The Science Survey

Baseball is Back With a Full Swing

Max+Jaffe+%E2%80%9919+sports+a+Mets%E2%80%99+t-shirt.
Max Jaffe ’19 sports a Mets’ t-shirt.

Max Jaffe ’19 sports a Mets’ t-shirt.

Michael Ho

Michael Ho

Max Jaffe ’19 sports a Mets’ t-shirt.

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Another year, another season; the 2018 baseball season is looking as exciting as ever with big names traded during the off-season.

Both New York teams, the Yankees and the Mets, signed new managers for the 2018 season.

The Yankees signed Aaron Boone, who played third base for their team in 2003, to a three-year contract. That was the year he hit his famous walk-off home run off of Tim Wakefield in Game seven of the ALCS against the Boston Red Sox. However, with no prior managerial experience, Yankees fans have reasons to be doubtful. On the other hand, since he is only forty-four years old — young compared to most managers — many students think that he can better communicate and connect with the younger players on the Yankees roster.

Harry Markov ’19 is optimistic about Boone, but is also cautious of him.  “Aaron Boone was a great player. However, he doesn’t have any managerial experience.  This makes me nervous about the upcoming season, but I look forward to see what he can bring to the table,” Markov said.

After a quick rebuilding season in 2016 in which the team became sellers instead of buyers, the Yankees reverted back to their old ways and brought in a troop of new players. The team signed many players during the 2017 season and made a run to the American League Championship Series. Now in 2018, the Yankees have made an arguably bigger splash by signing power hitting outfielder Giancarlo Stanton from the Miami Marlins, a team that is rebuilding itself. Stanton led the Majors with fifty-nine home runs will likely be placed alongside 2017 rookie sensation Aaron Judge in the middle of the lineup. If the 2018 Yankees can hit like last year and improve their pitching, they can finish at the top of their division and make it deep into the postseason.

The Mets have also signed a new manager, Mickey Callaway, who previously held coaching experience with the Cleveland Indians, serving as their pitching coach from 2013 to 2017. His previous coaching position could be vital for the Mets as their bullpen has not been playing optimally.

Beattie Bernfield ’19 said, “Callaway is young, but what matters is if he does a better job than Terry [Collins] of taking care of the [pitching] staff.”

“Callaway looks to be able to command the incredible pitching staff that the Mets have and utilize the talent that they have effectively.”

Callaway is looking to invigorate the Mets from its steady decline since making an appearance in the 2015 World Series against the Kansas City Royals. In 2017, the Mets’ rotation was devastated by injuries. Out of the seven available starters, Jacob DeGrom was the only starting pitcher who was injury-free for the whole season.

“The Mets’ strength is their pitching, and Callaway will be able to work with the pitchers, along with new pitching coach Dave Eiland, to ensure that they stay healthy,” Max Jaffe ’19 said.

In terms of hitting, the Mets have been busy this offseason. They added power in the form of Jay Bruce and ex-Yankee Todd Frazier, who will be joining outfielders Yoenis Cespedes and Michael Conforto as the run-producers in the lineup. Jaffe has also stated that he wants the Mets to sign free agent catcher Jonathan Lucroy due to his “high potential and low risk.”

“Callaway looks to be able to command the incredible pitching staff that the Mets have and utilize the talent that they have effectively,” Zeke Fine ’18 said.

The rest of the league’s actions were as exciting as ever. After months of consideration, Japanese star Shohei Otani chose to play for the L.A. Angels in the American League West Division. He is billed as one the few baseball players who can hit and pitch effectively. In Japan, he played for the Nippon-Ham Fighters. Coming to America, he is MLB’s number one prospect. Otani will be teaming up with two-time AL MVP Mike Trout. Together they are likely to form a dominant duo which the Angels will need to take on the World Series Champions, the Houston Astros.

Further up the west coast, the San Francisco Giants had an abysmal 2017 season, finishing dead last in the division by losing ninety-eight out of one-hundred and sixty-two games. This season, the Giants look to come back stronger than ever by signing Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Evan Longoria of the Tampa Bay Rays. Both were one of the best players their respective previous teams have produced. Even though McCutchen and Longoria are almost at the end of their careers, they can still add a spark to the Giants’ lineup. Like the Mets, if the Giants can fix their pitching this season, they might give the reigning National League Champions, the LA Dodgers, a run for their money.

Jumping to the National League Central Division, the Chicago Cubs signed former ace of the Texas Rangers, Yu Darvish. Darvish played five and a half seasons with the Rangers before going to the Los Angeles Dodgers for the latter half of 2017. He helped the Dodgers make a run to the World Series before they fell to the Houston Astros.

In the American League Central Division, there has been some noise surrounding the Cleveland Indians. In mid-December, MLB and the Cleveland Indians announced that starting in the 2019 season, the team will remove the Chief Wahoo logo from their uniforms, which has been present since 1951. Although many fans were angered by the disposal of a long-held tradition, students at Bronx Science had overwhelmingly positive reactions to this change. “Anytime you can improve public relations and try to offend as few people as possible, it’s a good thing,” Bernfield said. 

Others appreciated the decision for a different reason. “I’m very glad that the Indians made the decision to change their logo. It is hard for me to understand why so many fans are so adamant about keeping a representation of their team that is offensive to so many,” Fine said.

Every new baseball season is a fresh start for each team, no matter how poorly they played the previous year. The changes made in the off-season give fans a glimpse of what is to come.

But then again, anything could happen.

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