By: William Robinson
It’s that time of year again sports fans where the drudgery of football season is finally over and we can focus on what really matters, major league baseball! That’s right guys and gals it’s time for spring training and let the clouds part and the cherubs sing! No longer will we have to suffer without popcorn and peanuts and cracker jacks and beer, no longer will we have to suffer without hearing the sound of balls striking bats, and no longer will we be missing the sweet smell of freshly cut grass and raked dirt. Spring training is here and with it comes a sense of renewal. For if there is nothing more wondrous than the optimism that comes with the beginning of another baseball season. Why last year the Cubs won the World Series and if the lovable losers can win the World Series then so can your team.
Did you know that since 1980 21 different teams have won the World Series? That’s out of 30 teams ya’ll!!! That means that only 9 teams haven’t won a world series in the last 37 years. That’s impressive and definitely a cause for optimism. It shows that there is more parity in baseball than any of the other major professional sports. In football there have been only 16 different champions out of 32 teams. In the NBA it’s 11 teams out 30 and in the NHL it’s 16 out of 30 teams. So it’s obvious that in major league baseball your team has a greater chance of winning the World Series each season. So it’s a true thing when fans say, “Hey this could be our year.”
I’m hopeful that this year could be my team’s year as well. Last season during the middle of baseball season I moved to Atlanta and last year as I knew that I was moving here I decided to be a Braves fan. As any fan of baseball knows the Braves were quite bad last year. Still though there was a lot to be happy about in 2016. The Matt Kemp trade worked out highly in our favor and Matt returned to his old slugging ways as he felt more comfortable in Atlanta. Our number one prospect Dansby Swanson turned out to be everything that was advertised as he reinvigorated our ball club with his scrappy play. Freddie Freeman showed why he is the best first baseman in baseball last year as he batted .302 and had an amazing OPS of .969 and Ender Inciarte had an amazing gold glove season. In all the Braves were a much improved team the second half of the year and now everyone here in Atlanta is excited about the upcoming season.
This is my first full season as a Braves fan. I know many people believe that you shouldn’t change allegiances during your lifetime; however I feel that it’s only right that a person should cheer for the home team. I couldn’t be any more excited about an upcoming baseball season. It feels like this winter has spread on forever and finally spring is upon us. This year the Braves get set to open up SunTrust Park. I’ve been by there several times already this year and you could palpate the excitedness within me. The stadium is beautiful and going to a game there is going to be an experience. I can’t wait until that first time I walk through those gates for an actual game. This year we also get to see a whole season of Dansby Swanson and how he’s going to do. If he continues his amazing play from last year we could have a new hometown hero on our hands. The Braves also went out this offseason and shored up the back end of their rotation with RA Dickey and Bartolo Colon and hopefully the addition of such veterans will help the young and talented pitchers that the Braves have develop even more. I honestly could see this team competing for a wild card spot this year and you know what? Once the playoffs start anything can happen.
That’s one of the most wonderful things about baseball. You never know what’s going to happen. At any point you could go to a baseball game and see something happen that has never happened in over 130 years of baseball. There is no other sport that has the intellect and the planning of baseball and no other sport where there is such parity. I truly believe that baseball is without a doubt the best sport that has ever been invented. I can’t wait for this season and I can’t wait to sit in those stands with my hot dog and my peanuts and my cracker jacks cheering for my hometown Braves. Who knows maybe this will be our year? Maybe it’ll be your team’s. One thing is for certain though; it’s going to be a lot of fun.