Major League Baseball is Back!

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By Robbie Cruz

Major League Baseball was set for its 150th season, ever since it started in 1869. The opening game of the season was on Thursday, March 28, 2019.

This was one of the most anticipated seasons in recent memory because the offseason was full of transactions that got fans excited. These transactions include Bryce Harper going to the Philadelphia Phillies from the Washington Nationals, Manny Machado going to the San Diego Padres from the Los Angeles Dodgers and Paul Goldschmidt was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals from the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Students apart of The Catholic University of America appeared to be eager for Opening Day. Opening Day has long been a tradition for many Catholic University students including freshman media and communications major, Andrew Snaith.

“The best part about Opening Day is the opportunity it presents to all 30 teams. Each team has a clean slate, and 162 games to define who they want to be,” said Snaith, a Philadelphia native. “It also means summer nights of ball games in Philly are right around the corner.” Opening Day has also featured historical moments. Moments including Jackie Robinson’s major league debut in 1947, Hank Aaron’s 714 career home run in 1974, and Randy Johnson’s 130 pitch complete game shutout in 2002.

Last season, the Boston Red Sox won the World Series in five games against the Los Angeles Dodgers, and many predict them to potentially win their second consecutive World Series. However, after losing 7-time All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel, and setup man, Joe Kelly, the Boston Red Sox appear to have question marks in their team.

Snaith hopes the 4-0 Philadelphia Phillies can win their third World Series title, the first since 2008, but he predicts the Houston Astros can win the World Series this year. Snaith says that he believes the Astros have the best lineup in Baseball and have good enough pitching to be prepared for a deep postseason push.

The first official games of the 2019 Major League Baseball season started on March 20, as the Seattle Mariners faced off against the Oakland Athletics in Japan. The games were hosted in Japan because Major League Baseball is looking to expand worldwide.

According to the president of the Seattle Mariners, Kevin Mather the move was meant to bring a Major League Baseball game to Japan for the first time since 2012.

“Playing in Japan will be another memorable experience for our players, organization, and Major League Baseball,”  said Mather.

After the first week of Opening Day, the Philadelphia Phillies remain the only undefeated team left in baseball, as they are 4-0. The Brewers, Mets, Mariners, and Tampa Bay Rays also have winning percentages over .800. The Red Sox and Angels are off to a slow start at 1-5.

Next season, Major League Baseball plans on implementing new rules and changes to the game itself. Commissioner Rob Manfred has announced that Major League Baseball will create a three-batter minimum rule. This rule means that each pitcher that comes in must face at least three batters, and it has been created to speed up each game. Another rule change coming as of 2020, is that teams will now have a 26-man roster, and only 12 pitchers are allowed to be on the roster.

While Manfred has planned for changes to come in baseball, it has left fans with mixed feelings. Some fans prefer the traditional style of baseball and enjoy a slow-paced game while other fans prefer the more sped-up style of play. At the end of the day, Major League Baseball is going to make changes in the future, however, there is a new season starting and there is an excitement within the fans.

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