Ozzie Guillen was ejected in a spring training game yesterday so it must be time to get ready for the MLB season. Here is a quick update on what you might have missed over the winter.
Meet the New Boss: Ozzie Guillen is already stirring things up for the Miami Marlins replacing Jack McKeon who has retired for the last time. Robin Ventura replaces Guillen for the White Sox and should be able to avoid headlocks and noogies from Nolan Ryan by staying in the dugout. Also in Chicago, Mike Quaid is out for the Cubs and Dale Svuem is in. Bobby Valentine quietly replaced Terry Francona for the small market Red Sox and finally, Tony La Russa, who went out on top with the Cards, gives way to Mike Matheny. Matheny, at 40, will be the youngest manager in the bigs and continues the tradition of smart-guy catchers who go on the become major league managers.
Big $$$ Free Agent Signings: Albert Pujols to the Angels (10 yrs/$245m),
Prince Fielder to the Tigers (9 yrs/$214m), Jose Reyes to the Marlins (6 yrs/$102m), CJ Wilson to the Rangers (5 yrs/$77.5m), Jonathan Papelbon to the Phillies (4 yrs/$50m)
AARP Signings: Omar Vizquel (45) signs a minor league deal with the Blue Jays, Jim Thome (41) returns to the Phils, Jason Giambi (41) will give it another go in Colorado, Takashi Saito (42) and Henry Blanco (40) sign with the D’Backs.
WHY WON’T ANYONE SIGN RICKY? He looks good to go in the above photo with MaxBP GM Neil McConnell taken last month in Arizona
Hangin’ em Up: Jason Veritek, Tim Wakefield, Craig Counsell, Jorge Posada,Ivan Rodriquez (unofficial), Mike Cameron, JD Drew, Pat Burrell and Orlando Cabrerra…lots of rings there; also the league is taking a big hit on HoF caliber catchers but the time, she has come.
Season Opener: Seattle @ Oakland, March 28th, Tokyo Dome
New Playoff Format: There will be an additional wild card team from each league in 2012 bringing the total number of playoff teams to 10. The change is expected to keep more teams in the race till the end plus some one-and-done drama to start the playoffs with the one game wild-card round. This means it’s possible for a team from the AL West to finish 3rd in a 4 team division and win the World Weries – that’s progress for ya.
These are just some of the interesting stories from around MLB as we enter the 2012 season. If you are not on our email list and would like to receive future news and promos from us, please click on the link below to add your info. We appreciate all the positive feedback and email sharing of our recent syndications.