Well it’s time once again for the “Boys of Summer” to take the field, and make their way toward The World Series. The 2012 season hopes to continue where the 2011 season left off, with excitement and drama. It’s a new season with old names in new place, new team names, and new hope.
Let’s start with the Marlins opening up their new stadium, Marlins Park, and changing their name from the Florida Marlins to the Miami Marlins. They also brought in Manager Ozzie Guillen and players Jose Reyes (SS) and Mark Buehrle (LHP). Expect the new look Marlins to make a push for the post-season.
A major new development for this season is the addition of one more wild card team in the playoffs. The two wild cards will play in a one game playoff for the last spot in the Divisional Series. So if this were in place last season, the Boston Red Sox would have played the Tampa Bay Rays, and the St. Louis Cardinals would have played the Atlanta Braves for the last spots in the Divisional Series. So expect things to be a bit more competitive with the addition of an extra playoff spot.
Players On The Move:
Some big time players were on the move this off-season, making the MLB landscape a bit more interesting. Arguably the best player in the “Bigs,” Albert Pujols (1B) went to the Los Angeles Angels along with C.J. Wilson (LHP). Other stars on the move were, as we mentioned earlier, Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle to the Miami Marlins, Prince Fielder (1B) going to the Detroit Tigers, Edwin Jackson (RHP) now with the Washington Nationals, Jonathan Papelbon (RHP) went to the Philadelphia Phillies, and Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish (RHP) going to the Texas Rangers. Lots of big moves make for better competition, small market teams building from within.
Two young players to watch this season are Washington’s Stephen Strasburg (RHP) and Bryce Harper (CF). Strasburg is a big time player with a big time arm, and if he stays healthy, could be one of the best pitchers in the “Bigs” this season. Harper on the other hand is still very rough around the edges. Only 19 years old, Harper will be the everyday Center Fielder for the Nationals Triple-A affiliate Syracuse Chiefs. The Nat’s hope to bring Harper up by the end of the Summer, but keep an eye out for the young Harper. Even without Bryce Harper, the Nat’s will be must see TV every fifth day with Strasburg on the mound.
The drama of the MLB season unfolds April 4, with the St. Louis Cardinals vs. the Miami Marlins. New season, new hope. Here’s to Major League Baseball.
Written By Sam Chery