This archived article was written by: Alejandro Church
There is a buzz around this year’s new faces in new places. An anticipation like no other with fans just waiting to see their team’s stars hit the field. Albert Pujols, now an Angel and after an impressive spring training, Halo fans can’t wait to get arguably baseball’s best player on the field when it counts. Prince Fielder with the Tigers and their all-star team in Detroit and many others will return to teams they carried last year. It’s opening day for Major League Baseball and it starts on this continent Wednesday with the defending world champion St. Louis Cardinals taking on the new look Miami Marlins in Miami’s new ballpark. So what is all the fuss about? Let’s have a look at what baseball hopes to continue.
Last year’s colossal collapse in September for the Red Sox and Braves allowed for the miracle teams of the Rays and the Cardinals to battle their way to baseball glory that they hope to continue on in to the 2012 season. The Red Sox changed scenery quite a bit, letting closer Jonathon Paplebon go to the city of brotherly love and join the Phillies also brought in a new GM and manager Bobby Valentine and his military-spring training camp and alcohol ban in the clubhouse. The Braves focused on letting go of the past this off-season and focused on staying tight as an organization.
As for the Rays, they were part of one of the greatest days in baseball history with late-inning heroics and Evan Longoria topping it off with his playoff clinching 11th inning walk-off home run. They have brought back Carlos Peña to be their first baseman and a middle of the lineup power guy. The defending champion Cardinals, parted ways with Albert Pujols in a shocker to all of St. Louis however added Carlos Beltran and will get their ace Adam Wainwright back from Tommy John surgery and will again be a force in the NL central.
This year the Pirates have a chance to regain their first-half dominance of last year and try to finish the season strong and with the addition of A.J. Burnett their could be a better shot at that then most think. Once again Cubs fans will start fresh and once again hope that 2012 will bring a World Series to the north side of the Windy City for the first time in over a 100 years. The Dodgers hope new ownership will help to turn things around in LA and focus more on the boys in blue rather than on the politics of the McCourt divorce.
The 2012 season will also have the addition of 2 more wild card teams making it 10 teams in the post season and a battle past that goes past July for a few more teams. It should help fans to keep hope and keep the stands full as things heat up in the dog days of summer when boys become men. So Happy New Year to all baseball fans hope this year will be as good as last year!