Despite the fact that snow is in the forecast for much of this week, I’m feeling like it’s already spring, and baseball is right around the corner.
In this column, I’d like to take a look at the upcoming season and talk about some teams that should be exciting to watch this year. A lot of teams have made offseason deals in hopes of taking their team to the next level, but it won’t be clear till the fall which of these teams made the best moves during the winter.
It seems like this has been an exceptionally long offseason to me, maybe because I’m actually feeling optimistic about the upcoming season for my team (the Los Angeles Dodgers), but I can’t wait for opening day to get here.
As a Dodgers fan, I’ve said for years that it was sick seeing how much money the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox have spent on players. Now that I’m on the other end, I think I could get used to this. It seemed like, over the winter, the Dodgers tried to buy every major free agent out there. This will be the first full season with Zack Greinke, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez. That’s enough to get even the most pessimistic and jaded Dodgers fan excited.
I just hope the Dodgers will remember how to play baseball past June this year. The past few seasons, they’ve started out hot, then quickly fizzled once we hit summer.
Los Angeles easily spent the most over the winter, with a whopping $234.09 million being shelled out. I read on one website that, with that much cash, they could have bought 52,019,497 Dodger Dogs. I hope they made the right decision.
The Dodgers aren’t the only team with high expectations going into the season. The Arizona Diamondbacks also made a lot of offseason moves, signing Martin Prado, Cody Ross, Eric Chavez, Heath Bell and a few others. I think the Diamondbacks will have a good year. I get the feeling they’re trying to build a throwback team built around hard work and fundamentals.
The Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals also look to have strong teams coming into this year. It will be fun to watch their budding rivalry develop. The Braves signed B.J. Upton, who will join his brother Justin in the Braves outfield. They’re both likely to have good seasons and should be fun to watch.
The Nationals also have a good young lineup and, with Stephen Stasburg fully healthy, they should stand to win a lot of game. I think the Nationals will make a good run deep into the season this year.
In the American League, another interesting team this year will be the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. It will be interesting to see how Josh Hamilton fits into the lineup. The Angels have a potentially very scary batting lineup. With Hamilton joining Albert Pujols and Mike Trout, the Angels could do a lot of damage with their bats this year.
The Toronto Blue Jays also should be much improved this season. They made a lot of signings over the winter and are probably the most-improved team in the American League. They signed a bunch of new players, including Melky Cabrera from the Yankees, and should make a serious playoff push this year.
I’m not sure which teams will actually have good seasons this year, and I have no clue who will be in the World Series, but I can’t wait to watch the journey.