On Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016, the Chicago Cubs ended their 108 year drought by winning their first Major League Baseball championship. Although it does not seem like it ended very long ago, the baseball season will be under way shortly. Spring training is set to begin in a few weeks, with pitchers and catchers being the first to report. Spring training is a series of practices and exhibition games preceding the start of the regular season. Spring ball allows new players to try out for roster and position spots, and gives existing players practice time prior to competitive play. This event has always attracted fan attention, drawing crowds who travel to the warmer climates to enjoy the weather and watch their favorite teams play. The Spring ball system is composed of 2 different leagues: the Cactus league, and the Grapefruit league. Cactus league teams will have their spring training in Arizona, and Grapefruit league teams will play in Florida.
Many teams are optimistic about their chances this year, because of all the roster moves they made through trades and free agency. One of these teams, is the Houston Astros. In the off-season, the Astros took an aggressive approach by adding Carlos Beltran, who is a powerful Designated hitter known for hitting 455 foot home runs that change the course of a game. They also added veteran Catcher Brian McCann, who will provide young players such as, Carlos Correa, Jose Altuve, George Springer with an experienced leader. Other teams such as the Indians and Red Sox made solid moves as well. Both of these team were successful last year, and in fact, the Indians were very close to winning the World Series but came up short after blowing a 3 games to 1 lead over Chicago. The Indians decided to sign first baseman Edwin Encarnacion to a three-year, $60 million deal. Encarnacion is a substantial upgrade at first base,and could be the final piece that this team needs, to get them to the top. The Red Sox however, decided to take a different approach by bolstering their rotation. The sox added stud left hander Chris Sale to an already talented bullpen. Sale who is known as the “Condor” is a lanky 6’6″ left-handed pitcher, who possesses an unusual delivery. He was given this nickname because the delivery process looks like a condor when its wings are spread.The Sox are no stranger to success and will look to add their 9th championship with this purchase of Sale. Many other teams made minor moves, but these are by far the most intriguing. All things considered, I believe this should be a fantastic season, and I look forward to new faces in unfamiliar places.