Baseball returned Sunday afternoon. It doesn’t feel like it was all that long ago that teams collectively hung it up, either after the regular season ended, or after the Los Angeles Dodgers captured a World Series title. And yet, here we are. But I suppose it never feels like the return to baseball takes all that long. That might be because between baseball stopping and starting, we’re inundated with holidays and festivities, not really ever having a ton of time to settle into a baseball-less world.
But the Washington Nationals took on the St. Louis Cardinals for an early afternoon affair. A game which saw a 4-4 tie conclude the matters (not that scores, wins, or losses matter much this time of year), and which saw players like Victor Robles (1-for-3, RBI) and Trea Turner (1-for-2) return to the field; and players like Josh Bell (1-for-2) and Kyle Schwarber (1-for-3) make their Nats’ debuts, including a throw from the latter to nab Andrew Knizner at the plate. Of course, on the other side of things, we also saw Nolan Arenado make his Cardinals’ debut, going 0-for-2.
Even though the games don’t count for anything meaningful yet, it was still nice to see baseball return. There are opportunities to see interesting developments during spring, like which players made adjustments and how it might affect their season, or to see young players you might not get to see during the regular season.
While the regular season doesn’t begin until April 1 when the Nationals host the new look Mets, baseball is certainly back. This year will undoubtedly be a roller coaster of a season for all the teams in the National League East.
As the newness of Spring Training begins to wear off, we’ll surely turn our attention to Opening Day, just as I’m sure many of the players do.
What I’ll be most curious to see is whether or not Carter Kieboom can begin to develop into the player many of us expect – or at least hope – him to become. Aside from that and the obvious pursuit of the division, watching Juan Soto’s continued ascent will garner a keen eye from much of the baseball viewing public.
Finally, personally having a Josh Bell tie-in this season, I’ll be curious to see whether or not he can regain his 2019 form from his Pittsburgh days – or some semblance of it.
Let’s watch some baseball!