The Commish Online                                                                                
BLOG ARCHIVE:  03/01/12 - 03/31/12
If a tree falls in a forest... yeah, you know the rest.  Well, that's what the opener in Japan felt like for most of the baseball world when Seattle and Oakland played the first regular season games of 2012 over the past couple days.  Nobody cared, but that doesn't mean this won't be a great MLB season.  Despite Bud Selig's attempts to cheapen the regular season with a ONE(?!!?) game playoff, there is still plenty to like and plenty to root for in 2012.

Before the "real" Opening Day approaches, take a look at TCO's Season Preview and get yourself up-to-date on what teams figure to be fighting it out in October!  Check it out now!

What's in a name?
Before you start preparing for your fantasy draft, there are a few names and name changes you should know.  For starters, Fausto Carmona's real name is Roberto Hernandez, and he might even be available to draft if things go in the right direction.  Whether you want to draft him or not is up to you.  Next, the Marlins former closer Leo Nunez is now Juan Carlos Oviedo.  He's currently stuck in the Dominican Republic sorting out his false identity issues.  Lastly, star outfielder Mike Stanton is now to be known as Giancarlo Stanton.  This is not a case of fraudulent identity, however.  Stanton's real name is Giancarlo Cruz Michael Stanton, and he claims it was just easier to let everyone call him Mike.  Now he simply wants to be called Giancarlo.  No problem, as long as you keep hitting home runs for your fantasy owners.

Wow.  I have to admit, as solid as Yadier Molina is, I certainly never considered him a "franchise-type player," but those are the exact words used by St. Louis Chairman Bill Dewitt Jr. when referring to Molina and his newly minted $75 million contract covering the next five years.  Added incentives could make the deal worth $90 over seven years, and keep in mind that Molina is already a 29-year-old catcher.  So as smart as the Cardinals brass typically operates, it's worth noting that they wouldn't step up and pay Pujols $240 - $250 million over 10 years (which is admittedly above market value), but they WILL pay a middle aged catcher at least $75 million as he heads into his 30s. 

Is it wrong?  Not necessarily.  St. Louis did offer Albert $200 million, and at some point you have to cut bait.  With the money they were willing to spend on Pujols, they can now spend it on others (Berkman, Beltran, Molina, etc.).  Superstars are essential to success, but the risk is that one tweaked knee by Pujols will be devastating for Anaheim (LA), while St. Louis can now afford to build depth.  In baseball, both methods can work, but a little luck and a lot of hard work is needed in both situations.

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