This time of year we (as sports fans) waive goodbye to the grid-iron and start to look to the diamond for our source of entertainment and joy. As the 2021 season approaches there's a few questions that I need to have answered.....
1) Is the MLB going to play a full 162? According to a plan submitted to the "Players Union" there's dialogue that would delay the start of the 2021 season a month, making the number drop from 162 to 154. Players still would receive the required 162 games of pay. Also, the playoffs would be expanded from 10 teams to 14, the designated hitter would extend to the National League for the second straight season, a proposal the union previously has declined. Also, MLB would keep the experimental rules for seven-inning doubleheaders and beginning extra innings with a runner on second base. April 1 would be Opening day and the postseason would start in October.
2) Is anything going to happen regarding the Al Jazeera Court Filing? As we sit here in February, Ryan Zimmerman (current MLB player) and Ryan Howard (retired) have both been implicated in a court document that states that both men took banned substances. According to the court document that there is they are in possession of “sealed evidence” that “includes an invoice showing that, in autumn 2014, Howard paid for needles and an banded substance called human chronic gonadotrophin.” The memorandum also referred to “email exchanges between Zimmerman and Charlie Sly, the PES dealer who unwittingly revealed that Zimmerman used performance-enhancing substances banned by MLB.” Both men have denied ANY involvement in these allegations and are suing for deformation of character and a hit to their reputation.
3) Who's 2021's version of the 2020 Rays? If we're all being honest when 2020 season started the Rays were not on everyone's mind as the team that would come out of the AL. Who's that "darkhorse" team that has quietly gone about their business and is ready to step into ball parks this spring and compete? I'm going to have my answer for a future show (slight teaser) but I do have a team in mind, and that answer MIGHT shock a few people.
4) Is the Nationals pitching going to hold up? As many of you know. I live in Metro Washington, and that question is one that is being asked by everyone to everyone. Last week the Nationals sign veteran pitcher John Lester. Lester will join the pitching room that includes Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Patrick Corbin, and Joe Ross. Honestly, I'd be hard pressed to find another pitching room that is this deep, as we currently sit here in early February