The smell of fresh cut grass, the sun beating down, and the sudden desire for a hotdog and a bag of peanuts can only mean one thing. Baseball season is finally upon us, so let the summer long roller coaster begin.
The season opener of the “Great American Pastime” is a time of extreme optimism for most teams around the league. Everyone starts out with the same record and, even if it only lasts a few weeks, everyone is in contention.
Opening weekend left some surprised with outcomes. The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, two of the most prestigious franchises in the game, started their seasons 0-3.
The Atlanta Braves, the team with the most local support, stumbled out of the gate with a disappointing 0-4 start.
On the other end of the spectrum, two teams projected to finish as bottom dwellers of the league, the New York Mets and the Houston Astros, started 4-0 and 3-1, respectively.
Is there a reason to be concerned if you cheer for the Yankees, Red Sox, or Braves? Should you be optimistic if you are a Mets or Astros fan?
In a word, no.
For those that may not know, the Major League Baseball regular season consists of 162 games. Four games is merely 2.5% of what is yet to come. History shows us that nothing can be learned from opening weekend.
Last season, the Red Sox started 0-6 and was in the driver’s seat for a playoff spot until a colossal collapse in September kept them out of the postseason. It was the losses in September, not April, that cost them.
In 2003, the Braves won their division for the 12th consecutive season and finished the season with a league best 101 wins. They started that season 0-3.
The team that should be the least concerned with a shaky start is the Yankees.
The last two times the Bronx Bombers have started 0-3 were 2009 and 1998. Both seasons they finished with the best record in baseball, 103 wins and 114 wins, respectively, and went on to win the World Series.
Add that to the fact that the Yankees have won the World Series all previous seven times that the Kentucky Wildcats have won the men’s national championship in basketball, it’s safe to say that Yankee fans have the odds in their favor.
As for the Mets and Astros, both teams have lost two straight and are playing more like the teams they were predicted to be.
In three of the last five seasons, the team that has finished the regular season with the worst record in the league won their opening series. The Tampa Bay Rays started 2-1 in 2007, the Washington Nationals started 3-0 in 2008, and the Pittsburgh Pirates started 2-0 in 2010.
It is understandable that fans are frustrated with a slow start, especially the Braves and Red Sox after their hopes were crushed at the end of last season.
It’s also hard not to be optimistic if you are a Mets or Astros fan since all that has been said all offseason is how bad your season is about to be.
With all that being said, don’t get worked up over nothing. It’s only April. Just sit back, relax, and enjoy the six month ride to October.