Updated: Apr 10
Yesterday, BLW released its 3rd Annual League Update video on YouTube announcing the 2023 Opening Day matchup as well as field and rule changes coming this season. To the surprise of many, the defending champion Pacific Panthers will not be participating in this
year's Opening Day likely as a result of Carson Rose's torn ACL which is expected to sideline him for the entirety of the upcoming season. Instead, it was announced that Coastal Cougars and Western Wolves will square off in a blockbuster matchup with a lot of history between the two teams.
The drama between the Cougars and Wolves began back in the 2021 World Series where both teams battled back and forth to a series-deciding game five. The Cougars prevailed in a six-inning battle in which World Series and regular season MVP Luke Rose hit a walk-off
double to claim the championship. The following postseason both teams met once again however this time as a first-round matchup. Looking to avenge their loss from the year prior, the Wolves and manager Logan Rose entered the series with a chip on their shoulder. On the other hand, the Cougars were missing 2022 Silver Slugger Mason Farris who had fared well against Rose when both teams faced off in the regular season. The Wolves would take game one after exploding for four runs in 6th inning. Game two was another scoreless battle late into extra innings until Bryson Livingston delivered a walk-off single to send the Wolves to the semi-finals.
Only hours after the Cougars were eliminated, Farris reached out to commissioner Logan Rose in hopes of playing with the Wolves for the upcoming season. In the coming days, it was discovered that Farris more specifically wanted to play with his cousin Chase Udall, a rookie on the Wolves. A week later when the Wolves were finally eliminated from the post-season, Rose looked into trade packages for Farris. Bryson Livingston, another one of the league's premiere hitters, was among the names thrown into conversations. Unfortunately, the idea of bringing Livingston to the Cougars didn't excite manager Luke Rose and negotiations took a pause. Later that day a unique idea sparked in commissioner Rose's mind; trade for the Cougars manager Luke Rose.
Although a manager had never been traded, BLW had rules in place to monitor the negotiations. The league's deputy commissioner Carson Rose would have to approve the proposed trade. Everything fell into place and the deal was complete. Luke Rose was sent to the Wolves for two draft picks, Bryson Livingston, and Chase Udall. 2021 Rookie of the Year and former Cougars player Porter Swope followed Rose to the Wolves in free agency later that off-season.
All of this history sets up the most anticipated BLW Opening Day matchup of all time. The Cougars and Wolves will kick off the 2023 season on Saturday, April 8th with the highlight video being released to YouTube on Wednesday, April 19. After a big off-season, expect Bryson Livingston to take the mound for the Cougars as he looks to prove himself as a legitimate ace in BLW. Offensively, the Cougars are expected to be one of the best hitting teams in the league, and drafting Reed Ross with the second overall pick will only add to that firepower. The Wolves will have the tough decision of who to start on the bump with players on the opposing team familiar and unfamiliar with both pitchers. With the countless number of storylines heading into this series, it's guaranteed that this will be the greatest Opening Day of all time!