Is 2015 going to be the new 1998?
I think so, but better because there’s hope of it being clean this time….and I know that matters to a lot of you.
In 1998 the McGwire versus Sosa home run race to 61 (and further) was credited with saving baseball. The game had been hurting since the strike of 1994 (and still might be), but the big bats of McGwire and Sosa made people forget.
The excitement level that Summer was unbelievable and I lived in Folsom, California at the time, a long way from both St. Louis and Chicago. The Sacramento Bee even kept a daily count for the two sluggers on the front of the sports page.
Looking back, we obviously view the Summer of 98 differently now than we did then…well, a lot of you might, I don’t…but as we flash back to 2015, we have something brewing that may not be looked on negatively, or at least I hope.
Bryce Harper and Giancarlo Stanton are two of the biggest young stars of Major League Baseball, and right now they are battling for the National League home run crown.
Last night alone is proof positive of how great this race can become over the next few months.
It all started in the top of the first inning in Toronto when Stanton belted his 20th home run of the young season to break the tie. Then in the 4th inning in the Bronx, Harper matched Stanton at 20 with a dinger of his own…but that wasn’t the end. In the 7th inning of the Marlins and Blue Jays game, Stanton again took the outright lead in the National League home run race by hitting his 21st homer.
This was just one night, and they weren’t even on the same field!
Remember those nights when the Cubs visited the Cardinals at Busch Stadium in ’98? It was must see TV.
Now make it a Marlins and Nationals game, we’ll say in D.C since they fill the stadium. Young Bryce Harper, Young Giancarlo Stanton…maybe even facing off against aces Jose Fernandez and Max Scherzer.
If that doesn’t get you excited for baseball, then it’s time to stop whining about it being boring and stop watching it all together because WOW.
Now, I realize it’s June 10th. There’s 100+ games left in the season that span the next 3-plus months…but I’m not jumping the gun on this one.
The other night on my show (Bases Loaded- Mondays at 6 pm on 740 The Game), I made my outlandish bold predictions including naming the Cardinals the World Series Champions. That was dumb, that was a prediction based on 50-plus games with 100-plus to go.
My home run race prediction however, is not an overreach.
I actually am ready to put it on record as a guarantee. I’m writing it in my legendary “Book of Promise.” Bryce Harper and Giancarlo Stanton will not only entertain the masses throughout the Summer of 2015, but for possibly a decade to come.
So sit back and relax baseball fans, it’s going to be a fun summer!
(Feel free to send any feedback on Twitter to @Ditti33 or via e-mail: ditti@740TheGame.com)