Baseball Swings into Season


Willis Smith, Staff Writer

As the weather warms up, America’s pastime of baseball should be in full swing by now; however, a lockout between the owners and the baseball players about different compensation, banned substances and the MLB schedule caused the 2022 MLB season to be postponed momentarily. Nevertheless, baseball is back and with some new changes as a product of the lockout such as a universal DH (Designated Hitter) for both the National League (NL) and American (AL)League as well as an expanded playoff format.

Senior Braden Wood gave his takes on the upcoming season including the World Series champ. “I gotta say that my White Sox are going all the way.” This claim isn’t that unrealistic; the White Sox boasts one of the best rosters in the MLB with exciting hitters including the likes of Tim Anderson, Jose Abreu and Yasmani Grandal among others. They also have a strong pitching rotation with Dallas Keuchel, Lance Lynn and Joe Kelly. The White Sox bowed out in the AL Divisional round last year to the Houston Astros and the expectations for this year are through the roof.

Wood also described who he thinks will host the MVP trophy in the National League and the American League. “I’m gonna have to say for the AL Tim Anderson, and for the NL, I’m going with Manny Machado.”

Sticking with the White Sox theme, Tim Anderson not only is one of the best young players in the league, but he is also one of the most exciting players with his high energy reaction and overall joyful nature. Anderson holding down the shortstop position finished his 2021 campaign with a .309 batting average with 17 home runs and 61 RBIs. Anderson also is an elite defender coinciding with his impressive batting numbers, as many believe he will take the step to garner his name into the MVP conversation.

Manny Machado on the other hand has been a great player in the league for many years from his time with the Baltimore Oriels, Los Angeles Lakers and now the San Diego Padres. Machado had a 2021 season with a stat line of .278 batting average, 28 home runs and 106 RBIs. Machado is also a phenomenal defender at the third base position, and maybe this year is the year he puts it all together to capture the MVP.

Lastly, Wood shared his opinions on the new rule changes such as the universal DH and the expanded playoffs. The universal DH allows a position player to bat for pitchers in the batting order; beforehand only the AL had a DH while the NL had to let the pitchers hit. Wood went on to say, “I like it. I feel like it’s better than pitchers hitting.” Another change is the playoff format, where the original 10-team bracket has now expanded to 12 teams. In an era where the other major sports have expanded their playoffs, the MLB seems to be stuck in the past; however, the recent lockout made many of the owners realize the opportunity and opened it up more. Wood described these changes by going, “It just makes so much more sense.”

As the summer commences and then transitions to fall, America’s pastime will continue with much more games ahead of us and surely some worthwhile moments.