Happy New Year, baseball fans! In preparation for the New Year, I went was following each NL Central team, putting together one Rival Report for each day of this first week. Originally, I planned on mentioning each team’s stories once per week, until I decided it made more sense to just cover the top stories every day. Below are some of the more interesting pieces from the last week of 2011. In a few days (after this winter math class dies down), regular Rival Reports will be coming at you!
Oh, and don’t forget to follow Baseblog’s social media for a chance to win some Sports Illustrated.
- In case you missed it, closer John Axford posted a JibJab “Elf Yourself” video for the holiday season. Maybe the Milwaukee Brewers should have just used that instead of their boring holiday greeting.
- A Kansas City Royals fan is going “Loco” for Lorenzo Cain, looking forward to the speedy, defensive-minded former Brewer taking over full time in center field after Melky Cabrera‘s departure.
- St. Louis Cardinals fan Travis Weihermuller’s first visit to Busch Stadium was Game 7 of the World Series. Game 6 was so spectacular that he dropped $1,100 on a whim and flew to St. Louis the next day. You can read about his incredible adventure here.
- Former Chicago Cub, former Brewer, former Red, but mostly formal Cardinal Jim Edmonds was just inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. Congratulations.
- Sports Illustrated has predicted that the Cincinnati Reds will ride an NL Central Division crown to the 2012 World Series, where they will beat the Texas Rangers in six games. The article also says Barry Larkin will be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
- The Reds have improved their home field by inviting Mat Latos and Sean Marshall to come play on it, and the Reds Community Fund is looking for another field to improve in the area. Although this won’t add Joey Votto to your bar league team, the field that is chosen could be in line for new fielding, grass, a backstop, fences, and more.
- The Red Reporter wonders what’s left this offseason for Cincinnati. Seven possible left field upgrades are named, and 22% of readers said Cody Ross was the answer.
- Superfan Don Jacobs loves his Pittsburgh Pirates, and loves to experience the Pirates first hand through fantasy camp. After ten years of attendance (all the while battling cancer), he was inducted into the Hall of Fame. It’s an old story, but a good one as the Los Alamitos-Seal Beach Patch reprints some of their best from 2011.