Well happy 2012 everyone! While we were all busy making our ‘new year’s resolutions,’ I was not only busy thinking of my own issues to resolve (I’m not procrastinating with this article any longer), but also thinking of some good ones for some clubs around Major League Baseball. After a little bit of thought, and some consulting from my favorite magic crystal baseball, here are my top 5 resolutions in baseball for the 2012 season; minus the lame puns of course.
5. Minnesota Twins – Health
It’s so sad to see a team full of stars end up with one of the worst records in baseball. And it’s not that they played poorly. I mean sure, they did, but it was because they simply could not stay healthy.
Joe Nathan, one of the best closers in baseball: out. Matt Capps, who had a terrific season full of closing the year before gets assigned to fill in for Nathan, then he gets hurt: out. Stud hitter Jason Kubel: out. New Japanese hyped sensation, shortstop, Tsuyoshi Nishioka, broken fibula: out. Former MVP Justin Morneau still had lingering symptoms from a concussion the year before, he may never be the same.
And then of course there is the golden child, Joe Mauer, who will eventually have to switch to part time catcher / first base, because as predicted, his legs just can’t hold up any longer. However, if you’ve seen his shampoo commercials, his hair still looks fantastic.
4. Texas Rangers – Find That Ace
Every team needs one, that Chris Carpenter, Justin Verlander, Roy Halladay, Clayton Kershaw; that ‘ace’ that can lead you throughout the playoffs to that glorious World Series title. Although he performed poorly throughout most of the playoffs, the Rangers had that ‘ace’ in C.J. Wilson the past two seasons, two season in which they made the World Series back-to-back, and lost.
The problem is, is that there really aren’t too many ‘ace’ type pitchers out on the market. If they want to make it to another World Series, win or lose, they need that guy.
Even though they are talking to dominant Japanese righty Yu Darvish, we all know that Japanese imports are no ‘sure thing.’ Roy Oswalt is up for grabs, but time is catching up with him.
Texas has a terrific farm system. My best advice for Nolan Ryan’s crew would be to make a trade for a stud mid-season, possibly Johan Santana, who will be coming back from a season lost due to shoulder surgery. The Mets will probably be looking to shed more cash. But what do I know? I’m not trying to tell Mr. Ryan and his crew how to do their jobs. I’m just a sports writer.
3. Seattle Mariners / Washington Nationals – Don’t Overpay For Fielder
It’s still being reported that these are the two biggest teams still showing interest in Fielder. If so, the market is down right now, obviously. No one wants to overspend for a position as deep as first base, a position in which almost all teams that could actually afford Fielder, already have a top tier first baseman.
It doesn’t matter how great Fielder is, it would be shocking and fiscally unsound if he gets anywhere close to the Albert Pujols deal (10 years, 252 million). But that’s exactly what Scott Boras, his agent, wants.
P.S. I still wouldn’t count out the Cubbies.
2. Florida Marlins – Keep Hanley Happy
When he’s happy, he is one of the most valuable players in the game. And when he is not, he bats .243, as he did last season.
The Marlins are not only hoping that a new skipper in Ozzie Guillen, a new stadium, and new ‘unis,’ will attract a better downtown fan base and therefore jumpstart more wins, but will also keep their best veteran player in Hanley Ramirez happy
Add to the fact that they signed Jose Reyes and therefore had to convince Hanley to accept a switch to third base. Even though they are saying Hanley has officially accepted the move, first reports came out that he would refuse such a change. Personally, I’m still not sold. Let’s see where things are this September.
1. Los Angeles Dodgers – New Ownership Please?
I finished that title with a ‘?’ for a reason, and it’s because no one seems to really know what is going on. Will someone please buy the Dodgers? No? How about a vowel? Anything??
It’s hilarious when hearing Colin Cowherd, a radio host, refer to the Dodgers as a ‘dumpster fire.’ Very sad, indeed, but it’s the truth. What a mess.
Bids on the team are due January 23rd, and while there are expected to be as many as 30, MLB can only approve of 10 bidders, at which current owner Frank McCourt can choose personally as to whom he will sell the team to.
As of late, one intriguing option is former manager Joe Torre, who just recently quit his job as an MLB executive to help form an investment group to purchase the team. To make things wackier, other potential bidders reportedly include Larry King, Mark Cuban, Orel Hershiser and Steve Garvey (Garvey was let go by the Dodgers last season), Magic Johnson, Peter O’Malley and Dennis Gilbert.
The team can’t make any big off-season moves until the team is sold. McCourt doesn’t have any money since he’s driven to the team to bankruptcy, meaning he technically doesn’t own the team anymore and therefore cannot sign off on any deals. Yet at the same time there is no official ‘new’ owner who can sign off on a deal either. The team is literally ‘frozen’ this off season, until there is a new owner in place.
Good luck in 2012 Dodgers fans!
Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS