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2012 MLB Season: National League

By Ignacio Banda
On April 4, 2012

It is that time of year that baseball fans wait for.   Major League Baseball's 2012 season is just around the corner. MLB's opening day is on April 5, 2012.  The offseason consisted of numerous acquisitions and transactions by various teams in both the National and American Leagues.  Here are team previews for the National League, by division, heading into the 2012 regular season.


NL East- The Atlanta Braves, with a record of 89 wins and 73 loses in the 2011 season, were close to earning a playoff spot.  Needing a win in their last game, the Braves came up short against division rival Philadelphia.  Led by a good pitching staff and players with experience players such as Chipper Jones, Dan Uggla and Brian McCann, the Braves are seeking a strong playoff run in 2012.  For the Miami Marlins, the 2012 season can be best described by one word, new.  The Marlins will be playing in a new ballpark, have new uniforms, new players and a new manager.  In the offseason, Marlins signed free agents Jose Reyes, Mark Buerhle, and Heath Bell.  With new manager Ozzie Guillen leading the way, the Marlins are expected to be an exciting team to watch in the National League.  The whole New York Mets organization seems to be struggling on and off the field.  Off the field the Mets are having financial difficulties.  On the field, some problems Mets are facing are star players being injured or not producing offensively.  Coming into the 2012 season, the Mets are looking to get star players such as David Wright and Johan Santana healthy enough for the entire season.  In 2011 season, Philadelphia Phillies' playoff run ended quickly after losing to the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Division Series.  Coming into the 2012 season the Phillies are still the team to beat in the NL East.  Anchored by pitching staff led by Roy Halladay, the Phillies are still one of the top teams in MLB.  The Washington Nationals ended the 2011 season with a record of 80 wins and 81 loses.  Coming into the 2012 season, the Nationals are entering the season with questions.  Will 19 year old, Bryce Harper, be called up to play in the big leagues?  How will pitcher, Stephen Strasburg's arm hold up after having Tommy John surgery?


 NL Central - Coming off a mediocre 2011 season with a record of 71 wins and 91 loses, the Chicago Cubs are looking for a much improved 2012 season.  Former Red Sox general manager, Theo Epstein, will be the Cubs' President of Baseball Operation.  The Cubs are hoping that Epstein will be able to establish a championship team, just like he did with the Red Sox.  After finishing third in the NL Central, the Cincinnati Reds finished with a record of 79 wins and 83 loses in 2011.  Led by players such as Brandon Phillips, Jay Bruce and Joey Votto, the Reds are looking to reach the playoffs once again in the 2012 season.  The Houston Astros with a record of 56 wins and 106 loses in 2011 were the worst team in MLB.  With 2011 in the rear-view mirror, the Astros will head into the 2012 season looking to turn things around.  Veteran players Chris Snyder and Carlos Lee will strengthen the Astros' lineup.  In 2011, the Milwaukee Brewers, were a couple of games away from reaching the coveted World Series.  Heading into the 2012 season, the Brewers are once again looking for a deep playoff run led by reigning NL MVP, Ryan Braun.  In 2011, the Pittsburgh Pirates began the first half of the season looking like a playoff caliber team.  The second half went south and the Pirates finished the season with a record of 72 wins and 90 loses.  Led by all-star, Andrew McCutchen, the Pirates look to play competitive baseball the entire 2012 season.  The St. Louis Cardinals' 2011 season was a very successful one.  The Cardinals defeated the Texas Rangers to win the World Series.  The World Series win gives the Cardinals the 11th championship in team history.  Coming into the 2012 season, the Cardinals will enter with key departures from slugger, Albert Pujols and manager Tony La Russa.  Replacing La Russa, will be former player, Mike Matheny.


NL West- Arizona Diamondbacks finished the 2011 season as NL West champs with a record of 94 wins and 68 loses.  Although the Diamondbacks playoff run was cut short by losing to the Milwaukee Brewers in the NLDS, the 2011 season was a successful.  Coming into the 2012 season, the Diamondbacks are looking to continue the success similar to 2011.  The Colorado Rockies finished the 2011 season with a record of 73 wins and 89 loses.  For the 2012 season, the Rockies' lineup will be led by players such as Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez.  The Los Angeles Dodgers finished their 2011 season with a record of 82 wins and 79 loses.  Outfielder Matt Kemp had a stellar season in 2011 for the Dodgers.  Kemp will be a big threat in the Dodgers' lineup in 2012.  Dodgers will head into the 2012 season with new ownership.  Basketball legend, "Magic" Johnson, is part of the group that won the bid to purchase the Dodgers.  The San Diego Padres finished their second half of the 2011 season on a high note, yet still finished with a record of 71 wins and 91 loses.  Led by Carlos Quentin and Orlando Hudson, the Padres' offense must produce in order to get more wins in 2012.  After winning the World Series in 2010, the San Francisco Giants failed to make the playoffs in 2011.  Injuries to star players such as catcher Buster Posey sure didn't help the Giants in 2011.  In the upcoming 2012 season, players' health will factor on how the Giants seasons' will turn out.


With numerous free agent signings and players transactions, this upcoming 2012 MLB regular season will consist of many 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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