Fans in The Bronx were cheering. Same goes for those in Anaheim.
But the loudest cheers from this past weekend had to be coming from the MLB offices on Park Avenue in NYC.
Clearly, baseball was the winner.
Sure, the New York Yankees sent shockwaves through MLB America with the trade to land reigning National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton from the Miami Marlins. He joins Aaron Judge, the AL Rookie of the Year and AL HR champ. It’s a dream team duo of 50-plus HR hitters.
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On the West Coast, Shohei Ohtani - the hitting and pitching sensation from Japan - picked the L.A. Angels to start his career in the States. It was indeed, a shocker when you think the Angels didn’t make the playoffs this past season and haven’t won a postseason game in the Mike Trout era.
This isn’t a story about the rich getting richer and the league being thrust out of whack. We’ve seen it too much in the NBA. The super teams have thrown the competitive balance for a loop, leaving most teams no shot to even compete for a championship.
That’s not the case here. The Yankees and Angels just didn’t win. Baseball won big time.
It’s the kind of player movement that helps the game as a whole.
Both players are big attractions and will make these teams must-see. Both on TV and in person. You can bet baseball fans went online and looked at the schedule to see when either the Yankees or Angels are coming to town.
This simply adds to the momentum from baseball’s postseason that was thrilling and exciting. It was also a TV ratings hit. Even MLB Network enjoyed its greatest viewing week and month in the network’s history.
In a time of mostly declining sports TV ratings, it speaks volumes.
When the playoffs started, no one was certain who was going to win the World Series. It wound up being Houston. That’s sports at its best.
Think about the last three teams to the win the Fall Classic. Houston had never won a World Series in team history. Last year, the Chicago Cubs won it all, giving that franchise its first title in more than 100 years. And in 2015, the Kansas City Royals won a World Series for the first time since 1985.
Oh yes, baseball is on a roll. All size markets have a shot to win. That’s what fans want more than anything, an honest chance that their team can be the last one standing.
vs KOR at WBSC PREMIER12 2015 vs NED at WBSC Global Series / Pre-World Baseball Classic (Nov 2016) Ohtani
The Yankees haven’t won a title since 2009 Last year, they were a win away from the World Series but lost to Houston in Game 7 of the ALCS.
Now, with the addition of Stanton, many believe the Yankees will get there this coming season.
Whether they do or don’t isn’t nearly as important to the game than just the fact that the Yankees are good again and in the postseason mix.
It just seems as if the game is better as a whole when the Yankees are good.
Many fans thought the Yankees - filled with a lot of young, homegrown talent - were fun last season. They liked Judge and his home run magic. Gary Sanchez is another young Yankee star with a HR bat.
Now, with Stanton, the Yankees will be must-see TV this coming season. Not for just Yankee fans, but baseball fans. Baseball fans love the long ball. Both can deliver.
Judge set a new MLB rookie record with 52 homers. Stanton hit 59 dingers. These two return the Yankees to their Bronx Bombers ways. If they are on TV, you will have to watch their at-bats, see who hits it further.
It’s a dream pairing for the game.
Best of all, there’s no guarantee that the Yanks will win anything. Pitching and defense has always been key come playoff time. Still, homers are fun to watch.
And when it comes to Ohanti, he’s trying to be the next Babe Ruth. He can both hit and pitch.
There’s a chance he can get the Angels’ DH and also pitch every fifth day as well. And yes, he would hit for himself in games he starts. We haven’t seen anything like it in the modern game. Again, must-see TV.
Baseball, and its fans, won this weekend.