Major League Baseball started Spring Training the weekend of February 22 amidst cheating scandals from the 2017 and 2019 seasons. While these scandals have caused major outrage among fans, teams plan to prepare as normal for the upcoming season (Photo Courtesy of Maddie Bimonte).
Major League Baseball’s 2020 season kicks off Spring Training this week, giving teams the chance to practice and warm up for the year. Spring Training features two leagues, Grapefruit and Cactus, where teams will compete in stadiums in Florida and Arizona respectively.
Spring Training gives teams the opportunity to call up minor league players, plan out the year, and get in shape for the 162 games of the year. Many players who are coming off the injured list from 2019 such as Giancarlo Stanton and Brett Cecil reported feeling good in the first few days of training.
Spring Training offers fans an opportunity to meet and get autographs from the players. Many of the players stay for a few hours after practices to make sure every fan gets that opportunity.
While Spring Training provides exciting baseball, the league continues to deal with the cheating scandal by the Houston Astros throughout the 2017 and 2019 season. Reports that batters were aware of the pitches coming to them via the banging on a trash can came out in late 2019, and as punishments were distributed, many fans remained angered over the lack of severe consequences for players and the team.
Commissioner Rob Manfred also fell into hot water when asked on why the Astros World Series Trophies were not confiscated. Claiming the trophy was a “piece of metal” and taking it away would be a “futile act” angered many players, such as Justin Turner who expressed his lack of respect for Commissioner Manfred.
As the situation continues, MLB looks to crack down on pitchers’ retaliation by throwing at Astros batters throughout Spring Training and the regular season. While it looks to be Spring Training is off to an interesting start, it only leaves more room for fun throughout the rest of the season.