Baseball, that saucy dish best served during sweltering heat, returned this weekend as Spring Training games kicked off.
Old guys almost out of the league suited up with a bunch of young guys wearing jersey numbers in the high 90s. It was most excellent.
Of course, this is a far cry from the MLB we once knew, but we are getting closer to normalcy with some fans in attendance at various training camps. And there were other telltale signs that America’s pastime was back to placate our nerves for several hours each day.
The game we all loved picked up right where it left off.
Angel Hernandez, the man whom former baseball exec David Samson once called “one of the top five worst umpires I've ever come across in 18 years, hard stop,” had an inauspicious start to the 2021 proceedings.
St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jack Flaherty was on the bump–you know, getting ready for the season by tossing lollipops down the pipe. One of these fastballs he grooved directly over the plate, the epitome of a strike.
Hernandez has a far more intense opinion on what constitutes a strike. This led to Fox Sports St. Louis’ Dan McLoughlin dropping some hilarity.
“Angel Hernandez is in midseason form,” McLoughlin said.
The Yankees were taking on the Blue Jays in February, so you know the best part of the game wasn’t about anything that happened on the field.
Well, peripherally it was.
In the fifth inning, the Yankees Rob Brantley got his driver out and let the “big dog eat,” according to teammate Luke Voit who was chatting it up with the broadcast crew. Voit even managed to sneak in an expletive for good measure.
The Houston Astros' stink continues to emanate from seasons past. And it’s somehow enveloped guys who weren’t even on the team.
According to Twitter, Lourdes Gurriel Jr.–who is not former Astros player Yuli Gurriel but his brother–received some backlash from a fan who may have thought he was Yuli or just felt as if he were guilty by association (Read: relation).
Baseball is back. We have just a month to go before the games count and our fantasy teams get replenished with those delectable stats we missed so much.
But in the meantime, Spring Training will be a fine appetizer.