Well, here we are again baseball fans. The opening week of the season. That time of year we all look forward to. Where anything can happen, and we can all have hope. No matter what team we support.
My love of baseball came to me pretty late on, I have only really been following since 2014. I am a lover of other American sports. Predominantly NFL. I will watch basketball and ice hockey too, but they have never quite stuck where I can be invested throughout a whole season.
I also think my love for baseball stems from my love of cricket. The length of the game doesn’t bother me as it might some. The battle between batter and pitcher and the athletic fielding and lights-out plays share such similarities with our beloved bat and ball sport that it’s been a much easier transition for me than it has for my wife, family and friends. I can hear them sigh and their eyes roll as I drone on about ERAs, on-base percentage, and home runs from April to October.
So there I was back in 2014, looking for a new team to follow. I watched a few games and originally followed my NFL love of the San Francisco 49ers and followed the Giants. However staying up until who knows what time watching west coast games for me is unsustainable throughout a 162-game season, without me looking like something out of Shaun of the Dead. I opted that an east coast team would be a better choice.
Fast forward to 2023, and my beloved Yankees are my choice. [Editor’s note: sigh] They get a bad rap from literally every other fan base, but that just makes me love them even more, and the superb fans I’ve met online on Twitter really do make you feel like a family.
There is an us-against-them mentality, and I love that. I like the history, the pinstripes, and the city of New York, so in the end, it was rather an easy choice.
So as we start a new season, what can fellow Yankees fans hope for? For me, we have to have a run in the postseason this year. Despite the injury worries of our rotation, I feel we are good enough to win the AL East.
Hot take: Don’t be surprised by a trade in the coming days for a new starting pitcher.
We have to be more consistent after the All-Star game because last season was a bit of a disaster considering the great start to the season we had. We have to get back to the playoffs and actually play like the Yankees can play; be aggressive on offence and get the ball in play. We cannot let the bats of Donaldson, Judge and Stanton go cold like they did against the Astros, combining for no home runs all series.
So a competitive ALCS has to be a minimum expectation for the club this year. We now have Aaron Judge leading the team as the new captain, a solid lineup behind our main man and hopefully Anthony Volpe locking in the shortstop position and being in the Rookie of the Year discussion.
Add to this improvements in pitching with the addition of Carlos Rodón, and with Domingo Germán and Clarke Schmidt seeing more innings after a promising spring training, it should set the Yankees up for a good 2023.
Let’s just hope that the Astros miss the playoffs. The recent Bat Flips & Nerds article had a bold prediction that Houston will finish third and miss the postseason. We can dream, eh!
Featured image of Aaron Judge by Sarah Stier/Getty Images
Jamie Wyman is a guest contributor for Bat Flips & Nerds. You can follow him on Twitter @Jammers1306