The Washburn Review • February 24, 2015 • https://washburnreview.org/9019/sports/after-further-review-spring-training/
Although it is cold outside in Topeka, temperatures in Arizona and in Florida are perfect for some baseball. That’s right; baseball is back as we start spring training in Major League Baseball. As a fan of the Kansas City Royals, I am entering spring training as a playoff team for the first time. Not only did the Royals make the playoffs, but they made one of the most historical runs of all time.
So what should I and other young fans expect out of a team that gave us memories unlike any that we have ever had? Unfortunately, the experts say that standards should be relatively low. This is going to be hard to do for some fans and easy for others.
The fan that has been repeatedly let down by the team may have no trouble having low expectations.
The fan that will struggle with that is the fan that is still living in October. These are the fans that feel like the run of the 2014 postseason is the way that the entire 162 is going to be like in 2015. I caution this fan because of the sheer rarity of what we saw at the end of the season. Remember that the Royals almost didn’t make it into the playoffs and we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Low expectations will be easy for us fans that have been beaten down.
How will the American League Central end up? Well, I would have to guess something like this:
Detroit- Until someone can beat them over the course of the year, I’m going to say the Tigers are still the best team in the division. Even with an aging roster and the loss of Max Scherzer, Detroit wins the division.
Cleveland- I went with my mom to see the Indians play in KC last year and at that point, I thought it would be the Tribe in the Wild Card game against Oakland, not the Royals. This team could play and made the near homerless Royals look bad in their own ballpark, hitting multiple long balls. Speaking of the long ball, the Indians added Brandon Moss to the roster, who hit two home runs against the Royals in the Wild Card game.
Kansas City- The returning AL pennant winners could, along with Chicago, be the most fluid in this chart. The Royals did do a great job keeping the stout bullpen in tact over the offseason, and will add an arm that was heating up as he got hurt, Luke Hochevar.
Chicago- As I mentioned, this team could exceed my expectations, but I’m just not sure what to expect. Many people say that this is the year the White Sox get back to the postseason, but I’m not buying in quite so easily.
Minnesota- What is there to say about the Twins, other than they are a mess. It would take a minor miracle for the Twinkies to be relevant. Maybe they could use a 12-year-old owner/manager to turn things around.
No matter who you root for, it is time to get ready to board the great roller coaster that is baseball.