|Time to take baseball's biggest questions to my Crystal Ball.|
There was no shortage of exciting moves this MLB off-season - rosters were filled with big names, organizations underwent major makeovers, and countless storylines were set for the 2012 season. Each team represents a series of plots that will unfold over the course of the next eight months - here are my TOP 5 questions heading into the season.
Can Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera co-exist in the field?
Serious question: the Tigers know they're in the American League, correct? I understand that neither of these sluggers wants the unappealing title of "Designated Hitter," but I have a hard time believing there aren't going to be some costly errors made at the corners of the Tiger infield this season. This isn't Gold Glove Kevin Youkilis moving to third to make way for Gold Glove Adrian Gonzalez - you may be able to hide one of these large bodies at first base, but both in the same infield may be trouble.
Everyone's happy with the arrangement now, but what happens when they hit that first defensive skid and the media starts pointing fingers? May get mighty awkward around that post-game spread.
Who will win the AL West?
The Texas Rangers have been the best team in the American League for the past two years, and honestly they may have gotten even better this off-season - so how is it possible that they may not even win their division? Well the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, California baseball team - did I get that right? - were also busy this winter, adding two of baseball's biggest signings to their veteran-laden roster.
Pujols was obviously a huge sign - he will likely go down as one of the best to ever play the game (please be clean...) - but I'm more interested in the addition of C.J. Wilson as a number 3 (!) starter, cementing the Angels' rotation as the strongest in baseball, in my opinion. C.J.'s history in Arlington and the mystery that is Yu Darvish only adds to the drama within this rivalry, which could present an exciting race all the way through September. Oakland and Seattle are both a few years away from competing, but even they have to be excited about all the great baseball games they get to DVR this season.
Will Bryce Harper make his Big League debut this season?
Like him or hate him - if he plays, we'll watch. Nicknamed the "Chosen One" by Sports Illustrated and labeled The Lebron of Baseball, it's easy to forget that Bryce Harper is only 19 years old. Although it may appear he has a lot of growing up to do, none of us passing judgment have had to handle a spotlight with even a fraction of the glow as the one Harper has been under since his sophomore year of high school. He must keep his cool while seemingly the entire baseball community wishes him to fail - while, of course, playing a game of failure.
While sometimes it certainly seems that Bryce may only be looking out for Bryce, can we really blame him? I can't speak to his behavior as a teammate, but to his credit he appears to be great with fans and has managed to produce strong numbers on the field amidst the media storm that has been his career. And don't look for that attention to go away anytime soon - if the number one pick from the 2010 Draft makes it to the Bigs this year, the entire baseball world will be watching.