30 Teams In 15 Words Each: 2012 Major League Baseball Preview

Baseball can be long. The games have basically become three-hour carnivals of waiting and scratching, interspersed with a few ground-outs to short. Yankees and Red Sox games take longer than getting an apology from an ex, and the season lasts somewhere from April until roughly 2016. Still, we can’t help but love the game. We grew up with baseball. It’s as American as 4,000-calorie lunches and not having a passport.

With a condensed NBA season raging, we figured you needed some time to slow yourself down to baseball speed. So, with Opening Day just three weeks away, these are the projections and biggest story lines to follow for all 30 teams…in 15 words or less.

NL East

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1. Philadelphia Phillies
Series favorites. Great pitching, poor hitting–best contact in Philly happens in the bleachers.

2. Atlanta Braves
Hoping to erase historic choke, Bravos hungry; though that could just be Dan Uggla’s neck.

3. Miami Marlins
New stars (Reyes, Bell), manager (Ozzie), stadium (with aquariums), uniforms (designed by Nicki Minaj).

4. Washington Nationals
Strasburg, Harper = not Natties of old. Though nonexistent Natties’ record (0-0) something to aspire to.

5. New York Mets
No hope. Vacant future. On the bright side, they’re $450 million in debt.

NL Central

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1. St. Louis Cardinals
Tough defense ahead. No LaRussa, Pujols‘ departure worst thing for StL since Bud went Belgian.

2. Cincinnati Reds
Improving, but likely cursed by banned former owner Marge Schott, a painted, permed National Socialist.

3. Milwaukee Brewers
Prince is gone; at least Milwaukee’s baseball team finally has better mustaches than Milwaukee’s women.

4. Chicago Cubs
If the Cubbies were to ever win a World Series, 2012 would be the year.

5. Pittsburgh Pirates
Nineteen years since last winning season; two more and streak can drink with this guy.

6. Houston Astros
To commemorate their last year in NL, ‘Stros looking to win once without drugging opposition.

NL West

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1. San Francisco Giants
Posey’s healthy and Brian Wilson‘s beard spent offseason trafficking fugitives across state lines.

2. Arizona Diamondbacks
Young bats, arms have D-Backs poised to contend for division crown. We don’t care either.

3. Los Angeles Dodgers
Owner McCourt kept team, paid wife $130 mil in divorce. So, roughly, $2 mil/win.

4. Colorado Rockies
Depressingly disappointing 2011 season. But stars Tulo, CarGo can distract fans til Tebow returns.

5. San Diego Padres
Punchless lineup, and lost closer this offseason. No worries: They may never have a lead.

AL East

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1. New York Yankees
Offseason pickups, returning stars remind us of one thing: They are the f***ing 1%.

2. Boston Red Sox
Will be playing second fiddle, which suits a town that makes LiLo look secure.

3. Tampa Bay Rays
Bigs’ best pitching staff; fighting uphill battle for relevance; not in strip clubs though.

4. Toronto Blue Jays
Like your friends, they’ve got no shot, but they’ll get wasted and go down swinging.

5. Baltimore Orioles
Haven’t finished better than .500 in 14 years; still by far best thing about Baltimore.

AL Central

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1. Detroit Tigers
Prince bolsters lineup; Verlander dirty; can only get better if Eastwood does play-by-play.

2. Minnesota Twins
Mauer, game’s best/richest catcher = question mark in sideburns. Riskiest investment since one Mets made.

3. Cleveland Indians
Questions, potential abound, but city still too preoccupied with LeBron voodoo to notice til July.

4. Kansas City
Talented farm almost ready…in Kansas City. Meaning this is last you’ll hear of it.

5. Chicago White Sox
Ozzie’s departure means Sox can finally concentrate on doing what they do best: crocheting scarves.

AL West

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1. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Pujols, pitchers have them thinking World Series; fans, meanwhile, still saving up for boob jobs.

2. Texas Rangers
The favorites til Angels’ offseason moves. Hamilton, Yu Darvish, Nolan Ryan‘s noogies keep them contenders.

3. Oakland A’s
Moneyball” guys lavished prospect and signed Manny. Clearly, fame brought Billy Beane good drugs.

4. Seattle Mariners
No hitting. One good pitcher (Felix). As if Seattle could get any more depressing.

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