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The 5 Most Memorable Moments from Spring Training 2020
It’s that time of year baseball fans!
Spring training is winding down, and soon America’s pastime will be upon us. It’s time for new recruits and new teams. Some players are hoping to get the call up before the clock runs out. Some squads, such as the Houston Astros are looking to rise above and move on from the scandal.
With that being said, let’s look at some highlight moments from the past couple of weeks. From the highs and the lows, here are the 5 most memorable moments from Spring Training 2020.
1. Tim Tebow Hits First Home Run
Tim Tebow has had a storied sports career. A standout football quarterback at the University of Florida, his NFL career was less than stellar. He played the 2010 season for the Denver Broncos before being put aside for a returning Payton Manning. Tebow then bounced around the league between the Jets, Patriots and Eagles before calling it a day in 2015.
Tebow began a broadcast analyst career in 2013 for college football, a position he still enjoys. His contract allows him to follow other sports pursuits, the most recent of which is a career in baseball.
Tebow has been with the Mets for three seasons spring training awaiting a call-up for the majors, and a remarkable milestone happened for the outfielder this week. During a game with the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday, Tebow hit his first spring training home run.
While a great milestone for Tebow, the clock is not on his side. At 32, he is beginning to gain some years. However, if there is one thing Tim Tebow does not lack it’s determination to do his best.
2. Cole Tucker & Derek Holland - Now Teammates
Last season Cole Tucker and Derek Holland had a storied rivalry.
Tucker hit a game-winning home run against the former Giants pitcher during his major league debut. The young shortstop received enthusiastic cheers from the crowd that game.
Now the two players are teammates for the Pirates. Their meeting, which could have been tense during spring training, was one of mutual respect. Holland, a 12-season veteran, has nothing to prove at this point in his career. And Cole Tucker is a young and hungry talent.
When the historic moment was brought up during their downtime together, the teammates were seen laughing and joking with each other. There is no lingering animosity between them, and both players will be great assets to their team.
3. Injuries Already Plaguing New York
Injuries are already beginning to leave their mark on the New York Yankees. Several important players will be missing portions of the 2020 season.
It was announced this week that Luis Severino will have to undergo Tommy John’s surgery and will miss all of the 2020 season. The pitcher was sidelined last season, and the two-time All-Star was hoping to be able to rejoin his teammates this year. A torn ulnar collateral ligament tear has put the brakes on that plan.
James Paxton is already scheduled to miss at least the first two months of the season following back surgery earlier this month. In the meantime, the Yankees must look to fill the remaining openings for their squad. While this injury is a devastating blow to the Yankees, it could open an opportunity for some minor league hopefuls.
Giancarlo Stanton is out with a severe calf injury. He will likely miss Opening Day in March. While the right fielder will be out the first few games, he is expected to return soon. He missed most of the regular season last year with first a bicep injury and then an injury to his knee.
The Yankee’s season appears to be heading to a rough start. It will remain to be seen how they plan to overcome these obstacles.
4. Reds Coach Adds Football to Practice Fun
Spring training is a time to get the current roster and future prospects in shape for the coming season. Coaches are always searching for new and unique ways to get their athletes in top condition and to build their skills.
One such coach is Reds strength coach Steve Marohn. He was seen during training wearing a football helmet (with a Cincinnati Reds logo) and tossing the ball to his outfielder during warmups. The reason for such practices is that it can increase the player's hand-eye coordination.
The Reds are not the only team to introduce the pigskins into their practice rotation. With many players coming from multi-sport backgrounds in their school days, it is a skill that can still serve them on the baseball field.
5. Jose Altuve booed and Hit by Pitch
The Houston Astros are beginning their season with a black cloud, or a black eye according to an interview with Derek Jeter. The Astros are in the middle of a scandal around sign-stealing during their 2017 championship season.
Jose Altuve is the first Astros star to feel the reaction from the fans. During a game with the Tigers, Altuve was greeted with boos from fans as he stepped out onto the field. While the jeers were not overbearing, the crowd let Altuve know what they thought of the current scandal. Being a well-loved player, the sting was likely felt hard.
Altuve was later hit by a ball during the game. An off-speed pitch from Nick Rameriz hit Altuve during his third at-bat. The unintentional throw struck Altuve in the leg. Altuve walked off the hit and continued the game.
Altuve is expected to do well this season. If he can keep his head above the scandal, 2020 will likely be another successful season for him.
While the Astro’s cheating scandal will hang heavy over their heads this season, there are a few bright spots from Spring training. Stars are returning, and new prospects are beginning to find their stride. Teams are looking for new and innovative ways to make their teams successful.
All-in-all, it appears that the 2020 MLB season will be a good one.
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