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.
Pujols signs near-record deal with Angels
By Cam Cain 12-8-11
Well, Albert Pujols has officially signed with a team. And it’s not the Cardinals or the Marlins. Not even Theo Epstein’s Cubs. Nope. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (phew that’s a mouthful) have swooped up out of nowhere and signed the superstar to a 10-year-deal worth reportedly $254 million. This news comes much sooner than expected as the Winter Meetings in Dallas. are only a couple days in. You can make a strong case for him as the greatest first baseman of all time. That’s saying something since he plays the same position as did Gehrig and Foxx. He is a three time MVP but has also won 2 Gold Gloves. Only once has Pujols “failed” to hit 35 or more Home Runs. 2007 was the only year in which he didn’t. He hit 32. Following that year, Pujols won back-to-back MVPs. He also has a career batting average of .328, first among active players, as well as 455 career home runs, or 42 per 162 games.
So here we see another example of a star leaving his team for a load of money. Like A-Rod in the offseason before 2004 leaving the Rangers to head to Steinbrenner’s Yankees.
So what does this deal mean to the other teams?
First they will have to deal with the shock of losing their franchise player who they’ve had since 2001. But they won the World Series for reasons besides only Big Albert. They’re not just a one-dimensional team. They will definitely be crippled, especially with first year manager Mike Matheny, who has never managed at any level.
Sure, they missed out on the big free agent prize but Prince Fielder is still out there. They don’t even need a first baseman anyway with 2011 All Star Gaby Sanchez playing the position. They are still the big free agent getters this offseason with Shortstop Jose Reyes and closer Heath Bell. They also signed pitcher Mark Buehrle. Buehrle played under Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen on the White Sox. I think Miami will be just fine without Pujols.
Reds and Brewers:
Both of these teams are in a great position. The Reds are hoping that the Brewers lose Prince Fielder so that they could have a clear path with their talented youth. They have also shot down Joey Votto trade rumors several times. The Brewers have the best team now and could be ready for a deep run.
Of course the Angels themselves:
These 2 additions have strongly boosted the Angels. There have been rumors of trading Rookie of the Year candidate Mark Trumbo who is a first baseman. The signing of pitcher C.J. Wilson from the rival Rangers has boosted an already superb rotation which already included Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, and Ervin Santana. Is it too early to slap on the Dream Team tag?
NOTE: This photo is not mine. Statistics from baseballreference.com