An Offseason to Remember
Published on my baseball blog, February 15, 2012:
Wake up. Get on the computer. Have an interview or two. Maybe make a video. Tweet, tweet, tweet! Go to work. Chat with the other contestants till the wee hours of the morning. Lather, rinse, repeat…
Notice how I didn’t include eating anywhere? It’s possible I’m losing weight, but at least then I’ll look good if I end up in the cave! It has been one week, folks. One crazy week, and I might add, one of the best of my life.
I flew from Orlando to St. Louis just to be on the news, and I’ll soon be making an appearance at the Cardinals Spring Training in Jupiter. Do I qualify as a jet-setter yet? My voice was heard on the very same radio station upon which I used to listen to the late, great Jack Buck. So whatever you want to call me, I’m having a blast!
But I’ve realized that in all the madness of the competition, I’ve forgotten to relay to you the most important information of all: my thoughts on the game. There have been quite a few developments since I last chronicled the offseason.
Prince Fielder has signed with Detroit – yes Detroit. No one expected the Motor City to swoop in and snag the top free agent at first-base behind Albert Pujols, escpecially since they already have the great Miguel Cabrera. But I have to say that for some reason it wasn’t hard for me to picture the Prince in a Tigers uniform. It seems like a good fit, but we’ll have to wait for the season to start to find out…
The Yankees made headlines when they landed the Mariner’s 2011 rookie and All-Star pitcher, Michael Pineda in exchange for top hitting prospect Jesus Montero. And then they followed it up by signing free-agent right hander Hiroki Kuroda. The former will give them a solid number 2 in their lineup behind ace, C.C. Sabathia, and both acquisitions make them a force to be reckoned with.
And now we move from a team often at the top to a team often at the bottom. The Nationals are finally turning heads, as they added left-hander Gio Gonzalez and recent World Series champ Edwin Jackson to their roster. Right-hander Stephen Strasburg will also make a return after missing much of 2011 due to Tommy Jon surgery. But perhaps the biggest story is the possibility of top prospect Bryce Harper‘s Major League debut. If he lives up to expectations, the Nationals might compete. But I’m not sure I see Washington going all the way in a division sure to be ruled by the Phillies and the Marlins, the second of which has had quite the offseason, themselves (see “2012: Teams to Watch”).
Lastly, we have arrived at foreign prospects. The Rangers dropped a huge chunk of change on starter Yu Darvish, thought by many to be the best pitcher in Japanese professional baseball. He will certainly help fill the gap left by C.J. Wilson’s departure. And just a couple of days ago, the Athletics stunned the MLB when they signed Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, thought to be linked to the Marlins. If you need proof of Cespedes’ worth, just watch him work out.
Do you feel caught up yet? I’m not sure I do either…But regardless of whether or not were ready, the 2012 season is fast approaching! Which remind me, it’s time for another shameless plug. Vote, vote, vote for me and help this baseball fan earn the right to watch it unfold in the center of it all: the MLB Fan Cave!