The 2022 MLB season has been one for the books. As one of the most exciting seasons in the history of the sport. There was records broken, playoff droughts drenched, division collapses, media drama, farewell tours for iconic players, and of course no season is complete without at least one blockbuster trade!
I will cover as much as I can in this article about the 2022 MLB season. Bare with me, this ride might be all over the place.
MLB Season Records Broken in 2022
This season there were two historic records on the line to be broken, Aaron Judge surpassing Roger Maris’ 61 home runs and Albert Pujols becoming the fourth player ever to hit 700 home runs. As of right now there are 3 games left for the Yankee slugger to break the record, he has already tied it with 61 home runs this season. Pujols is currently sitting at 703 career home runs, surpassing Babe Ruth in RBIs.
On the other side of the country, the Los Angeles Dodgers set two franchise records this season. When they won game 107 this season, they surpassed the record of 106 wins set in 2019 and tied in 2021. The Dodgers also broke a record set by the Yankees in 1998; most wins by multiple runs. The Yankees won 93 of their games by two runs or more, the Dodgers have up to now won 94 games by multiple runs.
The St. Louis Cardinals Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright set the record this season for most starts together with 328 career starts dating back to 2006. The previous record was held by Mickey Lolich and Bill Freehan of the Detroit Tigers with 324 starts together.
2022 Home Run Derby Records Set
Julio Rodriguez has came on to the scene in his rookie campaign with superstar potential. He set a few record by himself at the Home Run Derby this year. He was the first player to hit more than 30 home runs in two separate rounds. His 81 home runs set a record for most home runs by a Mariner player in the event, passing Ken Griffey Jr’s 59. Rodriguez and Juan Soto combine for the first Home Run Derby finals with two players under the age of 23.
On the other end of that spectrum, Albert Pujols set a few records himself. Becoming the first player to make it passed the first round five times in his career. He also had the most career home runs than any participant before him, at the time having 684 career homers. Also at the age of 42, he was the oldest Home Run Derby participant.
MLB Playoff Droughts Ended in 2022
Two teams in 2022 ended a playoff drought of over a decade. The Philadelphia Phillies will be in the playoffs for the first time since 2011.
The longest playoff drought in all of the four major sports, not just Major League Baseball, was broken this season. The Seattle Mariners have made the playoffs after 21 seasons of missing the cut-off. This historic feat has the world of sports toasting champaign for the city of Seattle. Best of luck Mariners, and many more to come in this decade.
Division Collapses of 2022
The Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, and New York Mets all held a hefty lead in their respective divisions at one point this season.
The Brewers since the trade deadline have been surpassed by the St. Louis Cardinals. The Twins after completely falling apart gave the division lead up to the Cleveland Guardians in August as well. Both the Brewers and Twins will miss out on the playoffs this season after being a favorite to make it at one point.
The New York Mets are a little different. They were finally caught and surpassed by the Atlanta Braves on the last weekend of the regular season. After leading the division for the entire season. Luckily for them they will still make the playoffs as a wildcard team. Having one of the best records in the MLB with 98 wins going into their last three games.
Media Drama of the 2022 MLB Season
This season started with a drama-filled lockout, the first week of the season was canceled due to negotiations between players and owners. For the second time in three seasons negotiations between the two have made public the disconnect between the two parties.
Once the season got started, however, another big story was amassed two months in. The deadening of balls used in the MLB. Players and fans alike were noticing balls die in the outfield in peculiar ways. Balls that were guaranteed homers in the past seem to barely make it to the warning track. It happened so often that an investigation into this by the media uncovered some odd stories.
The MLB said the consistency of the balls was hard to regulate. While the conspiracy is that they know exactly what balls will fly and what balls will die. This is a conspiracy however dating back to George Herman’s days as a player nearly a century ago.
As the season moved on Aaron Judge’s contract or the lack thereof became headlines. Judge became the biggest story this season; between leading the home run statistic by more than 20 most of the season, chasing Roger Maris’ record, and the fact that he will be a free agent after this season. Speculations of where he will play next season have run rampant as Yankee fans chant “PAY THE MAN”.
Farewell Tours in St. Louis
After Miguel Cabrera stated he would return for another season, all of the farewell attention was put on St. Louis.
The Cardinals have three legendary players who will be retiring at this season’s end, only two are confirmed. Yadier Molina has been behind the plate in St. Louis since 2004. Spending 19 seasons in a Cardinals uniform.
Albert Pujols who looks like he could play for another five seasons, signed a one-year deal this season with St. Louis. Retiring with the Cardinals, the team he spent his first 10 seasons as a player with, winning two World Series with the franchise.
Lastly, Adam Wainwright has not confirmed his retirement. However, he has been celebrated alongside Molina and Pujols down the stretch of this season. He also played his entire career in St. Louis dating back to 2006.
Trades Made that were Huge
At the trade deadline on August 2nd, 2022; two trades were made that alter the franchises involved in major ways.
The biggest name traded, and maybe the biggest name in baseball, Juan Soto was traded from the Washington Nationals to the San Diego Padres. Giving the Padres a core lineup of Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr, and Juan Soto. Three of the best hitters in baseball, yikes!
The other big trade that will become a pivot point in the franchise was pitcher Luis Castillo being traded from the Cincinnati Reds to the Seattle Mariners. Castillo gives the Mariners a true ace in the lineup for the next 5 seasons. This franchise has young talent on the cusp of becoming superstars all around him, both in the rotation and the lineup. He will take a lot of pressure off of those kids, allowing them to develop at their own speed.
Overview of the 2022 MLB Season:
Now that the regular season commences, the real fun is about to begin. The 2022 playoffs begin this Friday, October 7th, 2022. This season has been full of amazing moments for fans and the league alike. From closer entrances becoming a thing to flat-out great baseball being played.
The 2022 MLB season will be talked about for decades to come, because I will always remember where I was when Soto got traded, Judge hit number 61, Pujols hitting 699 and 700 in back to back plate appearances, Waino and Molina breaking the battery record, and when the city of Seattle rejoiced breaking the playoff drought.
This season will be an end to some legacies, as well as the birth of legends to come. Now it is time for the playoffs!
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Rowan Donaghey is a Sports and Betting Insider for Fantom Sports Industries. Follow him on twitter for daily content via @RowanDonaghey
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