing it.
Strike. The current MLB Collective Bargaining Agreement isn’t up until 2021, but it’s looking more and more like Machado and Harper aren’t going to get what they want in terms of free agent dollars, so wondering what the players’ union will do about that. For the first time ever, I would welcome a baseball strike. The major downside, as always, being that the people who suffer the most when rich guys start fighting are the people who struggle to make ends meet. Trump, of course, will blame Democrats and caravans and witch hunts, and say it’s all disrespectful to our troops, because he’s got the brains of a rosin bag. But minor league ball will fill the void and people will remember why they love the game. People will come, Ray. They’ll watch the game and it will be as if they dipped themselves in magic… uh… sorry, got off track there. Anyway, you get the point. Minor League games are great.
You know what else is great? When DJ Eberle shows up for work on a Thursday. Maybe it will happen tomorrow. Who knows? I’m off next week. Cutting off communication and cutting out for Florida. See you in 2 weeks when there’s truly nothing to discuss.