Toward the end of the MLB season last year, I found myself not caring. I was legitimately ashamed. While I never really considered myself a huge fan of the NHL, I consider my fandom toward the NBA, NFL and MLB to be borderline die-hard. Yet, last season, that fandom faded quickly, and I began to wonder if I was beginning to lose interest in the MLB.
But then, the MLB returned last week and all those wonderful feelings I had towards baseball returned as well.
In reality, last year I was probably in a bit of shock. For the past 10 years or so, I’ve been fairly blessed to root for the Detroit Tigers. While we haven’t won a World Series, we’ve been to two, and have been to the playoffs nearly every other season. That was, until last year.
Last year, the Tigers finished last in the division and clearly had given up by the time the trade deadline came around in late July. It definitely was different than I was accustomed to and the main reason why I think my “fandom” faded.
This year, though, that fandom returned. While the Tigers have struggled a bit the last couple of games, I find myself trying to watch every game if I can find it on television. It’s a new year, a fresh start, and just as basically every other fan in the league, I believe my team has a legitimate shot at a World Series.
Along with that, fantasy baseball really helped me get into the MLB this year. It’s the second year of two keeper leagues I’m in with a handful of close friends, and it couldn’t be more fun. Plus, fantasy sports force you to pay attention to more teams and players you knew even existed.
While I make sure to watch as much of the Tigers as I can, I also find myself tuning in elsewhere to keep tabs on my other players. I tune into Colorado Rockies and Florida Marlins games to watch DJ LaMahieu and Dee Gordon because I have both players on my teams. It sounds crazy, and it probably is, but it makes watching games more fun, and it’s certainly helped my love of baseball return.
The bottom line of all of this is that I’m glad baseball is back. A lot of people complain that the season is too long, which may be true, but it’s nice to have a professional sport going on in the summer months. Don’t take what we have for granted. Watching baseball may not be the most fun thing ever to do, but the broadcasts do serve a purpose. It’s easy to listen to, and it’s a sport that you can have on in the background while doing other things without having to worry about missing much. I took it for granted last year, but I won’t anymore.
Once the weather warms up, I’ll go to a Tigers game almost immediately. The day I step back into Comerica Park can’t come soon enough.