The weather is getting warmer, and the smells of summer are lingering in the air…that can only mean one thing: the 2012 MLB season is almost here! This season is sure to bring tons of excitement, especially with some new elements that will re-shape the landscape of MLB. Here are some of the new and refreshing factors roaring to a baseball diamond near you:

New faces in new places: Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder have definitely changed the way we look at a baseball franchise. It’s all about money, money, money! With both players signing contracts worth over $200 million each, the question is, who will have the bigger impact on their new team? I think Pujols is expected to make a bigger impact with the Angels, and you know what? That’s exactly what we’ll see. I think Pujols is going to give the Angels a serious lift; he has a presence about him and he’s ready to play his best baseball we’ve seen yet. Also, with Fielder’s arrival in Detroit, one thing is certain: both the Cardinals and the Brewers are going to be worse off without their two sluggers anchoring their respective teams this season.

October – The wildest month of the season: Now with FOUR wild-card teams in the mix, predicting what’s to come in September/October will never be the same. For one, teams won’t be able to just cruise through September, content to be a wild card.  This new rule makes finishing first seem oh-so refreshing. Also, this won’t help teams who are trying to fix what may be afflicting them at the trade deadline. The most vital part of this new wild-card rule: it is more imperative than ever to win your division this season; simply winning the Wild Card just isn’t good enough anymore.

It’s a “Magical” time in L.A.: Can Magic Johnson run a baseball team? For a cool $2 billion, a group led by Magic Johnson and former Braves/Nationals president Stan Kasten is about to become the proud owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers. I think most people in Southern California will be happy that Frank McCourt is gone. So what does this mean in the short run? Not much, but this will probably mean more in the long run, and we can expect to see money in the baseball budget again. Watch out for the Dodgers to have their eye back in Latin America and scouting for international talent. The Dodgers ranked last in international signings last year, at only $177,000. Expect that to change in the coming years. Also, expect Dodger Stadium to get a huge makeover, since it plummeted to shameful depths under McCourt.

Finally! Expect more than 300 people to attend a Marlins game! No more nightly rain delays, folks. Get ready for Marlins Park; this is a modern, trendy, and tropical ballpark unlike any other; it will even feature a retractable roof — every Floridian’s dream! So what will the new ballpark bring to the Marlins and their fan base? For one, the Marlins think they can average 30,000 fans per game — this would be 11,000 more than it averaged officially last year. The Marlins believe they won’t just sell out on Opening Night, but sell all 36,000 seats multiple times before the end of April. Last year, they sold out ZERO games after the opener. However, whether the roof is open or closed, the success of the Marlins will not be judged on the quality of their brand new stadium, but on the quality of the 2012 team.

So with all these changes. It’s tough to predict exactly what’s going to happen on the baseball diamond this season. But one thing is certain, the 2012 MLB season is going to be a season like no other, and I can’t wait for it to get started!


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