Quick! Without cheating – how many home runs has Edwin Díaz given up this season?
All MLB pitchers were starters at one point in their careers.
Growing up through Little League, college, and the Minor Leagues, anyone who is eventually good enough to pitch in the majors was likely the superstar ace of most of their previous teams. However, at the highest of levels, many pitchers have to make concessions to their new reality – the fact that they may be better served – and better serve their teams – coming out of the bullpen as relievers.
Even before the Pandemic, baseball attendance was declining.
In 127 years of Major League Baseball, 21 teams have won at least 100 games at least two years in a row. The 2018-19 New York Yankees are one of those teams. And consider this: As the decade comes to a close, no team won more games than the Yankees. They won 921 – 57 more than the team’s chief rival, the Boston Red Sox; 100 more than the San Francisco Giants. And 150 games more than the Houston Astros.
Don’t be surprised. Be ready.
Since its creation, baseball has always served as a metaphor for our country. In the 20th Century, artists like Norman Rockwell and the creators of the film Field of Dreams used the game to contrast modern, urban obsessions with America’s simple, rural, and more grounded roots. Contemporary America is a long way from those values – and the national pastime is too. Today, baseball is more about power, data, recruiting overseas talent, and total revenue earned than playing the game the old, “right way”. These changes reflect the newer America: an appetite for speed and immediacy, emphasis on increasing power/production, utilizing immigrant labor, and profit maximization. A majority of fans may be happy with the majestic home runs and electrifying strikeouts they witnessed in the 2017 World Series. But, there are some who believe that it is baseball that has lost something fundamental about its essence.
Fresh off of his 2015 National League MVP season, including a league leading 9.9 WAR, Bryce Harper is one of the most exciting and talented young players in baseball. At the tender age of 23, Harper’s best years likely lie ahead of him, though his contract with the Washington Nationals will keep him off the free agent market until after the 2018 season. With 2016 right around the corner, and considering the outfielder’s potential, it’s certainly not too early to start conjecturing about the possibilities that surround his future and, perhaps, the first $400 million contract in professional sports.