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Spring training rolls in as MLB Season draws near

By Brendan Kaufman, Staff Writer

The MLB season is rapidly approaching and spring training for all 30 of its teams has begun as of Feb. 22. Teams are taking advantage of this training time to get their stars ready for the regular season, warming up their prospects and seeing what they have to offer and gauging what kind of season they’ll end up having in 2024

MLB fans get their first taste of baseball for the season with spring training. Fans can watch or attend games for the first time since November and for many, this is the real start of the season. But not all fans see spring training equally, as senior graphic design major Michael Moffa doesn’t get all the hype.

“I’m a Yankees fan,” Moffa said. “I don’t pay much, if any, attention to spring training every year. I don’t get any excitement from watching it compared to the excitement of the regular season so I don’t see the point.”

Meanwhile, Post broadcasting alumni Ryan Boettcher has much more invested in the earliest baseball opportunities.

“Huge Mets fan here, couldn’t root for any other team,” Boettcher stated. “I usually pay about 75 percent attention to spring training, just because I care about what the prospects are doing and our free agent acquisitions. I can’t watch every game but I have the MLB app on my phone to keep me locked in.”

Spring training is where MLB teams will usually get a first look at how their season will end up going. A great spring training performance can lead to a strong start to the regular season and vice versa. This doesn’t always ring true for all teams but the performance of a fan’s team in spring training can get them more or less motivated for the regular season.

Boettcher weighs in on how the New York Mets are performing in spring training.

“It depends on who you consider our prospects,” he said. “I’m really happy with Francisco Alavarez and how well he’s been doing, but the team as a whole? Oh we’re cooked. The season’s never been more over and it hasn’t even started. Kodai Senga is injured and he’s our best pitcher. Brett Baty has been showing nothing. Not a lot to like here with the Mets.”

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Moffa, on the other hand, looks at his team’s performance so far in a more positive light.

“I already said I don’t watch the games,” he said. “But I have the notifications on my app and they’ve been clubbing and they’ve been scoring runs. They get people on base and most importantly, they send them home after the fact. This makes me very happy because – that whole getting on base thing? Not something they did very well last season.”

With every season’s spring training comes the big focus on new prospects and rising stars for every team. This is the first chance that a lot of them get to have on the big stage and a good performance from them here will inspire hope for fans, while a poor performance will do the opposite.

Moffa has noticed a few names that stand out in that regard.

“One of our prospects whose name I don’t remember is slugging right now,” he said. “I think his last name is Jones? He’s been doing good so far. I’m really excited to see Mr. Juan Soto. He’s a young guy but he’s also been around, you know? But he’s a Yankee now and I’m very happy about that.”

Meanwhile, Drew Gilbert is the name that Boettcher thinks will be a big prospect for the Mets.

“I’m a huge Drew Gilbert stan,” he said. “We got him from the Astros in the Verlander trade. He has great pop and also because I took him in dynasty fantasy baseball, but that’s beside the point. I’m also really excited about Blade Tidwell, just because he has a cool name. Like, who doesn’t want to be called Blade?”

Both New York teams have different outlooks going into the regular season based on spring training. Spring training continues until Mar. 28 when the regular season will kick off for all 30 teams. The MLB regular season is approaching rapidly and many people, whether they’re diehard fans or just watching from home, can’t wait for it to kick off.

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