MLB Spring Training is underway

Raymond Vasquez, Staff Writer

Ella Jennings

With spring training underway, another Major League Baseball (MLB) season is fast approaching. Every team and their fans start dreaming about holding the World Series trophy. Even small-market teams know they have a chance at hoisting the trophy for all to see. Fans are excited to see another baseball season and hope to watch live games in stadiums. As the previous season was interrupted and overshadowed by the coronavirus pandemic, combined with the Los Angeles Dodgers’ win after 32 years, it was definitely a season to remember.

Over the last year, the stronger teams got even stronger and the smaller teams hoped for a good season. If we look at the teams in every division, we can see the difference between the teams that will be top tier, ones that will stay in the middle, and those that will be at the bottom of the division.

“I always think it’s really fun that our season aligns with spring training,” was how fourth-year baseball player and Oakland Athletics fan Taylor Jennings felt about the start of the season.

Known as the Cactus League, a majority of the MLB teams practice in Arizona while the remainder play in Florida’s Grapefruit League. With the MLB preparing for its season in multiple states and Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) play in full swing, Jennings commented, “I get a lot of baseball at once, and it’s the best time of the year.” 

“I’ve never been to the Cactus League,” said fourth-year baseball player and Los Angeles Dodgers fan Daniel Netz, “but I always make sure to watch the games any way I can.”

Another big hope for this coming season is that fans might be allowed to watch the teams play in their home stadiums. Last season, the closest fans were able to get was buying cardboard cutouts that sat in the stadiums with their photos printed on them. However, the World Series games were a first for that particular season in that they allowed some fans to attend, even if it wasn’t in the home stadiums. 

When asked about the lack of an audience, Jennings said, “Even though we don’t get that many fans, it definitely is nice to have fans there cheering you on.” He continued, “I can’t speak to having 40,000 fans around me, but I am sure that it has a psychological component to it.” 

Netz shared much of the same sentiment: “[Having fans] really exasperates the highs and the lows.” Speaking personally, Netz said it was a “bummer” that there weren’t any fans and that “my girlfriend couldn’t see me play and I couldn’t go to her volleyball games.”

When asked about his predictions for the World Series, Jennings put out the idea of the New York Mets and the Chicago White Sox. For Netz, it was the Minnesota Twins and the Los Angeles Dodgers. The two teams vying for the trophy will be decided this coming season.

While the Los Angeles Dodgers are a strong team on paper, the battle they had last year against a seemingly small-market team like the Tampa Bay Rays shows that, in baseball, anything can happen. So, whether you are a fan of a big-market team or a smaller market team, what all baseball fans can root for is that baseball is back!

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