Mar 292005
 
Authors: Pete Scalia

Baseball is almost here.

Not in the courtroom, not in spring-training exhibitions, but on the regular-season diamond.

Opening day for some teams starts in five days. By Tuesday, every team in Major League Baseball will begin its hunt for a World Series title.

Baseball has been in the headlines a lot lately. Records are being questioned, heroes have fallen and controversy has consumed the game. But now it is just time to play.

And even though some people may be sick of baseball already, here are 20 reasons to watch baseball this year.

1. The Angels continue to suffer from a personality disorder since two cities have laid claim to them, (people, it's the Angels for crying out loud).

2. Rocco Baldelli, injury or no, still has the coolest name in baseball.

3. The excitement of the Washington Nationals (New wrapper, same product. Say it with me: Expos).

4. Barry Bonds + not rubbing "flaxseed oil" = no home run record. I love math.

5. The Braves won't win the National League East this year.

6. Carl Crawford finally learns how to lay down a bunt. Seriously, a kid playing T-Ball has a better chance of laying one down.

7. Colorado Rockies learn to pitch in Coors Field, but continue to throw like it is batting practice on the road.

8. The Minnesota Twins will cake walk through the American League Central only to lose in the playoffs again.

9. Comparing the 3-4-5 hitters on the St. Louis Cardinals and Baltimore Orioles. Jim Edmonds, Albert Pujols and Scott Rolen, vs. Miguel Tejada, Sammy Sosa and Javy Lopez.

10. Ichiro Suzuki slap-hitting his way to .400. He has great speed and, unlike Crawford, can lay down a bunt.

11. Pedro Martinez is a Met, The Big Unit is a Yankee. Oh, the excitement of free agency.

12. One of the Rockies' kids will win the Rookie of the Year award.

13. Denny Neagle will rebound his career with the Tampa Bay D-Rays (OK, this won't happen).

14. Joe Mauer will finally live up to the hype.

15. All five teams competing in the AL East this year.

16. Todd Helton vs. Albert Pujols. Could either win the Triple Crown?

17. Shawn Chacon will continue to wear his hat to the side, just enough to be really annoying.

18. Andy Pettitte has a rebound year and the Astros make playoffs.

19. Jose Canseco will make headlines for saying something that we all pretty much knew.

20. The government will get out of baseball.

Pete Scalia is a junior technical journalism major. He is a sports reporter for the Collegian.

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