It seems like almost every year the Kansas City Royals get off to a pretty good start and have their long-suffering fans feeling optimistic. Here in these pages we’ve been hoping against hope for the Royals, year after year, and keep thinking that they might be on the brink of turning it around after just one winning season in the last 17 years.
Will the real Fausto Carmona please stand up? About three weeks prior to the date Cleveland Indians pitchers and catchers were scheduled to report to spring training camp in Goodyear, AZ, the Indians were forced to place the big right handed starter formerly known as Fausto Carmona on Major League Baseball’s restricted list.
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim already had the fourth highest payroll in the majors last year before the team went on a wild off-season spending spree that brought coveted slugger Albert Pujols and top left-handed free-agent pitcher CJ Wilson to town.
This summer former Cincinnati Reds shortstop Barry Larkin will be the newest inductee to the National Baseball. Larkin spent his entire career in Cincinnati (1986-2004) and was a member of the last Reds team to win the World Series in 1990.
If Theo Epstein was able to reverse an 86-year old curse in Boston perhaps he can exorcise the Cubs 114 year-old demons. The Cubs are giving baseball’s most celebrated front office wunderkind $18.5 million, a fancy job title as President of Baseball Operations and five years to get the job done.
In his first full season at the helm Kirk Gibson was named NL Manger of the Year after guiding the Arizona Diamondbacks to the biggest turnaround in franchise history and capturing the NL West flag with a 29-game improvement from the previous season’s record and two consecutive last place finishes.
On paper the Rockies appeared to be contenders in the NL West, boasting one of the league’s most potent batting orders, including outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, who led the league with a .336 average and 197 hits in 2010, as well as mainstay Todd Helton and slugging shortstop Troy Tulowitzki.
The continued chaos surrounding Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt’s divorce proceedings and consequent financial woes resulted in Major League baseball assuming control of day-to-day operations of the team just three weeks into the season on April 20th
Perhaps the most awkward moment of the off-season was Ryan Braun’s acceptance speech as the National League’s MVP award at the annual dinner of the New York chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
While the two heavyweight contenders in the American League West (the Angels and the Rangers) have actively pursued and signed some of the biggest named free agents available on the market, A’s GM Billy Beane is still playing “Moneyball” in Oakland and remains the most high-profile member of the organization.
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