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- For fans of the national past time, the wait is finally over. All 30 teams are in action Thursday, for the start of the 2019 Major League Baseball season. March 28 will be MLB’s earliest Opening Day in history.
- The rest of the league will be playing catchup to the Seattle Mariners, alone in first place, after a two-game trip to Tokyo with the Oakland A’s. A tumultuous crowd of 47,000 fans turned out at the Tokyo Dome to say goodbye to Mariners’ legend, and Toyoyama native, Ichiro Suzuki.
- Will your team win it all this season, or are they already looking forward to next year? The World Series champions, the Boston Red Sox, will find replicating a franchise-record 108 wins difficult. Elsewhere in the division, the 115-loss Baltimore Orioles have nowhere to go but up.
- A number of rule changes, negotiated this winter between MLB and the Players’ Association, will take effect tomorrow, while still more will be implemented next year. A single trade deadline, July 31, may cause teams to be more aggressive, particularly in the offseason. Other changes, like fewer mound visits and shorter commercial breaks, are hoped to speed up pace of play.
- Among the numerous offseason signings this year, none was bigger than the extension MLB inked with Fox in November. The $5 billion deal will keep baseball on Fox for the next decade, as sports becomes a key focus of programming after the Disney sale. This season’s slate will include Thursday primetime games, and plenty of Yankees-Red Sox.