Well, it’s official! The 2013 major league baseball (MLB) season is here. It started auspiciously on Sunday night, March 31, with a game between the Texas Rangers—a powerhouse in the American League (AL) West Division—and the Houston Astros—a really bad team that has just transitioned from the National League (NL) Central Division to the AL West. Many in the AL West are licking their chops at the prospect of fattening up their won/loss records on the Astros, but surprise, surprise Houston beat the Rangers 8-2 in the opener.
The symbolision of the Astros over the Rangers is multifold. It was the 4,000th win in Houston franchise history. It was the first game for the Astros as an American League team. It was the beginning of the 2013 seasons. And, most importantly, it was a most satisfying example of an underdog beating a clearly superior team. That last sentence points up the truth of the MLB; the best team is going to lose at least 55 games and the worst team is going to win at least 55 games (except for the Detroit Tigers in 2003, an exception that proves the rule). It’s what happens with the remaining 52 games in the regular season that defines the playoff teams from the rest of the league.
I’ll be attending opening day at Nationals Park. The game between the Washington Nationals and the Miami Marlins inaugurates what many in Washington believe will be a championship season for the city. Stephen Strasburg will pitch, and a really strong line-up led by Ryan Zimmerman, Bryce Harper, Adam LaRoche, and Jayson Werth will take the field to bash the ball and keep the Marlins from doing the same. It should be fun.
Will the Nationals win 100 games this season? They had a record of 98-64 last year, the best in MLB. I think they can improve a few games, win the NL East Division, and go deep into the playoffs. I hope they make it to the World Series, and bring the franchise’s first championship flag to the city. It’s exciting. I’m on the bandwagon. Go Nats!