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Sunday, December 30, 2012

13 story lines for 2013 baseball season, #8, Dodgers are the new Bombers-Klapisch

12/30/12, Klapisch: 13 things to watch in 2013" Bob Klapish, NorthJersey.com

"Baseball is at the doorstep of a cultural revolution, the likes of which haven’t been duplicated since the start of the Yankees’ renaissance in 1996. But the era of big-money dominance in the Bronx has been fading for years, until now. Finally, the next frontier is upon us — the New West.

That’s where the dollars are flowing. That’s where a generation of superstars are putting down roots. And that’s where the game’s most compelling rivalries are emerging: Dodgers-Giants and Angels-Rangers, and if you’re looking for the Yankees’ greatest obstacle to the postseason, it’s not just the Blue Jays, but the A’s as well.

This isn’t to say the Bombers have been left behind – they’re still a competitive team, albeit old with an unbalanced roster. But the trend line isn’t encouraging. In fact, there are some executives who believe the Bombers could slip from 95 wins in 2012 to missing the playoffs altogether in ’13.

It’s a draconian assessment, hardly widespread, but indicative of the game’s new algorithms. Here are 13 story lines worth following in the coming season.
  • 1. The Yankees' age problem...
  • 2. Justin Verlander's innings...
  • 3. Josh Johnson's transition to the AL...
  • 4. John Hamilton's assimilation to Southern California...
  • 5. The Orioles' search for offense...
  • 6. The Rangers' heavy reliance on A. J. Pierzynski...
  • 7. The Giants' island of calm. Talk about stability...
  • 8. Don Mattingly's personal pressure cooker....The Dodgers are, in effect, the new Bombers, about to become the sport’s most expensive team....
  • 9. Jon Niese's maturation
  • 10. Zack Greinke's role as a wing man in LA...
  • 11. The courtship of Giancarlo Stanton
  • 12. Robinson Cano's walk year...
  • 13. The Yankees' revenue stream..."

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