Last year, I wrote my annual baseball preview in the style of a haiku. I considered writing a sonnet or possibly a sestina for all 30 teams this year, but ultimately that felt like overkill. I mulled explaining why your team wouldn't win the World Series again (see 2009), posed some pressing questions (see 2010), or something entirely new, but for some reason the haiku concept kept bouncing around in my head. With that said, I present my 2012 baseball preview: 30 teams, 17 moras, no boundaries.
PS: my kudos to the Royals blog ahairoffsquare.com for the Moose mock-up seen above.
*denotes Wild Card
1. Phillies No real changes here/Howard's gone for awhile/but wins come easy.
2. Marlins* Behold! A circus/hey Ozzie, new stadium/and loud uniforms.
3. Braves A burning question/who's Tyler Pastornicky?/a prospect, I guess.
4. Nationals Harper is coming/and Strasburg is okay now/potential sleeper?
5. Mets This, that, or Duda/the song they sing in Queens is/a funeral dirge.
1. Cardinals Farewell, Prince Albert/your power will be missed, but/we'll win without you.
2. Brewers Braun dodged a bullet/no suspension, despite shame/can we move on now?
3. Reds "Win now!" is the cry/if Stubbs cuts down on the whiffs/expect fireworks.
4. Pirates Huh? These Bucs have bite?/no longer dormant, Pittsburgh/may play the spoiler.
5. Cubs Poor Theo Epstein/doesn't he know rebuilding/won't go anywhere?
6. Astros Woe is Carlos Lee/a veteran among rooks/expect much struggle.
1. Giants Buster Posey is/not the next Ray Fosse, fools/health is on his side.
2. D-Backs* Chomping at the bit/hungry snakes want a dogfight/you hear that, San Fran?
3. Rockies More injury woes/the Tulo and Cargo show/need to watch themselves.
4. Dodgers Strangely average/Kemp and Kershaw need some help/if they want to win.
5. Padres Further rebuilding/not awful, but somebody/has to finish fifth.
1. Yankees Heavy favorites/for the umpteenth year, but age/might be a concern.
2. Rays* Young and confident/Maddon's boys want the whole thing/LCS won't do.
3. Red Sox Winners in decline/last year's collapse still lingers/new mindset needed.
4. Blue Jays North of the border/these Canucks think they'll contend/delusions, indeed.
5. Orioles The burning question/Duquette: genius or moron?/we'll learn the hard way.
1. Tigers O Prince, man of girth/you and Miguel are lethal/plus Verlander, eek!
2. Royals Ready to breakout/this fan won't whine much longer/but playoffs? Next year.
3. Indians Fantastic bullpen/but where is the Tribe offense?/.500 at best.
4. White Sox Almost a youth movement/AJ and Paulie still stand/but don't expect much.
5. Twins Joe Mauer aside/the small market rebuilding/cycle continues.
1. Angels Arte's deep pockets/bought Prince Albert and C.J./this division: sold!
2. Rangers* This is an arms race/big bats and smokin' hurlers/don't mess with Texas.
3. Mariners No contenders here/in two words, "nothing special"/but Felix still rakes.
4. Athletics Nothing makes sense here/sign Manny and Cespedes/but trade all the youth?
NL MVP: Matt Kemp, Dodgers
AL MVP: Evan Longoria, Rays
NL Cy Young: Roy Halladay, Phillies
AL Cy Young: Justin Verlander, Tigers
NL Rookie of the Year: Yonder Alonso, Padres
AL Rookie of the Year: Mike Trout, Angels
First Manager Fired: Buck Showalter, Orioles
Comeback Player of the Year: Buster Posey, Giants
2012 World Series: Rangers over the Phillies in 6
Next Week: the year in music, 2002.