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2012 MLB Season: American League

By Ignacio Banda
On April 4, 2012

Pleasant weather and the smell of freshly cut green grass can only mean one thing. The Major League Baseball season is about to begin. MLB's opening day is on April 5, 2012. The offseason consisted of numerous acquisitions and transactions by various teams in both the American and National Leagues. Here are the top stories for each American League team, by division, heading into the 2012 regular season.


AL East- Baltimore Orioles finish in last in the division, but finished the season on a high note after beating the Boston Red Sox on final game, thus eliminating them from playoff contention.  The  Orioles will need to depend on experience by players such as J.J. Hardy, Nick Markakis, and Adam Jones for a good upcoming season.  The Boston Red Sox finished their season with a record of 90 wins and 72 loses, but were a game short of making the playoffs.  After losing manager Terry Francona and closer Jonathan Papelbon during the offseason, the Red Sox are going to depend on the managerial knowledge of new skipper Bobby Valentine and productivity from all-stars Adrian Gonzalez, Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis for a strong season.  Although the New York Yankees reached the playoffs in 2011, their playoff run was ended briefly after losing to the Detroit Tigers in the American League Division Series. As always, expect the Yankees to have a good season with offensive production from players such as Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, and Curtis Granderson. The Tampa Bay Rays lost to the Texas Rangers in the ALDS in 2011, making their playoff run a short one. The Rays will need some good pitching from the pitching staff and have high production numbers from corner infielders, Evan Longoria and Carlos Peña to contend in the highly competitive AL East division.  The final team in the AL East are the Toronto Blue Jays. The Blue Jays finished with a record of 81 wins and 81 loses.  The only high note of the 2011 season was the power numbers produced by slugger, Jose Bautista, who hit 97 home runs in the last two seasons combined.


AL Central- The Chicago White Sox entered the 2012 season with out manager Ozzie Guillen and the best pitcher in the staff, Mark Buehrle.  Guillen led the White Sox to a World Series Championship in 2005.  Taking over managerial duties is former White Sox player, Robin Ventura.  The Cleveland Indians finished their 2011 season with a record of 80 wins and 82 loses.  For the 2012 season the Indians will look for productive numbers from players such as shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera and young catcher Carlos Santana. The Detroit Tigers made news this offseason with the huge free agent signing of first basemen, Prince Fielder.  With third baseman Miguel Cabrera and the addition of Fielder, the Tigers have a powerful duo capable of producing huge slugging numbers.  AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner, Justin Verlander, leads the pitching staff of the Tigers. The Kansas City Royals finished their 2011 season with a record of 71 wins and 91 loses.  Kansas City will be the host city for the 2012 MLB All-Star Game.  The Royals will come into the 2012 season with young rising players such as Alex Gordon and Eric Hosmer.  With a record of 63 wins and 99 loses, the Minnesota Twins' 2011 season was a disastrous.  Key players such as catcher Joe Mauer and first baseman Justin Morneau were plagued by the injury bug for most of the 2011 season.  With good health, Mauer and Morneau will now enter the 2012 season looking for a much productive season for them and the Twins.


AL West- Oakland Athletics actually began their 2012 regular season on March 28, 2012 in Tokyo, Japan.  As part of MLB's Japan Opening Series, the A's split a two game series with the Seattle Mariners.  The big offseason signing came when the A's surprisingly signed Cuban defector, Yoenis Cespedes.  Cespedes was regarded as a five-tool player and was being pursued by numerous teams.  The Seattle Mariners, as mentioned, opened their 2012 regular season in the Japan Opening Series against the A's.  In a two game series against the A's, the Mariners won one and lost another.  The Mariners will venture into the 2012 season with the always consistent outfielder, Ichiro Suzuki, leading the team in experience.  The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim made the biggest news in the offseason by signing highly sought after free agents such as first baseman, Albert Pujols and starting pitcher C.J. Wilson.  With a 2011 record of 86 wins and 76 loses, the Angels will head into the 2012 season with a much improved team.  The saying, third time's the charm, will certainly be on the mind of the Texas Rangers.  For the last two seasons, the Rangers have reached the World Series, but to no avail.  For the 2012 season, the Rangers lost pitcher C.J. Wilson, but replaced him with Japanese free agent pitcher Yu Dravish. The Rangers still have the high powered offense with players such as Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz, Ian Kinsler and Adrian Beltre.


With numerous free agent signings and players transactions, this upcoming 2012 MLB regular season will consist of many of MLB's same faces in new places.  No matter what team one is rooting for, MLB baseball is about to begin. For news, team schedules and more information feel free to visit MLB's official website at


(Ignacio Banda may be reached at


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