Welcome Back, Baseball: MLB Returns for the 2023 Season
The 2022 Major League Baseball season was historic, but 2023 promises to be even better, thanks to new rules and new faces around the game.
It’s like Christmas morning.
The day we’ve waited for, for months. A day we’ve all looked forward to.
Since the moment they “finished the job.”
The moment the confetti flew in the air, the gloves too. The fireworks blasted off from the train tracks. And one team — deep in the heart of Texas — orbited the league as World Champions.
2022 delivered a dynasty, but that’s not all it brought us.
It delivered a larger-than-life figure, a Big Man in the Big Apple, who redefined what it meant to be a Bronx Bomber.
Sixteen miles away, across the Major Deegan, over the Kennedy Bridge, and through the Grand Central Parkway into Queens, it delivered an iconic moment — 32 times, in fact — where one man jogging onto a baseball field brought out a collection of brass instruments and brought everyone to their feet.
In the Motor City, a man who transcended time with his bat, earned 3,000 hits and cemented himself as one of the best ever. El Señor Tigre.
And not to be outdone, underneath the arch in St. Louis, a similar transcendent talent turned back the clocks to 2001 and became the fourth man ever to hit 700 home runs.
Bonds. Aaron. Ruth. Pujols.
Speaking of 2001….How about one more milestone?
Baseball’s longest playoff drought was snapped with one swing, caffeinating the Coffee Capital of the World and sending the Mariners to October.
2022 wasn’t just the year of storylines. It was the year of the young player.
Rookie sensations burst onto the scene at every position and contributed significantly.
Adley Rutschman sped up the Orioles’ timeline. Spencer Strider and Michael Harris ushered in a new crop of Braves talent. Julio Rodriguez went 25-25 and Bobby Witt Jr. went 20-30. Jeremy Peña won both the ALCS and World Series MVP.
Every day, something special happened on the diamond, something we’ve never seen before.
Every day, a possibility for Shotime…
But that was 2022.
This is a new year, where hope truly springs eternal.
The sour taste of elimination has been wiped out of every team’s mouth. Replaced by opportunity that this year is their year.
So what will we see in 2023?
Well, we’ve already been witnesses to a worldwide tournament. We watched the most anticipated at-bat maybe…ever?
Certainly the most talked-about at bat since Gibson and Eckersley.
One hundred million people tuned in. Trout versus Ohtani. Best versus best. Teammates in a different lifetime. But on that night, in that moment, they went one on one. For the crown.
The best part about it? We all believed what we had just seen.
And as Vin Scully would say, “tonight I think Tinkerbell backed off.”
If the World Baseball Classic was the appetizer, we can only imagine what the main course will be. Six months to digest it all.
Will we get a repeat champion for the first time since 2000?
Will someone in the American League finally beat the Astros?
Are the Dodgers finally *not* the team to beat in the National League?
Will the NL East put someone else in the World Series?
What will the elimination of the shift and the introduction of the pitch clock bring to the game this year?
Last, but certainly not least, will Shohei Ohtani finish the year in an Angels uniform?
We’ve dreamed about the possibilities for months. Since November 5th, to be exact. But, we don’t have to dream much longer.
The snow has melted off the trees. The bitter cold air has morphed into a cool, springtime breeze.
America’s pastime is here once again.
Opening Day 2023.
Welcome Back, baseball. We’ve missed you.