MLB Overreactions

Four Overreactions To MLB’s Opening Weekend

There is an argument that always ensues with my mother-in-law around baseball. As amazing as a woman as she is, she has a very difficult time with the amount of games that are played during a season. “The season is just too long.” “There are too many damn games!” “162?! That’s absurd!” These are some of the talking points that get hurled across the room whenever baseball is discussed. And, it’s understandable. She is a die-hard football fan, and the stark contrast from living and dying on 17 games during a season is a far cry from the marathon that is the 162 on a baseball calendar. 

But what my lovely mother-in-law can’t grasp is that this is precisely what makes baseball the absolute greatest sport on the planet. The team had a bad game? Don’t worry, there is one tomorrow. Team scored 15 runs last night? Hopefully, they didn’t use up all their hits because there is a game tomorrow. You can’t allow yourself to get too high or too low on any given night. After all, there is another tomorrow! 

However, the majority of us have an inability to do this. An inability to refrain from living and dying on every single pitch in every single inning of every single game. While most of us fully understand that the key to a baseball season is consistency and that losing a game here or there does not make or break the overall trajectory of a season, we have a tough time not ripping our hair out daily. This is evidenced by the sports radio stations across the country that take phone calls from disgruntled fans about how *insert pitcher name* could’ve served up a middle-middle fastball in a 1-2 count against a team’s cleanup hitter during a game in early April. 

So, let’s scratch that itch. The itch of overreacting entirely too early into a baseball season. Here are four overreactions after the first fistful of games.

Four Overreactions To MLB’s Opening Weekend


“A Tale of Two Cities”


MLB Overreactions
Apr 1, 2024; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; New York Yankees infielder Oswaldo Cabrera (right) celebrates with Juan Soto after scoring in the second inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Was Charles Dickens writing about New York City when he released his 1859 masterpiece A Tale of Two Cities? No, he wasn’t. But he might as well have been. Forget about London and Paris, Dickens’ opening line, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” is a picture-perfect description of The Bronx and Queens. 

The Overreaction: The Bronx, NY is being blessed with the greatest baseball team of all time. After some skepticism on how they would be able to compete against a stacked AL East, the naysayers have been quickly silenced. Even without their Cy Young ace, the Yankees have exploded into 2024 with a resounding sweep of the Astros in Houston. Obviously, this means two things. First, the Houston Astros’ reign as American League champs is over. Second, Juan Soto is the greatest baseball player of the last 50 years. 

Leaving Houston, Juan Soto was hitting an astounding .529 with one longball and RBIs in all four games, including a couple that put the Yankees ahead late. He has shown the ability to handle the pinstripes (even though he played these games in the road grays) and has gloriously brought the “Soto shuffle” to The Bronx. The Soto, Judge one-two punch will end up going down as the greatest Yankee combo since Ruth and Gehrig. Mix that combo with the likes of kids such as Oswaldo Cabrera, who has gotten off to a scorching start, and this Yankees team may very well end up breaking the regular season record with 117 wins this year.

A ride on the seven train in New York, however, brings you to a very different landscape in Queens. Departing opening weekend has the Mets on pace for an 0-162 season. For anybody wondering, that would go down as the worst season in the history of the sport.

The outlook on the Mets season is bleak. It has become very clear, very fast that the lack of pitching in Queens this summer is alarming. While the lineup may still be able to produce some runs (although the one hit on opening day would suggest otherwise), it appears that this starting rotation will go down in the annals of baseball history as one of the worst ever. Luis Severino had a woeful introduction into Queens and the back end of the rotation isn’t striking fear in anybody.

But, perhaps the best example of foreshadowing on the Mets season came during the incident between Rhys Hoskins and Jeff McNeil. Jeff McNeil turned into a wailing toddler throwing a temper tantrum after Hoskins did his job in attempting to break up a double play. The ensuing clearing of benches, and the attempt to hit Hoskins in the next day’s game (and missing him in the process) while losing, was all too clear of a picture of what the rest of the Mets season holds.

The Reality: The Yankees are really good. Perhaps great. The Juan Soto and Aaron Judge tandem should produce at a truly elite level. The potential for bounce-back seasons from pitchers like Carlos Rodon and Nestor Cortes makes it extremely easy to envision a season in which the Yankees win, and win a lot. However, there are still big question marks here.

If the opening weekend shed light on anything, it shed light on the fact that the Yankees need to figure out who is going to close out games for them. Clay Holmes struggled in a couple of outings this weekend. And a glance back to some of his stats last year should strike some mild nerves in the hearts of Yankees fans. He was able to maintain a decent ERA but walked far too many batters, and gave up the longball far too frequently. A continuation of these struggles would hamstring some of the Yankees’ potential. They are capable of winning. They are not the greatest team of all time that the opening weekend of games allowed us to daydream about.

The Mets, on the other hand, are bad, but they are not a reincarnation of their 1962 origin story in which they lost 120 games. Yes, they will struggle to pitch. Their rotation has some massive holes in it, and until Kodai Senga returns, they will fight to hold a lead into the later innings. However, they have possibly the greatest closer in the sport. So late leads should be converted to wins at a very high clip. Mix with this a lineup that is capable of hanging crooked numbers on scoreboards, and the Mets should win some games. Just maybe not a whole lot of them.


Philly Phlunked Their Test


MLB Overreactions
Mar 30, 2024; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Bryce Harper (3) reacts after hitting into a double play against the Atlanta Braves in the fifth inning at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Phillies opened up their season against the Atlanta Braves. A matchup that many have been excited to observe this season. A battle between goliaths, a matchup between an unstoppable force and an immovable object. However, opening day weekend showed us a chasm between these two clubs.

The Overreaction: The Phillies might as well pack it in now. There is no hope for the NL East crown anymore. Not after the way they competed in round one of what was supposed to be a slugfest all summer long. After taking a 2-0 lead late into Friday’s home opener, the bullpen exploded. A Zack Wheeler shutout quickly transformed into a 9-3 demolition at the hands of the team that Philly is expected to contend with this summer.

The day after was no better as the horrific pitching of the bullpen on Friday bled into the starting rotation on Saturday. Aaron Nola coughed up seven runs and the bullpen another five. Back-to-back days of having the doors kicked in by the division rivals is just a quick glimpse at what the rest of the summer has in store. 

And what about the potent offense that the Phillies possess? They were outscored 25-12 in the first series. The Phillies need to win on the days that Wheeler starts games. Getting beat and beat badly on Opening Day with your ace on the mound at home against your rivals is about as horrible as a season can open up. And it speaks volumes to what is still to come this season in Philadelphia.

The Reality: Philadelphia didn’t get swept. Zack Wheeler pitched like an ace. And once the top half of the order started hitting in game three, the Phillies won. That will be the path to success for them this season: pitch decently and score runs at a high enough clip to win games 7-6. And, they will win plenty of games. They may not be able to take down the Braves as they go head-to-head throughout the year, but the Phillies are going to be one of the stronger teams to beat in the National League.


A Detroit Renaissance


MLB Overreactions
Mar 28, 2024; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Tarik Skubal (29) delivers a pitch during the first inning of the Opening Day game against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Tigers have not had a winning record since 2016. However, they have exploded onto the 2024 scene in a division that is wide open. Could this be the beginning of a revival in Detroit?

The Overreaction: This is it! Detroit has been waiting for a team to be proud of since the roster held names like Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Miguel Cabrera, Magglio Ordonez, and others. For the better part of the last decade, the team has been muddied in mediocrity at best. But no more! The underrated roster that the Tigers are running out has already proven its worth. Game one proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that Tarik Skubal is one of the better arms in the American League and there is plenty of young talent hidden on this roster to support a revival in the 313.

The Reality: The Detroit Tigers are an incredibly interesting team this year, but still have a ton to prove before taken seriously. Yes, Skubal looks like the real deal. Players like Riley Greene and Spencer Torkelson are primed and ready to take a gigantic leap forward in their developments. Mix this young talent into a division that is truly wide open, and yes, Detroit has a lot to be excited about this summer. However, let’s temper some of the overreaction here. After all, the team is still knee-deep in a Javier Baez contract that looks like it might go down as one of the worst ever.

Is there a reason for optimism around this team? Yes. Are the young budding stars capable of high levels of production? Yes. Does veteran talent like Mark Canha, Gio Urshela, and Kenta Maeda help a young team develop? Of course. Is there a lot of uncertainty? Also, yes. This blistering start is incredibly promising. But expectations do need to be tempered a bit, at least for now.


The Walking Wounded


MLB Overreactions
Apr 1, 2024; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Texas Rangers third baseman Josh Jung (6) leaves the game against the Tampa Bay Rays in the ninth inning at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

What’s that phrase? “The best ability is availability.” While this sentiment may hold true, the reality is that nobody plays them all anymore. There are plenty of records that seem unattainable. Cy Young’s wins, Nolan Ryan’s strikeouts, DiMaggio’s hit streak, etc… But given the state of the game, Cal Ripken’s consecutive game streak seems to be the most unattainable feat.

The Overreaction: The professional athlete these days appears to be made of glass. It has gotten to the point where the question needs to be asked if my mother-in-law is correct. Is 162 too much these days? Has the infatuation with the 102 mph fastball and the 700-foot home run gotten the sport to this point? A point where not a single ballplayer can last a season anymore? It’s only opening weekend and we are already seeing players drop like flies.

Royce Lewis has been touted as one of the better young talents in the sport. After slugging 52 RBIs in 58 games last season, the Minnesota Twins and MLB fans in general were excited to see what this young budding star would produce in his first full season. But, that will have to wait as the injury bug jumped up in game one and is now threatening to keep Lewis out of the lineup for an extended period of time.

Josh Jung out of Texas is in a similar boat. Massive excitement was swirling around him after a blistering rookie season in which he pulled some Rookie of the Year votes. And his first couple of games in 2024 had him looking primed for a big sophomore campaign. Exciting stuff! But not for long. He, too, is looking at an extended absence due to a fractured wrist.

Sean Murphy, Atlanta’s slugging catcher, has an oblique strain. Justin Steele, Chicago’s All-Star pitcher, has a hamstring problem. Eloy Jimenez is out. As are Eury Perez in Miami, Kodai Senga in New York, Sonny Gray in St. Louis, and Jordan Romano in Toronto. Injuries are everywhere, in every age group, in every market in the sport. And none of this discusses things like what Yankees fans had to listen to this spring when Aaron Judge wasn’t taking his reps. Manager Aaron Boone claimed that Judge was simply “mid-spring banged up.”

What is that? Why are injuries so prevalent? Rest has seemingly never been more important to the minds of front offices and managers around the league. Yet injuries seem to be at an all-time high. Whatever the cause is, it is slowly ruining the sport. When your marquee players and young stars can’t stay on the field, it’s bad for the brand.

The Reality: Honestly, the reality here is no different than the “overreaction.” The injury bug has become an intolerable part of the game and something needs to change. Last year, only four players in MLB were able to take the field in every game. FOUR!

Father Time

As they say, Father Time is undefeated. So these overreactions may not seem all that crazy by the end of the season. Or, these realities will soon replace the endless optimism that the beginning of the 2024 season has brought about for some of the clubs. Nobody really knows until Father Time instructs us on what will be. But it sure will be fun watching it play out through October.

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Nice Article


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Cathan Farah-Ancona

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I’m slightly concerned about judge. I wouldn’t be shocked it if comes out that he’s battling an oblique issue. Here’s to hoping that’s not the case. Nice article


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Great article and could not agree more!!! Always look forward to the next game but can’t control my enthusiasm or frustrations with each inning🙃. Love your articles!!!


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Sofia :D

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Stephanie White

Let’s gooo!


Great dissection of the slippery slope involved in baseball. Loved the article and the banter!

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