Top 10 Stories Of The 2012 MLB Season
Here are the top 10 stories of the 2012 Major League Baseball season according to Shaffee...
#10 - MISERABLE NATION
The "Nation" is miserable as their beloved Red Sox finished dead last in the AL East with a record of 69-93. Manager Bobby Valentine was under fire all year and it was apparent pretty early that the team was in shambles. They eventually decided to cut payroll by dealing star players Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford to the Los Angeles Dodgers in a late August trade. Reports say Valentine will be fired as early as Thursday or Friday. [SOURCE]
#9 - MELKY SUSPENDED
All Star Game MVP Melky Cabrera of the San Francisco Giants was suspended by Major League Baseball in August for 50 games after testing positive for testosterone. Cabrera was batting .346 with 11 home runs and 60 RBI's at the time of his suspension. The Giants have said they have no plans to bring Cabrera back in the postseason should they still be playing when his suspension is complete.
#8 - NO HITTERS
There were 7 no-hitters thrown in the big leagues this year including 3 perfect games. Philip Humber of the White Sox was perfect in April, Matt Cain of the Giants did it in June, and Seattle's Felix Hernandez was perfect in August. Also throwing no-no's were Jered Weaver, Johan Santana, Homer Bailey and 6 Mariners hurlers combining for a no-hitter against the Dodgers in June. The 3 perfect games are the most in any season in the modern era.
#7 - UNBELIEVABLE ROOKIE
MVP candidate Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels had an amazing year for any player in history, but an unbelievable year for a 20 year old rookie. Trout hit .324 with 30 homers, 83 RBI's and 49 steals. He also scored 129 runs which was good enough to lead MLB by 20. It's gonna be a lot of fun to watch this kid play ball for the next 20 years or so.
#6 - WASHINGTON HAS A WINNER
The Washington Nationals won the NL East with a record of 98-64, giving the franchise it's first winning season since they were called the Montreal Expos in 2003. Our nation's capital hasn't had a postseason team since the Washington Senators lost to the New York Giants in the 1933 World Series.
#5 - THE BIRDS ARE BACK
The Baltimore Orioles returned to the postseason for the first time since 1997 by winning a Wild Card spot with a record of 93-69. All season long it seemed as though people expected the O's to eventually fade, but they never did. Now they hope to win their first World Series since 1983.
#4 - MONEYBALL 2?
The Oakland Athletics have to be the most surprising team of 2012. This team never quit and came back from a 13 game deficit to beat the Texas Rangers and win the AL West on the final day of the season. The A's finished 94-68, which was the second best record in the AL. They did it with the second lowest payroll in the majors. [SOURCE]
#3 - CHIPPER'S FAREWELL
Larry Wayne "Chipper" Jones played his final season in the majors and hit .285 with 14 homers at the age of 40. Jones played his entire career with the Atlanta Braves and posted a career batting average of .303 while belting 468 home runs. The switch-hitting third baseman is a certain first ballot Hall Of Famer. While he'll never play another regular season game again, he's not quite finished as the Braves are in the postseason with a NL Wild Card berth.
#2 - PLAYOFF EXPANSION
The American and National Leagues each have 2 Wild Card teams in the postseason for the first time in Major League history. The addition of an extra playoff spot in both leagues meant more excitement down the stretch as more teams had hope for a longer period of time than in previous years. Had this change not been made, the defending World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals would not have made the playoffs this year. As it is, they'll face the Atlanta Braves in a one game Wild Card playoff game.
#1 - MIGGY WINS TRIPLE CROWN
Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers became the first player to win the Triple Crown for leading his league in batting, home runs and RBI's since Carl Yastrzemski of the Boston Red Sox accomplished the feat in 1967. Cabrera hit .330 with 44 homers and 139 RBI's to lead the Tigers to their second straight AL Central championship. Cabrera is the 14th player in history to win a Triple Crown and the second Tiger to do it. Ty Cobb won it in 1909 batting .377 with 9 home runs and 107 RBI's.
Enjoy the MLB POSTSEASON! For the teams that didn't make it, there's always next year...