Boston Red Sox dugout after falling to Baltimore Orioles in game 162
We are just a few short weeks away from pitchers and catchers reporting to their respective spring training sites and with that comes the preseason MLB predictions.
No team was a bigger disappointment in 2011 than the Boston Red Sox, going from the "greatest Red Sox team ever," in the preseason to completing the worst September collapse in baseball history.
Unfortunately for Red Sox fans, the disappointment could be much of the same in 2012, but they won't be the only fanbase disappointed in the new season.
After one of the worst collapses in baseball history, the Boston Red Sox needed to make some major changes this offseason.
Other than changing managers and replacing Jonathan Papelbon with Andrew Bailey, not much has happened for the Sox.
The front office traded away its starting shortstop Marco Scutaro to save some money, and now, the team is left with a platoon of Mike Aviles and Nick Punto.
With Carl Crawford out for the beginning of the season for the second straight year, this team could struggle to find its identity early as well as when Crawford comes back.
It will be interesting to see how Bobby Valentine will do in his first year in Boston, but with the moves that the New York Yankees have made along with the gritty Tampa Bay Rays, the Red Sox could find themselves finishing in third place once again in the AL East.
The Milwaukee Brewers finished in first place in the NL Central in 2011 with 96 wins—a total that could be severely reduced in 2012 after what the team lost this offseason.
Prince Fielder signing with the Detroit Tigers will leave a huge void for the Brewers in the middle of their order, and if Ryan Braun's appeal doesn't reverse his 50-game suspension, the Brew Crew will have lost the heart of their offense.
The defending NL Central Champions still possess a stellar rotation, anchored by Zack Greinke and Yovani Gallardo, but the loss of Braun and Fielder will be too big to overcome.
It would not shock me to see the Brewers miss the playoffs in 2012.
Albert Pujols ripped the heart right out of the World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals when he signed with the Los Angeles Angels.
Along with their heart, he also took the Cardinals chances of repeating as World Series Champions with him.
The addition of Carlos Beltran will help make up for the offense lost, as well as the emergence of David Freese in the World Series, but I'd be hard pressed to give the Cardinals a shot at the 2012 World Series.
Adam Wainwright returning should help the Cardinals out but give me the Cincinnati Reds to win the NL Central in 2012.
After reaching the World Series in two straight seasons, the Texas Rangers could be a huge disappointment in 2012 with the loss of CJ Wilson.
Not only did the Rangers lose Wilson—the teams ace—but they lost him to a team within their division.
The acquisition of Yu Darvish should help cancel out the loss of Wilson, but he's still an unproved talent in the MLB and only time will tell if he pans out.
With the Los Angeles Angels addition of Albert Pujols and Wilson, they have become the favorite in the AL West. Unless a second wild-card team is added, the Rangers could miss the playoffs in 2012 with the wild card likely to come from the AL East.
There has been a lot of hype about the Toronto Blue Jays—some even saying they could win the AL East—and I am not quite sure why.
Sure, they have some nice pieces in Jose Bautista and the emerging Brett Lawrie, but they still have to finish ahead of at least two of the three monsters of the AL East—Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays.
The offense is not the problem, the starting rotation is.
Ricky Romero is a nice pitcher, but a team with him as an ace, in a division with pitchers such as CC Sabathia, David Price and Jon Lester, is doomed to fail.
The Blue Jays won't be the laughing stock of the AL East like the Baltimore Orioles, but they will not make the playoffs.