By RICKY LINDSAY, Staff Columnist
Major League Baseball returned with a bang last week. The Astros indeed owned first place in their division at one point, four teams walked off winners on the same day, Yu Darvish captivated the world with his near perfect game, and the entire country took in the laughable and struggling product that the New York Yankees have rolled out in hopes of championship number 28.
I’m not only a writer, but an avid fan of baseball. Chances are you’ll find me locked in to MLB Network this summer, watching at least 200 games. If you are a baseball fanatic like I am, you eventually look for story lines throughout the season
Bryce Harper is back, baby! The 20-year old bro outfielder who has an obsession to be the best hit two home runs in his first two at bats of the 2013 season, and was on pace for 324 big flies. I’ll be watching Harper and his bro-hawk with a close eye this year, not only because we are the same age, but because he’s my pick for the NL MVP.
Torii Hunter joins the star studded lineup of the Detroit Tigers this season with a milestone in sight. He’s only three home runs away from 300 for his career. I’m excited to see this happen, but find it ironic that he’ll be doing it for a team that he torched while with Minnesota.
I’m also excited for pitching dominance this year. I believe that there will be eight or more perfect games and no hitters thrown this season. Pitchers are much better, and steroids are long gone (at least we hope), so don’t be surprised when this occurs, because it nearly did in the second game of the season.
Three straight MVP’s in the D? That is certainly on the radar in Detroit this season. It hasn’t happened in baseball since 2000-2004 with the San Francisco Giants, and the Tigers are 0-2 in that category, so this would be a historic event for a storied organization.
July 30-31; mark those dates on your calendars, because the Washington Nationals travel to Detroit to take on the hometown Tigers in what could be a World Series matchup. It could be the first meeting between Justin Verlander and Stephen Strasburg, as well as Miguel Cabrera, the game’s best player, and Harper, the future of the MLB.
As stated earlier, the Yankees have experienced a monumental collapse of talent due to injuries and age. I’ll be watching to see if the Yankees can avoid their first sub-.500 season since 1992. The Red Sox could be joining them at the bottom, as a fresh change has swept through the AL East.
There are many more story lines this season, but these are the ones that stand out above the rest for me. One thing’s for sure, if you enjoy baseball, this season will not disappoint you at all.