Can you believe that in a little more than a month we’ll be at the halfway point of the Major League Baseball season? The All-Star break comes in the middle of July, and every team in the league will get a well-deserved rest—except, of course, for those players who have distinguished themselves enough to earn a spot in the All-Star game. And if stats are any indication of aptitude, the St. Louis Cardinals have enough talent to take on the best of the American League all on their own.
I tend to describe Major League Baseball as a six-month version of the Olympics, which may seem a bit ludicrous at first, but examining what the sport has become makes the analogy a little bit easier to understand. We have the privilege to watch the best of the best play baseball every single day for a full half of the calendar.
In my previous article, I wrote about the high-profile disappointments of the 2013 MLB season—players who were on fire last year but have since cooled off considerably. Periodic downswings are, of course, a natural part of a professional athlete’s career; there have only been a few players who have never had the term “slump” attached to their legacies. Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers is one of them.
Outside of the Milwaukee Bucks getting steamrolled by the Miami Heat, the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs was full of surprises.
For the past few decades, many subcultures have bewildered the general public (goths, emos and hippies, to name just a few). And while these groups may have been misunderstood in their time, their members bonded as one and basked in their own invented way of life.
We’re more than a month into the 2013 Major League Baseball season, and there are surprises popping up everywhere. The Toronto Blue Jays, a team many experts predicted would be sitting pretty at the top of the American League East standings, is wallowing at the very bottom.
Who would’ve guessed that the story to break up ESPN’s front-page love affair with the Lakers would be about an NBA player coming out of the closet? And that the response from players, coaches and fans would be generally extremely positive and supportive? Regardless of whether or not you’re still in a deep depression after the Lakers were swept out of the playoffs, it’s tough not to feel uplifted by the story.
For more than two months, the American public has been without its beloved gridiron entertainment. Instead, the focus right now is on the NBA playoffs and the beginning of Major League Baseball.
Unique facial hair is nothing new in Major League Baseball. In fact it sometimes becomes the trademark feature of a player’s career. Rollie Fingers, one of the greatest relievers in the game during the ’70s, is noted less often for his incredible pitching ability than for his waxed handlebar mustache.
This week marks the end of college basketball until the fall and, except for fans of Louisville, we—players included—will be in mourning. Well, maybe except for Brittney Griner, the 6-foot-8-inch center for the Baylor University Lady Bears and AP Player of the Year for the second straight season.
This week, millions of baseball fans will flood into their hometown stadiums and either bask in the splendor of the previous season’s triumphs or take comfort in the fact that every team’s record starts at zero wins and zero losses. It’s a time of rebirth: Those still feeling the pangs of defeat from last year can hold out hope that this year there’s a new chance for playoff glory.