Miami’s beautiful new ballpark opened Sunday for an exhibition game vs. the Yankees.
By Cam Cain ◊ 4/1/12
The Marlins’ season begins anew in many ways. A new logo, new name, new stadium, and a huge offseason spending spree in which they most notably signed Jose Reyes, Mark Buerhle, and Heath Bell. The Marlins’ park, going by the name Marlins Park, is extravagantly over-the-top. From the retractable roof to the vibrantly designed home run monument in center field, Miami’s stadium is a modern haven.
Jeffrey Loria and the rest of Marlins management hope that this new park and new group of all-stars will help attract fans to come see the team. At the old park, which was used by the Miami Dolphins and changed its name every year, Florida never drew 2 million fans and was always in the bottom 5 teams in attendance. The new stadium will definitely boost fan interest, at least for the first couple of months. I have the pleasure of going to a game in late April and can’t wait!
The Marlins have planned for 2012 for years now. The big bats Hanley Ramirez and Giancarlo (formerly known as Mike) Stanton now have a true leadoff man in Jose Reyes. Mark Buehrle and fiery manager Ozzie Guillen came from the South side of Chicago. Guillen will add some personality to these Marlins. This personality will definitely make the Marlins a fun team to follow, it will be up to the star players as to how they finish but I expect nothing short of second place.
Oh. And as for the first game at this park, New York won 10-8, scoring 2 in the top of the 9th. Gaby Sanchez hit the unofficial first home run in the 2nd inning. Since it was an exhibition game, the home run will not go into the books. Also, they didn’t let that disgusting monument off. That would’ve been amusing.
Will New York make the postseason for the seventeenth time in 18 years? And where will the rising Jays land?
By Cam Cain ◊ 3-25-12
So here we have it. It is finally spring. After a long winter break, it’s time for our nation’s pastime to be reborn for another long season. In 8 short days, the Cardinals and Marlins will play at 7:05 and kick off the new season at the new ballpark in Miami. I felt like I had to come out with my own predictions for the season. It is just human nature to feel the need to guess at these things, however accurate you may be (last year I chose Colorado to win it all.) So here are my predictions for the toughest division in the game, with 4 potential 90-game-winning teams, the American League East:
Where does Boston stand in the league’s toughest division?
By Cam Cain 2-9-12
Spring is almost among us. Depending on where you live, it may not look like it but I’m talking about baseball season. Pitchers and catchers report in a couple of weeks and most of the teams seem to have taken shape. However, there are question marks above many other teams. For example, there are the Red Sox, a team who probably should’ve gone into the offseason with the same strategy as their bitter rivals in New York, work on the starting pitching. They lost Eric Bedard to the Pirates and will hopefully, mercifully, find a way to get rid of John Lackey. This leaves veterans Josh Beckett and Jon Lester who are proven top-of-the-rotation guys, Clay Buchholz who threw a no hitter in his second career start in 2007 but has been inconsistent ever sinse, and Daisuke Matsuzaka who the organization hopes can pitch how he did before his injuries. Roy Oswalt is surprisingly still a free agent but had possibly his worst season in his career last year. He is only 34 and could possibly make a good third spot in the rotation.
New GM Ben Cherington also traded away the top 2 shortstops, Jed Lowrie and Marco Scutaro for relief pitchers. This must mean that they are planning on moving someone, likely flamethrower Daniel Bard, to the rotation. But why both of the shortstops? Next on the list are Mike Aviles who hasn’t played more than 34 games at short since his rookie season in 2008 in Kansas City. Also, there’s Jose Iglesias, a defensive-minded Cuban prospect at the position where defense matters the most. He had only 6 major league at bats and is expected to be called up sometime in June. However, some worry about his hitting. Iglesias hit .235 at the AAA level last year and only has one career minor league home run. The Red Sox also have Aruban Xander Bogaerts at short in their farm system who was ranked by mlb.com as Boston’s third best prospect and the majors’ 76th. However, he is not expected to make the majors until 2014 and he will likely switch to third base by then.
So how does Boston look for this year? Well, with no shortstop, right fielder, and questions about the pitching staff, it’s hard to see my hometown team finishing ahead of the Yankees or Blue Jays.