|These guys are excited. Are you?|
1. The possible return of Manny being Manny.
2. We know that Yoenis Cespedes can roast a mean pig, he can lift a great deal of weight with his legs, catch baseballs behind his back, he has excellent core strength and a soft spot for yacht rock. But can he play at the major league level?
3. Seeing the Marlins home run structure light up for the first time
4. The four-horse race shaping up in the NL East should be fun to watch as all but one of the teams in that division look like they could end the year with a winning record (sorry Mets fans).
5. Seeing if Yu Darvish can live up to the hype.
6. The possible return of Da Meat Hook. Reports that Dmitri Young has lost nearly 75 pounds and is looking for a return to baseball surfaced during the Winter Meetings. I really hope someone gives him a chance.
7. Bryce Harper potentially making his MLB debut.
8. Mat Latos in Red.
9. Pujols in an Angels uniform. Prince Albert will now be doing his damage against the AL West, and as fans of the NL Central here at Crum-Bum Beat (non-Cardinal division), we couldn't be happier.
10. Miguel Cabrera
11. If the Marlins don't live up to expectations, things could get ugly quickly. Just the fact that Ozzie and Big Z are on the same team has big-time train wreck potential. Add in a disgruntled Han-Ram, and there could be some serious fireworks in Little Havana this summer.
12. Seeing how many wins it will take to win the NL West. The Dodgers have been collecting futility infielders this offseason, the Rockies have made a few lateral moves, the Giants signed the Melk Man and have Baby Buster returning, and the Diamondbacks are a good bet to regress a bit. I'm going to say the first team to 84 wins takes the crown.
13. No more Tony LaRussa. Aside from his curtain call managing the NL squad in the mid-summer classic, we are finally free of over-managing lauded as genius.
14. Saber-whipping boy Yuni Betancourt back with the Royals. Let the snarky commentary commence.
15. Matt Moore's first full season in the show.
16. Tyler Pastornicky taking over at short for the Braves.
17. This man throwing the ball to this man, for the AAA Louisville Bats, which may be the best mustachioed battery in the modern era.
18. Joe Posnanski writing about baseball again.
19. Bobby V in Beantown.
20. NEW UNIFORMS!!! The Blue Jays, Braves, Marlins, Mets, Orioles and Padres will be sporting new threads in the 2012 season.
21. Counting empty seats at
22. Seeing just how far Mike Stanton can hit a baseball. One has to wonder if Buck O'Neil were still alive if he could hear that special something when Stanton makes contact.
23. The youth movement rising in Kansas City.
24. The old farts in New York City. The average age of the Yankees starting nine, as it stands now, is a hair over 32 years old. That number will only go up if they end up signing Raul Ibanez or Johnny Damon.
25. Tito in the booth for Sunday Night Baseball.
26. The daily possibility of witnessing a feat performed on a baseball field that nobody has ever seen before.
27. The zaniest Home Run Derby in the history of ever, taking place in Reading, PA on July 10th.
28. The Ivy in Wrigley coming to life, usually coinciding with the onset of the annual Cubs death march.
29. Hearing Vin Scully's voice again. Scully is entering his 62nd season as the voice of the Dodgers, and while the boys in blue may not be that fun to watch this year (save for every 5th game when Kershaw is on the mound), hearing the gossamer tones of Vin Scully calling a game will keep this baseball fan tuning in.
30. Seeing if the Senior Circuit can make it three consecutive All Star victories, and then three straight championships.
31. Barry Larkin speaking at Cooperstown, and making up for the voters' despicable failure to enshrine Ron Santo in time to hear him speak. We are allowed to cry at the Hall of Fame.
32. Jon Heyman tweeting self-aggrandizing nonsense, and probably voting for a relief pitcher for the Cy Young award.
33. Opening day and every day that follows until a team hoists the ultimate hardware. And hopefully we can all sigh, happy to no longer have to say, "And the reigning World Champion Cardinals".