Fans ready to get past drama

Fans are ready for a baseball season with sun, hotdogs, homeruns and no drama. Photo courtesy of sxc.hu

Kate Hampson / Washburn Review

Sports fans are breathing a sigh of relief because baseball season is finally here.

Fans are in need of a break from the drama of the NFL and the NBA. With the prospect of no NFL games next season and the superstar drama the NBA provides us, more pressure lies on Major League Baseball to produce an exciting season that can emotionally sustain fans through the winter months.

It was an exciting start to the season last week, with two unexpected teams boasting undefeated records: the Baltimore Orioles and the Texas Rangers. This may prove to turn out to be a season that no one can predict. Sounds about like the NCAA Tournament.

Let me start with the National League. First, I don’t think that San Francisco can repeat as the World Series Champions. Its run to the championship last season was a mix of  hitting its stride at the perfect time with great pitching and very timely hitting, much like the Colorado Rockies team did in 2007.

The Rockies, in fact, are going to win the NL West for the first time in franchise history, with a powerful lineup and a solid pitching staff. Colorado’s records of late have reflected the play of possible Hall-of-Fame first baseman Todd Helton. If he is healthy and can produce a season up to his standards, the Rockies will rock the NL West. The Giants will be in a close second, followed by the Dodgers, then Padres and in last, the Diamondbacks.

In the NL East, expect the Phillies to live up to expectations of their larger-than-life pitching staff and win their division. It is going to win the weak East division easy, by at least five games. The Braves will finish second but out of the wildcard race.

The NL Central might be an interesting division to watch. I don’t think the Cardinals will be able to get past the Pujols drama to make the playoffs. This season, the Milwaukee Brewers have a great lineup and a couple good pitchers to carry the load and they will win this division. The Cubs will extend their championshipless seasons to 104.

On to the American League and the AL East. The Yankees will once again buy another division championship but the Orioles will, surprisingly, finish in second and win the wildcard race. Baltimore has young players waiting to break out as superstars and will make a name for themselves this season. Boston is going to have a disappointing season, carrying its spring training woes into the regular season.

In the AL West, the Rangers will continue the trend they started last season and take the division. They will, however, fight off Seattle, which will make its comeback this season, but just miss out on October because of the breakout Orioles.

And last, the AL Central. Minnesota is going to win the division this season and the Royals aren’t going to be near the top yet again. But, they will have a better season than last, just not quite good enough for the playoffs. Fans should be shooting for a winning season.

All in all, this MLB season is going to exciting and a great way to spend free time in the summer. If you have never experienced a major league game, it is a relaxing way to spend a summer afternoon or night. Pick college night or dollar hot dog night and you’ll have an even better time.

Play ball.