Play ball: Opening week produces excitment for season to come

Pablo Sandoval’s belt debacle is one of the many reasons the out of shape third basemen is on the bench. (Courtesy of CBS Sports)

Shamus Ricardo
Connector Contributor

As the weather gets warmer, we change from winter to the magical season of baseball. Opening week is filled with enjoyment for all Major League Baseball fans everywhere. On top of that, it is a week of surprises, and this year is no exception.

Fans have already seen a rookie shortstop’s historic start, a three time champion placed on the bench, and a pitcher get pulled in the middle of seven and a third innings of a no hitter. It would be an understatement to say that it looks like the season ahead should be something special.

The biggest story to surface for the Boston Red Sox was the decision to bench the 2012 World Series MVP Pablo Sandoval. This was a combination of Sandoval’s struggles in Boston, as well as Travis Shaw’s impressive rookie year last season.

The two time all star Sandoval finished 2015 with a batting average of .245, which is 42 points lower than his career average of .287. Sandoval started off 2016 playing in three games with one start where he went 0-6 and struck out three times. Sandoval has since been placed on the 15 day disabled list with a left shoulder strain.

For every player who disappoints however, another player is surpassing expectations. That leads to the story of Trevor Story. The Colorado Rockies original shortstop was Jose Reyes who is currently on paid leave awaiting completion of a criminal dispute he is involved in. That opened the door for Story to shine on the big stage. Seeing as he has seven home runs, 13 runs batted in, and a .295 batting average through ten games, it’s safe to say he has filled the postion void for the Rockies.

Another rookie who has made headlines is the Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling. Strpiling was piching a no hitter in the eighth, but after getting the first out new Dodgers manager Dave Roberts pulled him in favor of relief pitcher Chris Hatcher. Hatcher immediately gave up a two run home run to Giants catcher Trevor Brown to tie the game. The Dodgers would ultimately lose the game in extra innings which led to fans being very sceptical of Roberts.

The fans of Major League Baseball can finally enjoy the sport they love. There is a long season ahead that will be full of surprises. It could finally be “next year” for your favorite team.

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