We’ve already explored some unique and under the main view storylines to watch for in the American League. Now, here is what you need to stay aware of in the NL as Opening Day 2012 approaches.
New York Mets: When will Mr. Met land on the disabled list? He’s the only prominent Met that has not suffered an injury in recent seasons.
Philadelphia Phillies: If they win a championship again, will the spectators curb their unprovoked attacks on visiting fans? Lose the lingering anger act, your team is very good. Hopefully, they also install barf bags at Citizens Bank Park and teach the fans how to properly use them.
Atlanta Braves: Will they officially brand the home team broadcasts as sleeping aids? They could make a lot of money off that.
Miami Marlins: Will they break up the team by August, when no one is coming to see the ridiculously silly outfield home run celebration display? Hanley Ramirez will be on another team after the All-Star break. New ballpark, same undeserving, disinterested fanbase.
Washington Nationals: Gio Gonzalez is an avid comic book collector. And he is going to look like a superhero, winning 17 games.
Cincinnati Reds: Brandon Phillips is one of the most exuberant guys in the majors. You want to see someone having fun playing the game, watch him.
St. Louis Cardinals: Is Lance Berkman going to consult with Carlos Beltran and show him how to have a career-type year when everyone thinks you are past your prime? Strange things do happen in St. Louis.
Milwaukee Brewers: How many Mat Gamel jerseys can I get if I return an old Prince Fielder one? Aw, forget it, I’ll take a store credit.
Chicago Cubs: If Dale Sveum manages a Major League club as well as he does a Fantasy Football salary cap team, the Cubs are gonna shock a lot of people.
Houston Astros: Jason Bourgeois has been patiently waiting for a real opportunity. Here it comes. He’ll be one reason to watch this team. Jose Altuve is going to spur a lot of Eddie Gaedel jokes.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Ray Searage is one of the best pitching coaches in MLB. The pitching staff will overachieve again, and this team will be very competitive.
San Francisco Giants: Angel Pagan will be happy to leave New York behind and should fare well with his new team. Pagan wore his emotions on his sleeve with the Mets, and will be under less pressure with a better team this year.
Los Angeles Dodgers: Don Mattingly never won a championship as a player. He’s not going to win one as a manager any time soon, either. Is there a Donnie Baseball jinx?
Arizona Diamondbacks: Miguel Montero is another one who loves to play the game and is one of the best clubhouse guys around. He’s the one you should approach for an autograph.
San Diego Padres: What is that strong breeze? The highly overrated Cameron Maybin striking out again.