Pitchers and Catchers!
I had one of my favorite annual feelings the other day. I was driving to my office in the morning, it was 7 a.m. or so. And it was bright and sunny outside. And I had my first: “Oh, spring is coming,” sensation. I love that feeling so much, I love that first time in a new year when you notice that the days are getting just the tiniest bit longer and the darkness of winter ever so slightly begins to lift.
Plus, it almost always happens right around the time pitchers and catchers report.
This is going to be an amazing year in our world. Our younger daughter, Katie, is going to graduate from high school and then go off to college (“Rah! Rah! Wake Forest, rah!”), but not before seeing Taylor Swift in Kansas City. Our older daughter, Elizabeth, is going to keep moving forward with her dreams of becoming a costume designer, and she will go to her first Bruce Springsteen concert. My wife, Margo, will continue with her dream of tutoring children who struggle with their reading.
My book, WHY WE LOVE BASEBALL, will come out in September, and I’ve never been as excited for a book to come out — I literally cannot wait to share all the stories and moments I have found for this one. Because I literally cannot wait, I’ll be giving you a lot of bonus material from that book over the next few months.
And, I’m honestly SO excited for the 2023 baseball season — I’m so eager to see what all the rule changes will mean for the game. Like everyone else, I have my own opinions about the pitch clock, the banning of the shift, the larger bases, the new balanced schedule and so on. And like everyone else, I don’t KNOW what they will actually do. Will games really be 20 or 30 minutes shorter? Will there be more stolen bases? Will there be more athletic defensive plays? Will the lack of shifting yield more hits or simply ingrain the all-or-nothing approach that has cut out so much action?
I’m like: Let’s find out!
I have a few baseball thoughts that will follow, but I will stop for just a moment to make a quick pitch for what I do here. Writing JoeBlogs has been one of the real privileges of my life. I mean: Who gets to do this? Who gets to wake up every morning and just write about baseball and sports and life for an amazing audience of readers who passionately care? It’s an incredible thing; JoeBlogs is simply something that I could not have even imagined only a few years ago.
And I will tell you, I am constantly thinking of new ways I can make JoeBlogs a better experience for you. You have already seen the early workings of my latest idea, The JoeBlogs Hall of Fame. I believe that will only get better and more interesting and more provocative. I’m pondering how to do baseball previews this year; some of you will remember last year’s Pozeroski Previews, which just about ate up my whole life. I’m not sure I can do quite that again, but I’ve got some thoughts. As mentioned, we’ll be doing a whole lot with WHY WE LOVE BASEBALL. And I have a few other, offbeat ideas brewing — and, of course, I’m always interested in your suggestions as well.
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Yesterday, in the JoeBlogs Hall of Fame post, I put in a fun trivia question: Since 2017, only one batter in baseball has had multiple seasons with at least 120 RBIs. Name him!
It’s fun to me because I wouldn’t have gotten the answer. I would have guessed Aaron Judge, Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado or Freddie Freeman. Each of those four has had ONE 120-RBI season since 2017. Others who had one such season include:
And the only one to have multiple 120-RBI seasons?
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