From 2018–21, the Baltimore Orioles had acombined winning percentage of 34.6%. But after being ranked dead last in the 2022preseason power rankings by ESPN, Baltimore posted awinning record of 83–79 last season. The Orioles have taken another huge step forward in 2023, as they currently hold thebest record in the American League and have alreadyclinched a playoff spot for the first time since 2016.
After a long summer spent thinking about baseball (among other, less important things), it’s only right to start off this year by talking about the first man that comes to mind when talking about baseball these days: Shohei Ohtani.
Unfazed by a 5–4 loss at No. 25 MIT on April 11, just their second loss of the season, No. 9 Tufts went 4–0 on this weekend’s road trip, improving to 26–2 on the season and a perfect 10–0 in NESCAC play to lead the conference. The Jumbos kept the momentum up during the week, beating the Babson Beavers 1–0 on Wednesday.
Before the baseball season hits full stride, it’s time for some power rankings. Since no one cares about whether the Athletics or Nationals are dead last, I’ll stick to the upper tier of clubs. Here are my top 10 teams in the league for 2023.
After runs to the NESCAC title game and the NCAA super regionals in 2022, Tufts softball enters this season with high expectations. Going 14–1 in their spring training games in Florida certainly starts the season off on the right foot, as the Jumbos begin their quest for a third NESCAC title in four seasons.
It’s been six years since we last had a World Baseball Classic, but it’s finally back. The MLB’s attempt to make the baseball equivalent of the World Cup will fall well short of the most popular sporting event in the world in terms of viewership, but I still believe the WBC is an amazing showcase of just how far a humble game that began in the United States has grown. And, as I’ve said before, the MLB should be doing everything it can to promote it.
Given that I was disappointed when a new collective bargaining agreement in 2022 forced the National League to adopt the designated hitter, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I’m not the biggest fan of the rule changes that the MLB is introducing for 2023. And yet, like the universal DH, I understand why the league is making them.
Once the most popular sport in America, there’s no denying that our national pastime is far from its former glory. For a sport seemingly as American as apple pie, baseball is far behind football as the most popular sport in the country, and this is especially true among younger Americans: Only 7% of Americans under 30 say baseball is their favorite sport, well behind football (24%) and basketball (17%).