The start of a new baseball season usually means that a fan is filled with hope and optimism.
The hope that this is the year for their team, or the optimism that if your team gets just a couple breaks, they could surprise the league and make a run to the playoffs, and maybe even the World Series.
But this year, for a couple of reasons, I find no hope, and no optimism on the eve of baseball season starting. I just find myself disinterested and sort of dreading what’s to come for my team over the next six months. Maybe I’ll snap into it once the games start, or when I see a player go on a historic start to the season. But right now, as rain falls for the first time in months here, I am struggling to find the passion I usually have for a sport I’ve loved for as long as I can remember.
It got so bad that I cancelled my MLBtv subscription more than a month ago, just to make sure I didn’t accidentally forget about it and get hit with the $130 for auto renew.
It’s two days before the start of the season and I’m on the fence about playing fantasy baseball, which is something I didn’t think would ever happen in my life.
The first and probably biggest reason I’m struggling to muster up interest throughout spring training and into opening day, is that my favorite team, the Detroit Tigers, are going through a blatant tank job this season, and has maybe a handful of players who are worth watching.
After nearly a decade of being in contention for the World Series, the bottom fell out of the team last year, and nearly every player on the team that was worth anything, save Miguel Cabrera who is impossible to trade for contract reason, and Michael Fulmer, every familiar face is gone. Justin Verlander, the one player who I thought might play his entire career with the Olde English D on his chest, off to Houston where he won a World Series. Ian Kinsler, gone to Anaheim. Justin Upton, gone.
I get there will be chances to see young prospects that could be contributors in the future when the team is potentially good again, but it’s hard to watch a team get beat day-in, day-out for 162 games while hoping that they lose so many games that they get the first pick in the draft. That’s not worth watching, and certainly not worth dropping $130 on.
The second reason, was the off-season was AWFUL from an excitement standpoint, because owners finally figured out they should stop giving huge eight-year deals to guys who are 32 years old. So there was almost no action during the months where moves are supposed to get you excited for baseball season.
The biggest players didn’t sign deals until spring training was well underway, so even those moves, which usually draw tons of attention, got a little acknowledgement, then we went on our way because there was (kind of) actual baseball happening. Jake Arrieta and JD Martinez are huge names that had they signed in January, would have drawn headlines for a week and mayhve have seen rival teams scramble to try and counter those moves. This year it was news for like an hour, and mainly because we couldn’t believe how team-friendly their deals were.
The most exciting thing to happen this off-season was what, Giancarlo Stanton getting traded to the Yankees? And that happened super early on so it was largely forgotten until we actually saw him take the field in spring training, and no offense to any Yankees fans reading this, but the Yankees getting better does not excite me and make me want to watch baseball, even out of hate and hoping they lose.
So on Opening Day I will try to find a way to tune in, maybe I’ll get the radio package for $20, but this season just doesn’t have the same anticipation and excitement for me as years past, and as a baseball fan, that honestly bums me out.