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On September 28, 2011, the Marlins announced that Ozzie Guillén has signed a four-year contract to manage the team beginning in the 2012 season. He replaces Jack McKeon, who served as interim manager since June 2011. Two minor league prospects were sent to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for Guillén's rights.
On October 31, just three days after winning the 2011 World Series, Tony La Russa announced his retirement. The Cardinals announced the hiring of former catcher Mike Matheny as its new manager on November 13. Matheny, who had no previous managerial experience, played in 13 Major League seasons from 1994-2006, and was a four-time Gold Glove Award winner.
At the end of the 2011 season, the following teams made replacements to their managers.
On September 30, 2011, the Red Sox decided not to exercise their 2012 option on Terry Francona's contract and both parties decided to part ways. Francona led the team to two World Series championships in 2004, which ended the Curse of the Bambino, and 2007. However, in 2011, the Red Sox went 7-20 in the month of September, blowing a 9-game wild card lead as they were eliminated from playoff contention. Valentine, whose previous managerial jobs were with the Texas Rangers from 1985-92 and the New York Mets from 1996-2002, was an analyst for Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN at the time of his hiring. Ironically, on December 6, Francona would take over for Valentine on SNB in 2012, after working as a color commentator for the first two games of the 2011 ALCS on Fox.
The Cubs hired Dale Sveum as their new manager on November 17, replacing Mike Quade. Sveum had been a coach for the Milwaukee Brewers at various capacities (bench, third base, hitting) since 2006, and was also a former third base coach of the Boston Red Sox from 2004-05. His previous managerial experience was as an interim manager for the Brewers late in 2008, guiding the Brewers to a wild card berth that year. Quade served as manager of the Cubs from August 2010 until September 2011, succeeding Lou Piniella; however his only full season saw the Cubs finish 71-91 and in fifth place in the NL Central.
On October 6, 2011, the White Sox named Robin Ventura as their new manager. Ventura, a former two-time All-Star third baseman, played for the White Sox from 1989 till 1998. Cooper served as the White Sox' interim manager for the last two days of the season, after Ozzie Guillén was hired as the Miami Marlins' new manager.
** Melky Cabrera of the San Francisco Giants was ineligible to win the batting title, at his request, due to being suspended for testing positive for testosterone. He finished the season with a .346 average.
Set the Major League record to strikeout at least once in each of his team's first 15 games of a season, by striking out in the first inning against the Seattle Mariners on April 22. He broke the record that was held by Howie Goss, who struck out in each of Houston's first 14 games in 1963. Dunn continued to 32 games before not striking out May 11 against the Kansas City Royals.
Recorded his 1000th career RBI in the ninth inning on August 13 against the Toronto Blue Jays. He became the 273rd player to reach this mark.
Hit his 400th career home run against the Kansas City Royals on August 18. He became the 50th player to reach this mark.
Tied Ken Griffey, Jr. for fifth place on the career home run list with his 630th home run on April 13. Then one week later on April 20, Rodriguez hit his 631st home run to pass Griffey for fifth place on the career home run list.
Set the Giants' franchise record for most hits in May with his 50th hit on May 29 against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He broke the record that was set by Willie Mays. On May 30, Cabrera singled in the eighth inning and tied the franchise record for most hits in any month with 51 that was set by Randy Winn in September 2005.
With his home run against the Boston Red Sox on June 27, Bautista set the Jays' franchise record for most home runs in a calendar month with 13. He broke the record that he shared with Carlos Delgado (August 1999), José Cruz, Jr. (August 2001) and himself from May and August 2010. Bautista finished the month with 14 home runs.
With two hits on August 11 against the Toronto Blue Jays, Jeter increased his season total to 150 and joined Hank Aaron as the only players in Major League history to post 150 or more hits in each of 17 consecutive seasons.
With his 25th home run on August 28 against the Boston Red Sox, Trout became the youngest player in Major League history and first rookie to amass 25 home runs and 40 stolen bases in a single season.
Became the first rookie in Major League history to amass at least 30 home runs and 40 stolen bases in a season. At age 21, he also became the youngest player in Major League history with a 30-30 season.
Became the first player in Major League history to hit 30 homers, steal 45 bases and score 125 runs in one season.
Became the third teenager in Major League history to record at least two multi-homer games in a single season with this two home runs against the Chicago Cubs on September 5. The other teenagers that accomplished this feat were Mel Ott (1928) and Ken Griffey, Jr. (1989).
With his 200th career home run on September 16 against the New York Mets, Braun reached the combination of 200 home runs and 100 stolen bases faster than anyone else in Major League history (five years, 114 days after his major-league debut).
With his 300th home run against the Atlanta Braves on September 22, Howard (also the 135th player to reach this mark) reached the 300-homer plateau in his 1093rd game, which is the second-fewest games that any player in Major League history has needed to get to that milestone. Ralph Kiner needed 1087 games to hit 300 home runs.
Threw the 23rd perfect game in Major League history, defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 1-0 on August 15. This was the first perfect game in the Mariners' history, and the franchise's fourth no-hitter. It also marked the first time in Major League history three perfect games were thrown in one season. Safeco Field became the first Major League ballpark to host two perfect games in the same season. As of 2019, this is the most recent perfect game in the Major Leagues.
Threw the first no-hitter in Mets history by defeating the St. Louis Cardinals 8-0 on June 1. This was Santana's first career no-hitter. He walked five batters while striking out eight. With the Mets' first no-hitter (in their 8,020th game), the San Diego Padres are the only remaining team without a no-hitter. This was also the first no-hitter to be thrown against a defending World Series champion since the Oakland Athletics in their 1990 pennant season.
Threw the third no-hitter in Mariners history by defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers 1-0 on June 8. Each pitcher earned their first career no-hitter except for Millwood, who pitched his second. The Mariners pitching staff combined for three walks and nine strikeouts. The combined no-hitter was the first since the Houston Astros used six pitchers against the New York Yankees in 2003, also in interleague play. The Mariners tied the all-time league record of the former for the most pitchers used in a no-hitter, while recording a new American League record previously set by Oakland in 1975 and Baltimore in 1991.
Threw the 15th no-hitter in Reds history by defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates 1-0 on September 28. This was Bailey's first career no-hitter. Only two men reached base, Clint Barmes on a fielding error by Scott Rolen in the third and a walk by Andrew McCutchen in the seventh. Todd Frazier's sacrifice fly, scoring Brandon Phillips in the first was the lone run of the game. Bailey struck out ten during his 115 pitch effort. Bailey's effort tied the modern era record for most no-hitters in a season, matching only the 1990 and 1991 seasons with seven no-hitters.
With his victory against the San Diego Padres on April 17, Moyer became the oldest pitcher (49 years, 151 days) in Major League history to win a game. He broke the record that was held by Jack Quinn (49 years, 70 days) who set the record on September 13, 1932, for the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Set the Mets' franchise record for most consecutive scoreless innings at breaking the record that was held by Jerry Koosman. Koosman set the record at innings in 1973. He finished with innings without allowing an earned run when Mark Teixeira's sacrifice fly ended the streak on June 24 against the New York Yankees.
Became the first pitcher in modern Major League history (since 1900) to throw back-to-back complete games while striking out 10-or-more batters and allowing either one hit or no hits in each game.
Became the first pitching staff in Major League history to record 10 or more strikeouts in seven straight games in modern-day (since 1900) history. They broke the record (six games) that was previously held by the 1990 New York Mets, the 2006 Chicago Cubs and 2008 Cubs.
With his 1-0 shutout on August 27 against the Minnesota Twins, this was his third 1-0 shutout for the month, tying the Major League record for most 1-0 shutouts in a calendar month. He tied the record that is held by Carl Hubbell (July 1933) and Dick Rudolph (August 1916).
Became the fourth team to achieve 20 strike outs in a nine inning game on September 25 against the Seattle Mariners. They are the first to do it with multiple pitchers, as it was previously done twice by Roger Clemens and once by Kerry Wood.
With the Braves victory on September 30 against the New York Mets, the Braves won for a Major League record 23rd straight time in games started by Medlen. This broke the record that was held by Whitey Ford and Carl Hubbell.
Played the longest opening-day game ever in the major leagues on April 5. The game lasted 16 innings and the Blue Jays won 7-4. The game eclipsed the previous longest openers between Cleveland and Detroit on April 19, 1960 (15 innings), and between Philadelphia and Washington on April 13, 1926 (15 innings).
With their loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on April 23, the Royals lost all ten games on their homestand. Only two other teams in Major League history went 0-10 or worse on a homestand: the Seattle Pilots went 0-10 on a homestand in August 1969, and the Arizona Diamondbacks went 0-11 on a homestand in July 2004.
With their victory on September 13 against the Tampa Bay Rays, the Orioles won their 81st game of the season which officially ended a franchise-record run of 14 consecutive losing seasons.
Chris Davis became the first position player to be credited with a win since Rocky Colavito pitched in 1968. The May 6 game was also notable in that both teams used a position player to pitch in relief, the first time since 1925.
By being shutout in the three-game series against the San Francisco Giants June 25 through June 27, this marked the first time in franchise history that the Dodgers failed to score in a series of three or more games.
Set a franchise record by scoring at least three runs in their 39th consecutive game on July 15 against the Los Angeles Angels. This broke a team record set in 1933. Only two other Major League teams have scored three runs or more in each of at least 39 straight games in one season: the 1994 Indians (48 games) and 1930 Athletics (41). The streak ended at 43 games after a 3-2 loss to the Oakland Athletics on July 20.
Tied a Major League record seven doubles in one inning in the seventh inning against the Chicago Cubs on July 21. They tied the mark set by the Boston Bees in 1936. The 12 runs they scored in the inning also tied a franchise record set by the 1926 Cardinals.
On September 11, 2012, the Cubs and Astros combined to use 11 pitchers in a game in which Houston came away with a 1-0 victory at Minute Maid Park. It is the most pitchers used in a 1-0 nine-inning game in Major League history breaking the record of ten pitchers in games of that type: Colorado vs. San Diego on September 17, 2008, San Francisco vs. San Diego on September 10, 2010, and the Pittsburgh vs. Houston on June 14, 2011.
Set the American League record for most team strikeouts in a season by passing the record of 1,324 strikeouts that the Tampa Bay Rays set in 2007. Chris Carter was the victim as the Rangers right-handed pitcher Roy Oswalt struck out Carter in the third inning on September 26. The Major League record is 1,529 strikeouts and is currently held by the 2010 Arizona Diamondbacks.
Set the Major League record for wins by rookie pitchers with their 53rd win against the Texas Rangers on October 2.
Five teams have made wholesale changes to their uniforms in 2012, while a sixth has new road uniforms. Two other teams added alternate uniforms to their existing set.
The San Diego Padres were the first team to announce changes to their logos and uniform set on November 9. The new primary features the "SD" cap logo inside a navy circle with the words "San Diego Padres Baseball Club" encircling it. The "swinging friar" logo was also revived, albeit in the current colors. Another secondary logo features the Padres script from last season below the depiction of Petco Park in sand and above the year of establishment; a blue and white version is used on the away and alternate uniforms. The front of the home uniform remains the same, except that the sand trim in "Padres" is now in trim instead of a drop shadow and the addition of navy piping. Originally they'll use the sand Petco patch on the left sleeve, but upon unveiling the uniforms, the "swinging friar" patch was placed instead. The road uniforms now feature "San Diego" in an arched position with navy piping. The alternate blue uniforms feature the "SD" cap logo on the left chest with white piping. All three uniforms now feature the block numerals on the reverse side. The digital camouflage uniforms were retained, save for the change to block numerals. The caps with the sand "SD" were retired.
The Marlins unveiled their changes on November 11, 2011, as the team was rebranded as the Miami Marlins, complete with a new logo featuring a stylized Marlin jumping over an art deco colored "M" in coral, yellow and blue. "MIAMI" will grace the primary white uniform, and there will be an orange home alternate which feature the team name, while the black alt had been reduced to road alternate jersey. The black cap is used for the regular home, away and black alternates, while the orange cap is paired with the orange alternates. The Marlins become the second team to use the city (or state) name on the home uniforms, after the Texas Rangers.
November 15 saw the Baltimore Orioles redesign their road and home uniform sets and returned to a version of the cartoon logo used from the mid-1960s to 1988. The home caps are white in front and black on the back with an orange bill, while the away caps will be all black with an orange bill, both featuring the cartoon bird. They also unveiled a modernized version of the orange alternate uniforms last worn in 1992, and were worn on select home games, but retained the black alternate uniforms paired with the black and orange cap with the "O's" script.
As part of their golden anniversary season, the New York Mets modified their home and road uniforms to resemble the style worn in 1962, having their unveiling November 16. The black drop-shadow trim was removed from the team/city script logos, player numerals and name lettering on the off-white pinstriped home uniforms (now the primary home uniform), the white alternate home uniforms, and the grey road uniforms, all of which were worn only with the team's traditional blue cap with orange "NY" crest and blue undersleeves, belts and socks. In addition, the black alternate jersey (which will be worn occasionally on the road in 2012) is being phased out, to be replaced by a blue alternate starting in 2013. The solid black cap with the blue/white/orange crest will also be retained for one more season, to be worn only with the black alternate jersey. The black cap with blue bill and blue/orange crest has been eliminated. In addition, the Mets have removed the color black from their batting-practice jerseys and caps; both will be blue with orange lettering/logos outlined in white.
The Toronto Blue Jays unveiled new uniforms on November 18, returning to a variation of their vintage logo used from 1977 through 1996. The new logo is similar to the original used from 1977-96, with a few exceptions: a more prominent maple leaf, a sleeker-looking blue jay, serifed modern lettering on the team name, and a split-line blue circle enclosing the logo. The new uniforms are similarly based on the set used from 1989-96; a white home uniform with "Blue Jays", a grey road uniform with "Toronto", and a blue alternate uniform with "Blue Jays". The team/city name is arched above the secondary logo of the blue jay with the maple leaf, sans the baseball, situated on the left side. The secondary logo is also placed in the blue cap. The uniforms use the breathable double-knit polyester fabric, claiming the previously lighter Climate Base fabric became too heavy, once players began to sweat.
The Colorado Rockies replaced their purple road pinstripes with a more traditional solid gray uniform which was unveiled at RockiesFest in Denver in January 2012.
The San Francisco Giants and Atlanta Braves added alternate uniforms to their set. The Giants wear a Sunday road game grey alternate based on the road uniforms they wore during their 1989 World Series run, with the interlocking 'SF' logo on the left chest and black neck-hoop piping. The black piping was also incorporated into the team's normal road gray uniforms. The Braves unveiled a cream (heritage white) home alternates based on the uniforms worn in their first season in Atlanta. The uniform has the 'Braves' wordmark without the tomahawk with the uniform number below on the left chest and navy piping. The sleeves have a logo commemorating the Braves franchise's first season in 1876.
A new, slightly altered Los Angeles Dodgers logo made its way to the Dodgers dugout wall at Dodger Stadium and for their "Social September" promotion in September 2011. The baseball and flight lines have been thickened, while the "o" in the script "Dodgers" no longer has a line on the bottom left. The home uniform script continues to use the previous script, though.
Caps and jerseys
After reviving the popular Northwest Green jerseys at home, the Seattle Mariners are bringing back their navy with teal bill caps, last worn in 2002, for Monday and Friday home contests. Also, their navy road alternate will now have "SEATTLE" on the jersey front.
The Royals unveiled minor tweaks to their light blue home alternate jersey, with all numbers and lettering now white with royal trim, and a revamped away uniform (changed to a darker blue-gray color and a revamped "Kansas City" script). In addition, the team has dropped their light blue caps.
The Cleveland Indians made minor tweaks to the home and alternate uniforms. The white home uniform features navy collar piping and the 'Indians' script in red and navy trim, removing the white inner trim as well as the navy piping on the button lines. The navy alternate features gray collar piping and the 'Indians' script in red and white trim, removing the navy inner trim as well as the grey piping on the button lines.
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim revert to the silver halo after changing it to gold the previous year. They also added a sleeve patch that says 'Angels Baseball' with the foundation year (1961) separated by the current logo in between. The logo is wrapped in a red, navy and silver circle. This patch will be placed on all uniforms.
As part of their 50th anniversary, the Astros will wear throwbacks throughout the season, including a game with Colt .45s uniforms.
The Red Sox and the Yankees wore 1912 throwbacks on April 20 to mark the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park. It marked only the second time the Yankees have worn throwbacks; the first was in 1996, when they wore New York Black Yankees uniforms at a Negro League tribute game in Detroit.
The Red Sox and Athletics wore 1936 uniforms on May 2 at Fenway Park.
The Tampa Bay Rays wore 'faux-back' 1979 throwback jerseys on June 30 against the Tigers, who also wore throwback jerseys from the same year. Due to the fact the Rays did not exist as a franchise in 1979, their uniform design was inspired from popular uniform styles such as pullovers and two-tone caps.
The San Diego Padres and New York Mets wore 1989 throwback uniforms on August 3.
The St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers celebrated the 30th anniversary of the 1982 World Series by wearing throwback uniforms on August 4. The Cardinals also added a 30th anniversary patch commemorating their World Series victory, exclusive to their throwback uniforms. The next night, the Cardinals wore their road blue uniforms against the Brewers.
The Cardinals wore special uniforms to commemorate their 2011 World Series win on April 13-14. The 'STL' on the caps was gold with navy trim, while the word 'Cardinals' and the block numbers on the uniforms were gold with navy trim. The Cardinals wore them during the unfurling of their championship flag on April 13, and the presentation of the Commissioner's Trophy and World Series rings on April 14.
MLB players wore No. 42 on April 15, the 65th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's MLB debut. The Dodgers wore a Brooklyn-era cap and batting helmet that day, as well.
The Pirates and Orioles donned camouflage uniforms during Memorial Day weekend.
The Brewers wore an Italian-language batting practice uniform with the word "Birrai" on July 1; their opponents Arizona Diamondbacks ('I D-Backs') also wore Italian-language uniforms. They also wore the Cerveceros uniforms on June 2 against the Pirates ('Piratas').
In commemoration of the September 11 attacks, all American teams wore caps with the American flag sewn on the left; the Blue Jays sported both the American and Canadian flags on both sides of their caps.
On July 6, the New York Mets ("Los Mets") wore blue Spanish-language jerseys for the game against the Chicago Cubs. They wore the uniforms again on August 24 against the Astros.
The Chicago White Sox wore a variation of their home uniforms on September 7 against the Royals, as part of the "Halfway to St. Patty's" promotion. The uniform substitutes the traditional black color for green.
The Athletics and Diamondbacks wore Spanish-language uniforms in celebration of Mexican Independence Day on September 16, against the Orioles and Giants, respectively. The A's used their primary home uniform, with "Atléticos" substituting for "Athletics", while the D-Backs used their black alternate uniform, with "Los D-Backs" substituting for the secondary "A" logo.
Anniversaries and special events
The following teams will wear commemorative patches for special occasions:
7-20 patches to remember all who lost their lives during the Aurora shooting. (Worn only on the night of July 20.)
The New York Mets wore a patch honoring Gary Carter, who died of brain cancer on February 16, 2012. The patch features a black inverted home plate with Carter's number 8 and "KID" inscribed on it.
The Chicago White Sox sported two black diamond patches on the right sleeve in honor of Bill Skowron (BMS) and Kevin Hickey (HIC MAN). Skowron died on April 27 of heart failure following a long battle with lung cancer, while Hickey died on May 16 of undisclosed causes.
The Boston Red Sox added a black circle patch with the number 6 in honor of legend Johnny Pesky, who died on August 13. The patch only applies to their home and alternate uniforms; the road uniforms were fitted with a black armband. On August 21, against the Angels, all Red Sox players and coaches wore No. 6 in Pesky's memory, similar to the approach of all players and coaches wearing No. 42 during Jackie Robinson Day. The Angels also wore the same black patch in Pesky's memory for the game, even though Pesky never worked for the Angels.
The Oakland Athletics added a black circle patch with the initials "GJN" for pitcher Pat Neshek's day-old son, Gehrig John, who died right before the playoffs.
At Comerica Park, underneath the American flag on the outfield flagpole, the Detroit Tigers flew a plain white flag with the initials CJ in the center. This was in memory of Charles P. Jones, the team's vice president, who died on August 13.
The Mets began play four years after the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giantsmoved west in 1958, leaving New York City with only one MLB team in the Yankees. In 1959, New York City attorney William Shea, with support from baseball figures including former Dodgers executive Branch Rickey, proposed a third major league called the Continental League. Houston and New York City were both among the announced CL cities. MLB responded to the threat by placing new franchises in several of these cities, and offered a National League franchise to the owners of the proposed New York CL team, who accepted. With Shea's goal of bringing a second major-league team to New York successful, he abandoned the new league, which officially folded in 1960 without ever playing a game. The Mets began play in 1962 at the Giants' former home of the Polo Grounds in Manhattan, moved in 1964 to Shea Stadium (named after the aforementioned William Shea) in Queens, and opened their current home of Citi Field, adjacent to the former Shea Stadium site, in 2009.
The Astros were also enfranchised as a direct response to the plans to launch the CL. They began play in 1962 as the Houston Colt .45s; following a dispute with Colt Firearms over revenues from souvenir sales and licensing fees, the team moved to the Astrodome in 1965 and renamed itself the Astros. In 2000, they opened their current home, now known as Minute Maid Park. In honor of the Astros' 50th anniversary, they donned different throwback uniforms at home on Friday night themed to each decade.
Major League Baseball enters the 6th year of seven-year contracts it signed with its broadcast partners prior to the 2007 season. This year, Fox will televise the Saturday Game of the Week (which will be shown in prime time each week from May 19 to July 7), the All-Star Game, the National League Championship Series, and the World Series. TBS will show a Sunday Game of the Week, the All-Star Selection Show, all but two Division Series games, the American League Championship Series, and the new wild card elimination games. ESPN will show games on Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday nights (with Monday and Wednesday Night Baseball airing on ESPN2 during April, May and early June due to ESPN's priority to the NBA regular season and playoff coverage, and then Monday Night Baseball moving to form either a Wednesday night doubleheader or a simultaneous airing of a Monday Night game on ESPN and a Wednesday Night game on ESPN2 when the NFL season starts, to accommodate Monday Night Football), and the All-Star Home Run Derby. They will also air 10 spring training games, as well as five nationally televised games on Opening Week from April 4-6. The MLB Network will air a national Game of the Week broadcast every Thursday and the two Division Series games not shown on TBS. Major League Baseball International will air in syndication the All-Star Game, the ALCS, and the World Series to global markets.
On March 27, 2012, the Dodgers were sold to Guggenheim Baseball Management LLC, a group that included NBA legend Magic Johnson for $2.1 billion. The new management team, to include baseball executive Stan Kasten, still had to await approval by two different courts--one handling the Dodgers' bankruptcy, and the other overseeing the divorce of former owners Frank and Jamie McCourt. The sale was finalized on May 1, at which time the new management team officially took over.
Catcher Iván Rodríguez officially announced his retirement on April 23, 2012. Playing for six different teams in a 21-year career, most notably with the Texas Rangers, Rodríguez set a record for most Gold Glove Awards at catcher with 13, while earning AL MVP honors in 1999 and a 2003 World Series title with the Florida Marlins. He also appeared in 14 All-Star Games and won seven Silver Slugger Awards at catcher, while appearing in 2,543 games behind the plate, a Major League record.
The Atlanta Braves retired John Smoltz's No. 29 and inducted him into the Atlanta Braves Hall of Fame prior to the June 8 game against the Toronto Blue Jays. Smoltz retired with a career record of 213-155 with a 3.33 ERA and 3,084 strikeouts. He also added 154 saves and was 15-4 in the post-season.
^Prewitt, Eric (June 12, 1990). "Ryan Express: 6th No-Hitter; At 43, Extends Record, Beats A's". The Washington Post. p. C1. Nolan Ryan...extended his major league record by pitching a sixth no-hitter...leading the Texas Rangers to a 5-0 triumph over the World Series champion Oakland Athletics
^McCarron, Anthony (June 2, 2012). "FINALLY! After 50 seasons, Johan Amazes Mets by delivering franchise's first no-hitter". New York Daily News. p. 32. Santana got the Cardinals' David Freese to swing and miss at a changeup-what else?-for strike three, completing the first no-hitter in Mets' history in their 8,020th game, an 8-0 victory over the world champion St. Louis Cardinals