Well, it’s official – this show is on the road. After the long, dark, cold and gray winter, athletes return to Arizona or Florida to get their game on, for the real deal – the 2012 MLB season.
There is a lot to expect from this year – players leaving, players coming, and just brand spanking new players too. But here are five things you shouldn’t be caught off guard on this year.
1. The Cardinals Returning to the playoffs:
Look, I know they lost their heart and soul, and a starter, but this is a team that is more than two players. They have hitting and reasonable pitching, which is definitely enough to get them to a Wild-Card spot.
2. The NL East being up for grabs:
4 out of 5 teams in this division look ready to rumble. (the odd team out being the Mets). The Marlins have revamped hitting and pitching, the Phillies have always been good, the Nationals being led Strasburg and Harper, and the Braves getting a couple more chances with the newbies and veterans.
3. The AL East looking different – for better and worse:
The AL East has been a dominant power the past couple years – 3 out of the past 4 seasons they have gotten the AL pennant, and won it 2 times out of those years. But, teams like the Yankees are looking for a fresh start with young pitching and trading away veterans. Teams like the Rays are trying to find a way to not just ride luck this year, and finding talent that can play all year, and the Red Sox looking to forget last year – and look to find a prominent lineup to not collapse and goof off.
4. The Tigers winning the AL (possibly):
Take a look at the lineup. Now take a look at the pitching. Wow. That’s scary for batters and pitchers. They have found a second homer hitter, which just might get them those runs they need, since it’s still the same team, just better.
5. The Angels and Marlins not being necessarily good:
O.K, I know I said the Marlins were a contender. And they are! But, let’s just get some stuff straight first. As you could tell from the Red Sox epic collapse – (and every all-star game), putting good players together does NOT make a good team. I think they will both be fine, but I’m not necessarily a believer that either of these teams can make it past the AL or NLDS – after all, after C.J Wilson and Mark Buehrle, do either of these teams have pitching?
Well, every season takes it’s own twists and turns, so we’ll just have to see.