Hope Springs Eternal (Again) as Spring Training Resumes

Mandatory Credit: (AP Photo/Joe Skipper)

Mandatory Credit: (AP Photo/Joe Skipper)

Spring Training has started for major league teams, and slowly some of the star players are coming to camp early.

Yoenis Cespedes, of the Mets, came to Port. St. Lucie, Fla a few days ago to much buzz. He signed late in the off-season for three years for $75 million, and it seems it caught club officials and fans by surprise. He was the major catalyst in the Mets’ surging offense in the second-half of the season. He belted home runs all over the place, and was a power source that the Mets hadn’t had in years. Well, he’s back and so are the starting pitchers, led by Matt Harvey. The Mets are going to be a team to look out for this season.

The Chicago Cubs, the team the Mets handled so dominantly in last year’s NLCS, were the big winners in the off-season transactions. They reconfigured their roster by adding two key players from their rival, the St. Louis Cardinals, pitcher John Lackey, and outfielder, Jason Heyward. The Cubs also acquired infielder Ben Zobrist, who last played for the Kansas City Royals, the reigning World Champs. Zobrist is a great contact hitter and it is the hope that he can get on base and have the sluggers in their lineup healthy all season to drive him home.

Todd Frazier is now the new third baseman for the Chicago White Sox. In the last two seasons, Frazier has hit 64 Home Runs and 169 runs batted in for the Reds. The White Sox can use that kind of power and as lineup protection for Jose Abreu. Frazier has added some jump to the Sox clubhouse.

The New York Yankees acquired flame-thrower Aroldis Chapman, the left-handed reliever from Cincinnati. However, his spring-training days are under a cloud as he awaits a decision from MLB commissioner Rob Manfred related to a domestic abuse case. . One source with knowledge of the case said, “The commissioner has the parameters to issue any discipline.”  The Yankees expect that such a rendering will come soon and will support the office of MLB. “We support the MLB in all their efforts,” said GM Brian Cashman,  Chapman will be playing this season, it is a question of when. And Yankee fans hope it is sooner rather than later.

Don Mattingly who left the manager spot in Los Angeles in a “mutual” decision has found a new home with the Miami Marlins, and has one of the greatest sluggers–and also one of the most controversial characters of all-time on his staff to help mentor his young talent: Barry Bonds.

It’s a new beginning for teams, their fans along with a dash of controversy. After all, baseball these days always has some controversy.


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