Baseball is Back in Business

Eitan Greenberg, Sports Editor

The day has arrived —Major League Baseball made its return for opening day of the 2023 season. Starting in February, pitchers and catchers reported to locations in Florida and Arizona for spring training. Some of the league’s best players participated in the World Baseball Classic, which ended in Japan beating the United States, 3-2.

Opening day is headlined by several matchups among the league’s best pitchers. Mariners ace Luis Castillo will duel against the Guardians ace, Shane Bieber. CY Young Award winner Sandy Alcantara of the Marlins will face off against Max Scherzer of the New York Mets. The Philadelphia Phillies’ Aaron Nola will compete against Jacob deGrom of the Rangers. 

Recently, the conversation has stirred concerning the league’s new rule changes, which were enforced throughout the spring and will continue during the regular and post-season. The size of the bases has significantly increased to limit injuries, the infield shift has been banned, offense increased and a pitch clock has been installed to speed up the game. Pitchers will get 20 seconds between pitches with runners on base, and 15 seconds without runners.

Thus far, the average time of the game in the spring totals around two-and-a-half hours, whereas previously, it ran close to four hours.

Another talking point regards injuries during games that do not “count.” Star closer Edwin Diaz of the Mets suffered a leg injury during the celebration of Puerto Rico’s defeat of the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic; this injury will keep Diaz out for the season. Other significant injuries include Gavin Lux of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Rhys Hoskins of the Phillies, who both tore their ACLs.

This baseball season ranks as one of the most highly anticipated in recent years. The World Baseball Classic significantly boosted baseball’s popularity, and with the combination of improved teams and the projected increase of offense, fans have demonstrated major excitement.