Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Football is over and pitchers and catchers report in 12 days! Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the NFL, but baseball is my passion.
MLB Opening Day is a beautiful thing. It is acceptable to call in sick to work and go enjoy a game. Every team has hope. Every fan can be excited about the possibilities a new season will bring. Even if your team is one of the handful that is rebuilding, you can be excited to see that heralded rookie that is full of promise, like Byron Buxton of the Minnesota Twins. You can watch a new big-name acquisition like Robinson Cano get acclimated to playing with Seattle and see if he is the difference-maker they need. Or you can watch Josh Donaldson try and repeat his breakout 2013 campaign and hopefully garner more All-Star votes with Miguel Cabrera moving to first base.
These are just a few of the story lines that are available on Day 1. But if you get the chance to actually attend the Opening Day game for your favorite team, there is also the smell of fresh cut grass, the aroma of your favorite ballpark food, the not-yet sticky concourse floors, the new merchandise available in the team store, the crack of the bat, the gasps of the crowd, the packed ballpark full of anticipation. Win or lose, it’s Opening Day. You can’t win ’em all. Just look at the Oakland A’s in recent years; you’re facing Felix Hernandez every Opening Day. Not in 2014!
In typical Opening Day optimistic fashion, here is why and how the Oakland A’s will win the World Series in 2014. The A’s bullpen is arguably the deepest in baseball. Their offense is full of switch-hitters and platoon players, meaning that nearly any injury won’t cripple the team. It may slow them, but the A’s aren’t built around one player. Their starting pitching will average about a 3.50 cumulative ERA, which is plenty good when you have the arms in the ‘pen they do and a run producing-offense. That gets them INTO October.
In the playoffs I’m guessing the A’s, Red Sox and Tigers will win their divisions, and the two Wild Card teams will be the Rangers and Yankees. Rangers win that game because of their pitching and defense. New York blames A-Rod even though he is suspended. Rangers face Sox, A’s draw the Tigers for the third straight year. Billy Beane delivers a riveting speech, a la Hunter Pence, and the A’s beat the Tigers in 4. The Sox beat the Rangers in 5. Oakland and Boston in the ALCS. A’s win in 7, and face the, let’s say Pirates in the World Series. After a low-scoring series, Game 7 is pitched by friends Sonny Gray and Gerrit Cole. Something magical happens that will live in baseball lore forever, and the A’s win their first World Series Title in 25 years!
The point of this little rant was to show that on Opening Day, anything is possible.
What do you think is going to happen this year? What are you looking forward to? Who’s going to win the World Series? Comment below!