Rob Manfred
Troy Taormina | USA TODAY Sports

In case you haven’t heard yet, the 2023 Major League Baseball season will feature all 30 teams playing each other at some point. No more heavy divisional play with a handful of interleague games. All teams face off at least once this year.

It’s a polarizing decision among fans. Does the regular season even matter anymore? No, not as much, but the tradeoff is a loaded San Diego Padres team facing the Yankees in the Bronx in May. Between them and the spurned-by-Aaron Judge Giants, two new rivalries could be born.

On the Mets side, it’s an opportunity to keep competing and show the whole league last season’s early postseason exit was a fluke. Both New York teams are ready to run it back, and through every MLB team.

Thus, we at ESNY have thought of a fun way to take a look at baseball season over the final month before Opening Day. What if we took a deeper, closer look not just at the Yankees and Mets, but the 28 other baseball teams? How do those matchups affect the entire season? Why should we care more about the Mets playing the Tigers on the road in May than the Yankees going to Colorado in July?

Who are these teams and why should New York fans be paying attention? What moves have they made to slay the Big Apple’s baseball titans, be it in the playoffs or simple fill-in games? This is the side of baseball we will explore leading up to Opening Day, culminating with full Yankees and Mets previews.

Why? Because it’s baseball. Our national pastime. The greatest game that’s become a global phenomenon nobody could have anticipated, and in the best way. Let’s give each team their due and celebrate it.

Out with the winter clothes, folks, and batter up. It’s time to play ball.

Josh Benjamin has been a staff writer at ESNY since 2018. He has had opinions about everything, especially the Yankees and Knicks. He co-hosts the “Bleacher Creatures” podcast and is always looking for new pieces of sports history to uncover, usually with a Yankee Tavern chicken parm sub in hand.