|MLB kicks off season|
|Written by Maddi Nelson | The Bison|
|Monday, 23 April 2012 20:53|
Major League Baseball kicked off on April 4 at Marlins Park; the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Miami Marlins with a final score of 4-1.
The Cardinals’ MVP David Freese scored three out of three hits and drives in this season’s opening game.
Other opening games include the Texas Rangers and Chicago White Sox (CWS 2, TEX 3), the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees (TB 7, NYY 6) and the Houston Astros and Colorado Rockies (COL 5, HOU 3).
With the addition of a second wild card, the Marlins’ brand changes and new ballpark and the Astro’s final season before their move to the American League, the 2012 MLB season looks like an exciting one.
On March 2, MLB and the Players Association finalized an agreement that added a second Wild Card team to both the American and National leagues. This increases the postseason field to 10 for this year’s season only.
Players, critics and fans are divided over this decision.
Jim Duquette, executive vice president of baseball operations for the Baltimore Orioles, calls the MLB and Player’s Association’s agreement “a modest expansion” in a video on MLB.com.
“I think that, overall, it will put more excitement, not less, into the postseason,” Duquette said. “I also think that it puts more emphasis back in winning the division.”
Some fans, like senior Stephen Molina, however, said they disagree with Duquette. Molina said he hates the concept of the Wild Card in general, and adding a second one only makes worse an already bad system.
“That just makes it where somebody who was losing horribly can make it into the playoffs and end up winning just by luck,” Molina said. “Even if the Yankees were to be the Wild Card, I would still hate it.”
Other changes include the Marlins’ brand change and new ballpark. After nearly 20 years of being called the Florida Marlins, in 2011 the team changed to the Miami Marlins, introduced Ozzie Guillen as the new manager and exchanged their teal and black color scheme for a colorful new logo.
Construction of the new Marlins Park was completed in March, and it is one of six MLB stadiums to have a retractable roof.
Junior Jessica Heckmann said the Marlins needed a new ballpark because of the rainy weather that occurs in Florida during baseball season.
“Every afternoon in Florida it rains, so thankfully they have a retractable roof, because every time we [the Cardinals] would play them, we were guaranteed to have a rain delay,” Heckmann said. “It's just annoying as a baseball fan to have to watch that.”
This year marks the Astros’ last season in the National League Central division of MLB; next year, the team will move to American League West. This will give both leagues 15 teams.
According to an article on ESPN.com, this move is a result of approving the sale of the Astros from Drayton McLane to new owner Jim Crane.
Although some fans have responded negatively to this decision, Crane said in an interview for the Ultimate Astros website that it is for the best, at least as far as broadcast is concerned.
“Our TV partner Comcast feels it’s a stronger deal for us with the East Coast teams like Detroit and Cleveland and some of the old traditional teams,” Crane said. “And we’re going to do better on the network because of that.”
Major League Baseball continues tonight with the first game beginning at 2:05pm. The full schedule and game streaming are available at MLB.com.