2012 CHICAGO BASEBALL PREVIEW
Considering that I haven’t said much about baseball during spring training, I thought that this article would be appropriate. Opening Day for the 2012 Major League Baseball season is this week with the Cubs opening up on Thursday and the White Sox opening up on Friday. Normally I look forward to opening day. But this year not so much.
I was hoping that the Cubs would have a brighter future with Theo Epstien at the helm. I was also hoping for things to change for the better when the White Sox announced that they would be changing managers for 2012. But that was not the case on either side of town. Theo Epstein did almost little to nothing in the free agent market, and the Sox made a sentimental hire instead of grabbing either Bobby Valentine or Terry Francona when they had the chance.
While Robin Ventura is one of the most respected Sox players of all-time, but he has very little experience as a coach and no experience as a manager. This is just another one of Kenny Williams’ many questionable decisions. I was really hoping that after Ozzie Guillen left that Williams would shy away from White Sox alumni. Kenny Williams should have been fired years ago.
Not only did he not bring in a proven manager, he did not make any major moves in free agency, he built yet another questionable pitching staff, and he still holding out hope that the much older veteran leadership will carry the team again. A.J. Pierzynski and Paul Konerko are getting older and aren’t as productive anymore. Jake Peavy never seems to stay healthy, and then there’s the question of weather or not Adam Dunn will rebound from a miserable 2011 season.
There’s also the question of who the closer will be now that Sergio Santos is gone. Perhaps Dayan Viciedo, Alejandro De Aza, and Tyler Flowers will be the bright spots for the White Sox this season. The Cubs have just as many question marks if not more. They didn’t make a serious offer to Prince Fielder, they didn’t even try to get Albert Pujols, and they also failed to land a proven manager.
The Cubs already have Starlin Castro, Alfonso Soriano, and Marlon Byrd. Someone like Pujols or Fielder would have been an excellent edition to this team. The Cubs instead are building the team around Castro, Brian LaHair, Darwin Barney, and Tony Campana. Now I understand Theo Epstien’s approach to investing for the future…..
But after 100 plus years of not winning a world series, I think he was better off at least trying to win for 2012. But instead it looks like we’ll waiting for next year again. The Cubs also have questions with their pitchers as well. Ryan Dempster had his worst season as a major leaguer in 2011, can he rebound with a good 2012? Can Matt Garza rebound from a subpar 2011 season?
Is Jeff Samardzija ready for the big time? And what about the bullpen? It looks like Kerry Wood and Carlos Marmol will be rotating as closers again. So unless either baseball team can prove me wrong this year, it is going to be a long season. If neither team is contending at the all-star break, expect the Cubs to unload Byrd, Soriano, and Garza’s salaries.
You can also expect the White Sox to finally pull the plug on Konerko and Pierzynski, and perhaps Jake Peavy as well. At the moment, most Chicago fans are praying that the Bulls and Blackhawks will be playing through June. And on a side note, the NFL has announced a new deal with Nike to make the 2012 NFL playing uniforms.
Reebok had the honor of doing so from 2001-2011. The Bears also had their uniforms previously made by Nike from 1997-2000. Here is how the 2012 NFL uniforms will look: http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-shutdown-corner/nike-releases-nfl-uniform-designs-sehawks-major-overhaul-192520103.html;_ylt=AhfRyFgEQp400IdIKCkGcJH0Ycp_;_ylu=X3oDMTRuamFsbzljBGNjb2RlA3ZzaGFyZWFnMgRtaXQDRmVhdHVyZWQgQmxvZ3MgQ09SRQRwa2cDZjk2ZWYwMzQtZjI4OC0zNmU0LTk1ZmItZmNkMTI3YTg1ZDA0BHBvcwMyBHNlYwNNZWRpYUJMaXN0TWl4ZWRMUENBBHZlcgMxNTZjZjMzMC03ZGU1LTExZTEtYWY5Zi1iMWQ0ZDc0NDg3ODE-;_ylg=X3oDMTM3dWduaDdpBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDNzBiNWI1NDMtNDgyMi0zMGI1LWIwMTUtYWU1MmIzNjFhMWM0BHBzdGNhdANtbWF8Y2FnZXdyaXRlcgRwdANzdG9yeXBhZ2UEdGVzdAM-;_ylv=3
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