Perspectives: They’re Back!
Baseball Is Back!
by Paul Semendinger
March 11, 2022
The long lockout is over. It was horrible and miserable and so very, very, very frustrating.
But it’s over.
And it’s time to look forward, with joy, because the sport we love is coming back.
Of course, baseball decided to do this (the players and the owners) at a time when I am juggling about 45,000 different things, and when I just don’t have the time to dig deep into the many aspects of the new deal.
Still, I do have a number of “big picture” perspectives that I’ll share here.
Hooray for the DH! – I never liked watching pitchers hit. By the time I started watching baseball, the DH was already a thing. I never saw the Yankees in the pre-DH era (and I’m 53-years-old). The DH wasn’t going away. It was time that that National League finally got in line with virtually every other level of baseball and adopted it. Finally, the Yankees won’t have to send up pitchers to hit and run the bases in National League parks. Finally!
Get Them All! – The luxury tax threshold has been raised. I hope this means that the Yankees are going to go all-in and start signing players galore. That period before the lockout when the Yankees did nothing was frustrating. But again, it’s time to move forward. I hope the Yankees go into 2022 with the best team possible by acquiring all sorts of great talent through signings and trades. Signings and trades are exciting and add to my enjoyment of the game. I LOVE when the Yankees acquire the next available superstar.
Correa – But I don’t want all the superstars. Bring me Freddie Freeman, not Carlos Correa.
Expanded Playoffs – These are going to benefit the Yankees. I’m not a big fan of expanded playoffs, but this was an eventual reality. I like fewer teams in the post season, but the expanded playoffs were coming whether I liked it or not. The Yankees should always be good enough to make the playoffs now. And once they’re there, anything can happen.
Starting Pitching – Great starting pitching, really great starters, will be the key to go deep through the playoffs. The bullpen approach won’t work because there will be too many games with too many high-stress innings. Bullpens burn out in October. The Yankees need to get another big time starter or two who can help carry them through October.
My Worry – I am optimistic that the Yankees are going to be very active in acquiring players now, but my worry is that the Yankees will always be just good enough to get into the playoffs. I don’t want the Yankees to be an 85-win team each year who gets in and loses. I still hope the Yankees’ mission is to win a million games each year and then plow through the playoffs. The fact that it will be easier to get in might lead the Yankees to go less than all-in. I hope that’s not the case.
My BIG Idea – I don’t love that there will be advertising on the uniforms, but, this too, was something that was eventually going to happen. That’s the direction all sports are going. We will also get used to it quicker than we think. But, since baseball needs to reach out to the fans and the “little guys” (or at least they should), wouldn’t it be great if they put the logos of some small business that could also use some help alongside the big corporations? That would be a great PR move! Hey, how about a weekend series in June with the Start Spreading the News stadium logo on the team’s left sleeve? Now we’re talking!
Spring Training – It’s here. Hope springs eternal. I hope Mr. Boone runs an efficient camp and the Yankees become a more fundamentally sound team in 2023. I hope they’re going to be an exciting team to watch in 2023. I’m excited already. I can’t wait to hear John Sterling’s voice from the first Spring Training game. Oh baby! The Yankees are back!!!
Injuries – I hope that the shortened Spring Training does not lead to more injuries. With the expanded playoffs that the Yankees should make if all goers well, the Yankees should be very careful and not rush pitchers like Luis Severino. Take it slowly with those players. “Live each day with tomorrow in mind.”
Go Out Strong – That being said, the Yankees need to start strong. I have a post coming one day about the “marathon vs sprint” analogy, which primarily hold us, but no winning marathoner starts off in the back of the back. They always start and stay strong throughout the race.
Let’s Go Yankees!!!