By David Miller @DavidMillerRant on March 31, 2014
When it comes to excitement, nothing in MLB can match what Opening Day brings. Sure the World Series is exciting but mainly for two teams and their fans. On Opening Day of the season, every team has a chance to win it all. Sure there are some favorites and some that surely won't win but the truth is that everyone has the same chance on day one. In addition to that bit of excitement, here are 25 storylines to follow and discuss on Opening Day.
It doesn't get much worse for a MLB team than the letdown the White Sox suffered in 2013. With a host of great young talent, they appear ready to put those troubles far behind them. Will they be able to do that on Opening Day?
The biggest and most controversial trade this past offseason was the one that sent Fielder to the Rangers and fan-favorite Ian Kinsler to the Detroit Tigers. Fielder is usually very productive during the regular season. Will he get off to a hot start in 2014 and get the fans behind him?
There was a huge struggle between a lot of teams to bid high enough to get this guy. He must be something special. The truth is that he should be but there are no guarantees. On Opening Day we finally get to see if the White Sox appear to have gotten a steal or spent too much regarding their new first baseman.
The Washington Nationals start 2014 with a brand new manager in Williams. They really underachieved last year. They had some injuries but truthfully still should have competed. In 2014 they are being picked once again just like in 2013 but this year the man at the top is different. Will the change appear for the better or not on day one?
The question is not whether the elder Upton brother will physically arrive as the Braves center fielder but whether or not he will have a successful seasonal debut. His debut in 2013 was horrible as he went without a hit in a sign of things to come. What will his 2014 debut be a sign of?
Most every baseball fan knows about the new collision rule at home plate and most everyone has a passionate opinion on it. Will this rule play a big part in the Opening Day games or no part at all?
It came about because of injuries but a lot of people were already thinking that Gray could prove to be the A's top starter. Now he has a chance to prove that with the honor of an Opening Day start? Will he do well or will the big game be too much excitement.
Though his overall season wasn't as bad as the beginning in 2013, it would go a long ways towards proving he has a lot still to offer and should still be an MVP candidate if he blows it up in game one. It should be very interesting to find out.
This offseason was full of rumors to the point that Price himself assumed he would be traded. Even now many believe he will be marked for trade by the deadline at mid-season. Can Price put all of that behind him and perform at his normal high level on Opening Day?
The Philadelphia Phillies signed Byrd to a nice contract that should be a good thing if he plays like he did down the stretch for the Pirates. He could however fall back a little bit into a middle-of-the-road kind of performer. Which will it be and how will that effect the Phillies?
During the offseason and spring training, many thought the Dbacks were the class of the National League West. Having lost both of the Australia opening games against their division rival Los Angeles Dodgers, how will they respond on domestic Opening Day?
The Marlins could be the team with the biggest turnaround from last season to the 2014 season when all is said and done. They should have a good chance to prove that they are here to play with the big boys by having a strong showing against their fellow expansion team; the Colorado Rockies.
After the season that the San Francisco Giants had in 2013, nothing would be better than for Bumgarner to start the season off with a huge and uplifting start on Opening Day. Can he do it or will the Giants begin to make it look easier to repeat a bad season than a championship season?
One of the most surprising happenings this offseason was the pitching staff signings by the Minnesota Twins. They went out and grabbed a few of the better guys available without breaking the bank but still making it known they were committed to getting better. With Ricky Nolasco going in their opener, many will want to see how they play.
Who could forget how the 2012 World Series champions fared last year as the Giants failed and a team no one picked won it all? The Red Sox could be a strong defending champion or they could be the next champ to fall the following season. Which will it be on Opening Day?
The general thought about Trout is that he is one of the best young players in the history of the game. There are quite a few stats that back this up. The Angels agreed and signed him to a nice little contract. How will he play with that big weight lifted? Historically some play better and some slump big time.
Even though the Detroit Tigers were good all season and they are picked once again this season to be one of the best, no one really knows how Verlander will fare. Last year he held his own but was very un-Verlander like for most of the year. Will 2014 start off right or will Max Scherzer really begin to look like the true ace of the staff?
Last season Dickey was the reigning N.L. Cy Young winner but the veteran knuckle-baller failed to show much last season that backed it up. He has usually fared better in the N.L. than the A.L. in his career but can he put that and the bad 2013 behind him this Opening Day?
Excitement by some has turned into head shaking and finger pointing among fans of the Rangers. Now everyone is saying that this is why it was a bad idea to trade Kinsler or something like that. The Rangers could rise above their injuries on Opening Day against the Phillies and make quite the statement.
This is an entirely new season for Cabrera with a new position to play and a new contract to enjoy for the Tigers. He is only in his very early thirties so he should have many great seasons ahead. Will he prove his greatness once again on Opening Day since he is healthy once again?
Everyone in the world is picking the St. Louis Cardinals to win the National League Central and they have a great chance to live up to that. No one asked the Cincinnati Reds about that prediction however. In spite of injuries and a managerial change, the Reds plan to man-up on Opening Day and make a statement that they will be in the Cardinals' minds all year long. Will they?
Sure the Detroit Tigers have a good chance to win it all but the Royals have a much better chance to do the same than many believe. It would be a big statement for them to go out and have their ace beat the other guys ace. It surely would show the baseball world that the Royals aren't going to fade this season.
We all know how well Fernandez fared during his rookie debut in 2013 as he came home with the NL rookie of the year and several Cy Young Award votes as well. Will his debut be as good this year with everyone gunning for him? Can his fun personality survive the stresses of leading a team now that he is the man?
Where as many will say and rightfully so that Miguel Cabrera is the best power hitter in the game, Pujols was there just a short time ago. Injuries appeared to threaten not only that but his very career. Now he claims to be fully healthy and better than he has been since before he left St. Louis? Will his performance on Opening Day back that up or not?
In every single game that is played on Opening Day, there will be one huge change that surely comes up once or twice. Whether a manager uses a replay or should have, there will be many discussions for each game about the new replay system. Will it work well with a full schedule or are there going to be bugs to work out? Will it decide a game or more than one game on Opening Day?
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