World Baseball Classic – A classic indeed

TOSA | Wikimedia Commons

TOSA | Wikimedia Commons

Aman Dharani

Baseball rules. Shohei Ohtani rules. These are things the world already knew, but everyone’s priors were confirmed during the tournament.

The World Baseball Classic came and went, and it left the world with perhaps the greatest baseball moment of all time. The world got to see Shohei Ohtani strike out his own MLB teammate Mike Trout for the game clinching out.

The scriptwriters absolutely knew what they were doing.

The entire month of March was an absolute delight for baseball fans, and there were key contributors on every country. However, there was probably no one greater throughout the month than Trea Turner. He might be known as Captain America now.

Turner hit a massive grand slam in the quarterfinals, two home runs in the semifinals and added another solo shot in the Final itself. Given that Joe Biden is an avid Philadelphia sports fan, it might be fitting that Turner gets presented with a Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The most beautiful part about the WBC was the way the baseball world came together to celebrate the game. The crowds were loud and raucous. The seats were sold out. In a month largely dominated by college basketball, baseball took center stage.

Another phenomenon was present throughout the WBC: Playoff Randy Arozarena. There is just something about do-or-die games that brings out the best in the 28-year-old outfielder. He sports a 1.121 OPS in his MLB playoff career. In the WBC alone, he held up to that standard with a 1.507 OPS.

It wasn’t just his play that mesmerized everyone; he proved to be an enigma that represented Mexico. He engaged with fans at every venue possible, and even put on a show with an enormous sombrero and cowboy boots. He understood what the tournament was all about, and he just ran with it.

No one would blame viewers at home if they didn’t already know, but Spring Training has also been on. There have been several young prospects that the baseball world has been keeping an eye on.

Brett Baty of the New York Mets was assigned to the minor league team to begin the season. Ultimately, that means Mets fans can expect to see a lot of Eduardo Escobar at third base for now.

Jordan Walker, one of the highest regarded prospects in the entire sport, made the opening day roster for the St. Louis Cardinals. He is a plug-and-play kind of player and is a frontrunner for the NL Rookie of the Year award.

Over in the AL, the Yankees have some questions to answer. The most important one is whether or not their top prospect, Anthony Volpe, makes the opening day team. He has had a massive spring so far, with a 1.064 OPS.

However, their middle infield is clogged. Oswald Peraza is also gunning for the starting shortstop role, and second baseman Gleyber Torres seems to be fighting for his job as well. The Yankees have resorted to playing last season’s starting shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa in the outfield to try to mend the issue.

It’s going to be an exciting MLB season. Time will tell if October will top March in action.