Thursday, April 5, 2012

2012 Major League Baseball Preview

Contributed by Emma Booth.
Regional Director, USA Sport Group.

So the MLB season starts this week and I will have to watch my beloved New York Mets start without short stop Jose Reyes for the first time since 2003. With a boat load of troubles surrounding the Mets on and off the field, it’s fair to say the future for the blue and orange season does not look bright.

But who will take the crown? Yes, it is too early to say, and yes, I may be putting all my eggs in one basket, but hey, that’s what I do.

With two wildcards this season it leaves more chance for a team to spring from nowhere and take the World Series crown, like St Louis Cardinals did in 2011. But will the Cardinals makes a return visit to the World Series? I don’t think so. They have lost both manager La Russa to retirement and Albert Pujols to the Angels, and although they still have a strong roster, I don’t think they will recover from the loss of those two personalities. The New York Yankees are always on people’s lips, and although it pains me to say it, I believe they will at least make the postseason, but I can’t see them winning. They aren’t the superstar team they once were, even from last season.

I think the AL East is the most competitive division this season, with the Boston Red Sox and the Toronto Blue Jays both very strong. Detroit Tigers were almost unstoppable last season, and I think they have a fair chance of pushing themselves one further this season and making the World Series. They are my pick for the American League finals.

The National League is a different kettle of fish. Already having mentioned the Cardinals are probably not going to contend this year, in my eyes, I would like to see Arizona Diamondbacks make good. They smashed the NL Western Division last year, much to the surprise of many (including the San Francisco Giants), but never really pushed on from there. My wildcard pick is the Miami Marlins. I honestly think they have a decent shout this year; with star names such as Mark Buehrle, Heath Bell, and of course Jose Reyes, coming in to the roster, I think they could well be the surprise of the season.

But who will make it to the World Series from the NL? I think it will be the Philadelphia Phillies. Sure, technically they aren’t as strong on paper this season as last, and yes, they have lost a lot of pace from the outfield but I think the combination of Howard, Halladay and Uttley, and the spirit they showed last year may well be enough to take the crown.

So there you have it; Tigers v Phillies in the 2012 World Series. Come back in October and see how wrong I was.

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