Play Ball in Marine Park

Baseball season does not officially begin until Good Shepherd parish, Marine Park, hosts its annual “Baseball Bash” discussion. On April 2, the day before 2016 Opening Day, 20 avid fans got together in the rectory basement to offer their opinions on all things baseball.

The discussion was moderated by Father Jim Devlin, pastor emeritus. Lots of recurring faces, and even a few new ones, attended the event, which began about 25 years ago.

In addition to some trivia questions, several topics were discussed, including which current teams look like the favorites to win their respective divisions – with the New York Mets and New York Yankees both in the mix – and which players and managers who changed teams will have the biggest impact, including Starlin Castro of the Yankees, David Price of the Boston Red Sox and Don Mattingly of the Miami Marlins.

The Mets were said to have baseball’s top pitching rotation over the Chicago Cubs. It was also debated as to whether there would be another 300-game-winning pitcher in baseball based on the new philosophies involving pitch counts, innings limits and bullpen usage.

And of course, Mets manager Terry Collins’ decision to stick with Matt Harvey for the ninth inning of Game 5 of the 2015 World Series was analyzed in detail.

The “Baseball Bash” once again served its purpose of ramping up the excitement for another baseball season.