Baseball is Back

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Baseball is Back

Frida Alvarado, staff writer

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Arizona started its’ preseason, commonly known as Spring Training, on February 21.

Every year professional baseball teams go to small towns in Arizona and Florida to practice and play exhibition games, a sporting event whose prize money and impact on the team’s ranking is either zero or otherwise greatly reduced, before the start of the regular Major League Baseball season. The teams in Arizona are playing in the Cactus League, while the teams in Florida will be playing in the Grapefruit League. Spring Training starts in mid-February and goes  until the first week of April, when regular season starts. Spring training last for about two months.

The purpose of Spring Training is so that new players can try out for spots on the major league teams while existing team members practice in order to get back in shape for the upcoming season. Spring training also gives the manager a chance to evaluate current player up against younger players. During each exhibition game and practice, players get to know each other and build team unity.

Pitchers and catchers usually show up a week earlier than other players since pitchers need a longer training period to get their arms in shape.

This year, the main Cactus League is located in the greater Phoenix area, making it more convenient for fans to hit up multiple ballparks in multiple days. Fans will also be able to take in two games in a day as well as a doubleheader at two parks. Teams will have a least one home game during any four or five-day stretch. There will be more than 200 games featured by the MLB Network in both Arizona and Florida.

“15 teams I believe come to Phoenix for spring training this season. I don’t usually go to the spring training games but when I do it is always fun. I usually just watch opening day with my dad but this year we should have a bigger group of people and we are all excited for opening day after this preseason,” said Brian Fleisch, a freshman on the freshman baseball team.

Some of the teams that will be at Spring Training are The Arizona Diamondbacks, The Chicago White Sox, The Cincinnati Reds, The Cleveland Indians, The Colorado Rockies, The Kansas City Royals, The Los Angeles Angels, The Los Angeles Dodgers.

“Last year they [Arizona Diamondbacks] started off real hot and they were considered one of the top 3 teams in baseball the first month or 2 in the season then after that they kinda fizzled. Went through some injuries and couldn’t keep up with those lovely Dodgers,” said Luke, Scott, a film teacher.

Other teams participating are The Milwaukee Brewers, The Oakland athletics, The San diego Padres, The San Francisco Padres, The Chicago Cubs, The San Francisco Giants, The Seattle Mariners, and The Texas Rangers.Teams all over the world will also be participating.

“Darvish [starting pitcher for the Chicago Cubs] has always been a weapon, whatever team he has been on. The Diamondbacks especially have had trouble focusing against Yu Darvish. You know when the pitcher gets rattled? Yeah, it is the complete opposite in this case,” said Riley Johnson, a freshman.

Day games will start at 1:05-1;10 pm unless indicated otherwise. Night games will start at 6:10, 6:40, or 7:05 pm unless indicated otherwise.