With the official start of Spring Training a little more than 50 days away excitement levels are high in Philly and other baseball towns across America. Even here in Virginia Beach, we are talking baseball on a regular basis. People around here are tired of hearing me talk about the the Phillies and Doc and Cliff. They would prefer to talk about the Nationals and Prince Fielder.
The fact of the matter is the National League East is slowly becoming the powerhouse of the Major Leagues. It’s been a long drawn out debate about the toughest division in baseball. The AL East has had bragging rights with the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays trading blows all season long for the past couple of years.
The Marlins have made the biggest splash this off season acquiring Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Heath Bell and now Carlos Zambrano. With a new stadium set to open the 2012 season with a bang, Miami has opened its wallet and declared ‘we want to win.’ The Marlins also brought in Ozzie Guillen to run this new look, new name, and new uniformed team.
Other moves by the Nationals and I guess the Braves (big signing of Eric Hinske) has this division looking scary. While I still think the Phillies are the team to beat, this move to more playoff teams in 2013 and possibly this year may help this team breathe easier at night. Corey goes in depth on the shape up for the East and claims the Mets will be playing with a ‘nobody believes in us‘ type of attitude. He is probably right about this one.
Now that we are in the New Year, people are looking back to the year that just passed and making resolutions for the new one. You sit and think about all the things you’ve done and how to either make them better or eliminate them all together. The same goes for baseball’s front office. Dozens and dozens of moves are made every season.
General Managers spend countless hours with film and stat sheets coming up with this so called winning recipe for their respective teams. But how often does a GM get to look back and say ‘man, I’d love to have that guy back.’ Ruben Amaro did it with Cliff Lee and was lucky, nay sneaky, enough to lure him back to Philadelphia. Amaro was, again, asked of all the young talent dealt away who did he miss the most. He speaks of the catcher that got away.
And if you haven’t noticed yet, Amanda has put together a great list of some amazing moments from this past season and we have once again put out the Phillies Nation Top 20 Moments from 2011. Check out when tempers heated up in San Francisco, John Mayberry Jr. became a man, Hunter Pence voiced a new catch phrase, and Mini Mart goes full blown grocery store status. We still have the Top 13 moments yet to come. Can you guess what they are?