From Spring Training to the World Series – An MLB Tale

Spring Training

With the Regular Season just a couple days away, we’re happy to report your team is looking good. This could be your year. Seriously. Just ask a 2016 Cubs fan.

That attitude was all over Lecom Field in Bradenton, FL, last Saturday. A cool spring afternoon was the perfect backdrop for some baseball and meeting new friends. Pittsburgh Pirates fans love their Bucs – and are confident that this is their year. They were out en force Saturday to have a good time. Mission accomplished. Big time.

Despite what was taking place on the field – the visiting Tigers had a no hitter going through 5 innings – the Pirates fans’ spirit never wavered. They were rewarded for their loyalty as the Bucs bounced back to win it late. Everybody went home happy. Even the Tigers fans, because, hey, they were on vacation in Florida – 75 degrees and sunshine beat the Mitten’s weather in March every time.

As we looked at teams’ schedules, we realized we could squeeze in one more game. We chose to go with a team that has some of the most die-hard and loyal fans in the majors …

The last stop on our Spring Training Tour was in Ft. Myers, FL, at Jet Blue Park (or Fenway South) for a match-up between the Red Sox and Nationals. With both teams decked out in red jerseys, the ball field matched the sold-out crowd to create a red sea of clothing (with the occasional (lost?) Yankees fan making the most of his spring break and adding a spot of rival blue to the back drop). Jet Blue Park has a mini Green Monster in left field and northeastern beers and – apparently – delicious lobster rolls at the concessions to ensure New Englanders feel at home away from home. We say “apparently” because, every concession stand we tried to purchase a lobster roll from was proudly sold out. We made the best of this crustacean-less situation and chose brats with the works. Still damn fine ballpark food.

At the top of the Mini Monster, under a blue sky accented by high clouds,  we got to see more of both teams’ regulars in the lineup than we have during the previous 5 games. The hitters looked sharp and at the end of the home-team win, we knew the players are ready for the season and we’re ready to cheer on our teams all season long with gusto and enthusiasm.

And now we wait for Opening Day.

And while we wait, how about some bold predictions for the upcoming season? Based upon what we saw during our Spring Training tour, this is how we see the season playing out:

Lobster rolls will continue to sell out at Fenway.
More craft beers will be consumed in the stands than last season.
Poutine will become a fan favorite at parks bold enough to serve it.
Fair skinned fans are going to turn red. Bright red.
Parents will continue introducing their little ones to America’s Pastime.
Those same little ones will continue to beg their parents for cotton candy and ice cream served in replica mini-batting helmets of the home team.

But what about the real predictions?

We’ve got those too:

The AL Division winners will Boston, Cleveland and Texas.
The AL Wildcards will be Detroit and New York.

The NL Division winners will be Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington.
The NL Wild Cards will be Colorado and St. Louis.

The World Series will be the Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox.

The winner will be baseball fans everywhere.

Enjoy the season.