Major League Baseball springs into season

With the first day of spring come and gone, Tulane students are preparing for a number of exciting events. The temperature is finally above 70 degrees, which not only means freshman boys can resume their beach volleyball matches outside of Sharp Hall, it also ushers in the 2018 Major League Baseball season.

Coming off the Houston Astros’ 2017 World Series win, many teams are looking to make a comeback after falling short last season. The Los Angeles Dodgers, the runner-up in the 2017 World Series, are actively seeking the team’s seventh World Series win, but recent spring training performances might render this dream unreachable yet again. Currently placed eighth within the Cactus League, the Dodgers have only been playing .500 ball during the pre-season. Some major changes will have to occur before the team enters into regular play, or it might be left near the bottom of the rankings.

The Milwaukee Brewers have the opportunity to come out of the shadows and take the team’s first-ever World Series win this season. The team has only appeared in the Series once, when it lost to the 11-time world champion St. Louis Cardinals in 1982. Currently leading the Cactus League with a record of 17-7, the Brewers should not be disregarded as in years past.

Setting standings and number of victories aside, several Tulane students and faculty root for their favorite team no matter how they may be ranked. Freshman Sasha Rubenstein said baseball has surrounded his life and has always been a major part of his family.

“My family supports the New York Yankees, mostly because it is a representation of my hometown,” Rubenstein said. “The Yankees draw out a sense of city-wide pride that cannot be matched by anything else.”

This same trend holds true for many members of the Tulane community. Eric Hollier, associate director of strategic communications for Tulane Athletics and an avid follower of the Atlanta Braves, takes every precaution to ensure he is kept up to date about his favorite team, since it was such a large component of his childhood.

“I could watch their games on TV when I was growing up,” Hollier said. “I loved watching guys like Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, John Smoltz and Chipper Jones play. I follow them now on Twitter and read stories online, and I watch games when I can.”

Many members of the Tulane undergraduate population hail from the North, with Chicago being one of the more popular recruitment cities, thus yielding a significant number of Chicago Cubs fans. In 2016, the Cubs claimed the team’s third World Series title and its first World Series victory in 108 years. The Cubs are currently placed third in the Cactus League. Freshman Colleen Drangines, a Chicago native, looks forward to what is shaping up to be a promising season.

“[The Cubs] are a big part of the city culture,” Drangines said. “I will keep track of each game because I have the ESPN app on my phone that sends me team and game updates, so that’s usually how I usually keep track of them.”

If the MLB regular season follows parallel to Tulane baseball’s recent performance, it is difficult to say who will end up participating in the 2018 World Series. One can always stay up to date on the latest sports happenings by downloading the ESPN or CBS Sports applications. Stay tuned as games begin on the earliest opening day in MLB history: March 29.

Grant Barnes contributed to the writing of this article.

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