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Tuesday, April 5, 2011


What a horrible loss. Leading 4-0 in the 8th and we lose to the Twins, at home, 5-4. That just doesn't happen. I am not a happy camper. I must say I completely disagreed with Girardi's decision to bring Soriano in for the 8th inning. Again and again it is proven that situational pitchers like set-up men and closers do not pitch well when they aren't in their designated situation. Leading by 4 with no one on is not a hold situation and Soriano should not have been brought into the game. David Robertson and Boone Logan were both ready to go and should have been brought in. If either Logan or Robertson would've allowed a run then Soriano could have been used. The Yankees do not have an off day until Monday and now that Soriano has thrown 30 pitches tonight and pitched last night it is highly unlikely he is available to pitch tomorrow night when there may actually be a hold situation. Soriano in the 4-0 8th loaded the bases on 2 walks and a single and then walked in a run. After that David Robertson was brought in and gave up a 3 run dinky double to Delmon Young. C.C. Sabathia is cheated out of another win after 7 scoreless innings due, I think, to poor bull pen management. Should a professional relief pitcher be able to succeed in a situation like that? Absolutely, however it has been shown again and again that they do not pitch well in a situation that is not what they are used to. The Yankees have already changed Soriano's job once, I hate to see it being changed again.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A.J. Burnett

Well perhaps the Yankees most important starter, A.J. Burnett made his first start of 2011. He started strong piling up lots of strike outs early and ended up going 5 innings and allowing 3 runs. Only a couple of walks which is a good sign from A.J. and due to a surplus of Yankee offense was able to get the win. Tex hit another three run home run already meeting his home run total for April in 2010. Russel Martin also hit his first home run as a Yankee, a three run job as well. All in all a nice 10-6 victory for the Yankees and Derek Jeter got two hits, moving within 72 of 3000. Mariano got the save and needs 40 more to tie the all time leader, Trevor Hoffman.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Opening Day!

Well with the exception of Oakland and Seattle, every MLB team has played! The As and Ms are playing as I write and are locked in a pitchers duel, which was to be expected. The Yankees won 6-3 on the strength of home runs by Tex and Granderson! It is nice to see Tex hit an early HR considering he only had two all of April last year. Granderson hit his bomb off a lefty which is always good news and his work with hitting coach Kevin Long seems to be paying off. Sabathia and Verlander both pitched pretty well in the cold rainy day game in the Bronx but the Yankee bull pen proved dominant allowing no base runners and securing the win. Can A.J. Burnett put together a quality outing as the Yankees #2 starter? I think he can. We will know soon enough. Yankees Tigers 4:10pm ET on Saturday April 2nd. In other news Brandon Belt got his first Major League hit on Thursday and his first Major League home run Friday. I have him in 3 of my 4 fantasy teams so I'm happy about that!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Poll Closed

Well the poll is closed and Alex Rodriguez wins it with 55% of the vote! I think Arod is the obviously choice considering he's finally healthy again and raking this spring! New poll coming up!

So close!

We're so close! Yankees first game is only 3 days away! CC Sabathia against Justin Verlander! It should be amazing! unfortunately I'm going to miss most of it coaching a middle school team but since I'm forming the Yankees of the future I don't mind! That's a joke because the team is lame, but it's nice to hope! We currently have 9 players on the team which is really not enough but it looks like we're going forward with it. Of those 9 only one of them is really a ball player and he's young and small and cocky. However he is talented and hopefully we'll get a team mind set in his head and he'll do great! Of the other 8, 5 of them have hardly ever played baseball. I spent today's practice teaching about proper bat grip and how to load and swing. It tries my patience but I like the kids and they are improving so it's fun! Umpiring is less than two weeks away as well! Besides adoring the job it's really nice to get some extra cash! I will be at the little league fields just about every evening and all day Saturdays between umpiring and being the division coordinator for the oldest division and a board member! It's a lot but it's so much fun! I love little league baseball! Get out there and support your local leagues! Kids love being watched and it's fun to watch!

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Well the rotation is set. Ivan Nova will be #4 and Freddy Garcia is #5. Girardi said that even though Colon had better numbers this spring than Garcia he would rather have the pitcher who pitched in the majors last year. Understandable reasoning. Colon will be in the pen as the long man and newly signed Kevin Millwood may be as well. Curtis Granderson is doing well in his recovery and hit batting practice today. Newly acquired Chris Dickerson will most likely be the 3rd starting outfielder until Granderson returns and Andruw Jones will be the 4th outfielder off the bench and likely play against left handed pitchers. Manny Banuelos' velocity has been in the mid nineties today touching 99! The control has been a little sketchy but he has worked around it and only given up one run through 3. Alex Rodriguez continues his torrid spring! He has a two run HR today over the batters eye on a first pitch fastball that he just completely mashed! Alex will have another great year and be a pleasant surprise to those who thought him on the decline!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Spring Training 3/23

Well I got my first look at Phil Hughes tonight. He looked pretty decent. There was no gun on the broadcast but I would guess he was throwing 91-92 and he had a pretty good curve ball. The location wasn't always there but he was throwing a fastball, cutter, curve, and I think I saw a couple change ups. He got hit a little but he got some hitters out while making them look very bad. His stuff looks good he just needs to sure up the location a bit and he will be good to go! Also he needs to hold base runners a little better because teams in the AL East will definitely run. Jo-Jo Reyes for the Blue Jays looked very good. Brandon Morrow will start the season on the DL and so Reyes will become an important part of the rotation at least for a little while. Through 5 innings he shut down the Yankee line up which had almost all of the regulars playing.

A-Rod continued to have a great spring with a double and a single tonight and may be headed towards another great season! It will be tough for him to win an MVP again in the AL which is loaded with talent but if he can hit .290 with 35 HRs and 120 RBI I think every Yankee fan will be thrilled. On a bad note Curtis Granderson, who I think was primed for a huge year after putting in lots of work with Yankee hitting coach Kevin Long, had an MRI and it showed an oblique strain. It seems unlikely he will be ready for opening day which moves Andruw Jones into the starting line up and that does not thrill me. Hopefully Granderson won't be out too long!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Yankees Pitching

Well it looks like Bartolo Colon is going to be the Yankees 5th starter. He was very strong tonight for the Yankees against the Rays and may have secured the spot. Hopefully he can continue that into the regular season. If Colon can go every 5th day and be strong through 6 innings, even if he allows 3 or 4 runs, the Yankee bats should have a shot to win the game and the strong pen should be able to finish it off. Ivan Nova will be the number 4 starter and I think he will put together a nice year. As a long shot he may even contend for Rookie of the Year honors, but that may just be wishful thinking. Manny Banuelos is struggling a bit tonight. He has given up 3 runs in 1.1 IP so far and has two runners on. Dan Johnson got the best of him in the 8th with a two run homer (I still think it was foul, but oh well). As for the first 3 Yankee starters CC was nasty yesterday and seems ready for opening day. I haven't seen anything on Phil Hughes this spring but A.J. Burnett hasn't walked a batter all spring! Walks have always been an issue for him and the mechanical changes seem to be paying off. Let's hope it continues.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Fantasy Baseball

In 24 hours I'll be in the midst of a fantasy draft! I can't wait! This draft is the league that I care about the most out of the 4 that I'm in so its a big deal! 20 teams! It's gonna be epic! A few good friends in the league are coming over to draft and we'll be out on the patio with a fire and beer! What could be better huh?!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Ivan Nova

NOVA! One of the great hopes for a success pinstriped pitching rotation this year had a promising day! After a rough outing last time the young Ivon Nova responded by going 6 innings today allowing no hits and no walks! He was not facing a complete Orioles team but most of the regulars were in the line up. I was not able to watch the game but a source I have who did watch, who I trust greatly, said it this way.    He was 89-93 with the fastball and had good movement and great location. His curveball was inconsistent, threw a few good ones. one got away from him which hit a batter. I think he only threw a hand full of changes but he k'd markakis on one. He was hitting his spots really well and got a lot of ground balls.

If this continues into the season it will be a huge boost for the Yankees and could mean the difference between playing in October or not. I feel much better about taking him in the 18th round in my fantasy draft last night. If this keeps up he will be a great sleeper! Fingers crossed!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Birthday Baseball

Well it's my birthday and I get to watch Yankees Red Sox! It is of course only spring training but we're half way through and inching closer to the regular season! Spring training is fun but I really am ready for the real thing! I love this time of year. The pros are getting ready, guys are gettin sent down, others trying to win spots on the big club. Little League is gettin ready to rock and roll and I'm back to umpiring this season! So excited. I can't wait! The team I play on doesn't start till the middle of May which is gay but I'll live. Spring softball starts soon too! So many chances to be on a field! Then we have the non-field baseball activities. FANTASY! Got three drafts coming up in the next two weeks it's time to do home work! Let me know who you think will be the biggest break out star of 2012! Personally I'm thinking Austin Jackson will be one of break out bats and (hopefully) Ivan Nova will get some big wins!

........It's so close!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Why Baseball is Unique

I just want to take a little while to think about what makes baseball so special. I will to avoid blanket statements like "baseball is the best game ever invented" or "all other sports are stupid" but baseball has several aspects that separate it from other major sports. I will focus on, what I consider the "major" sports in the United States, baseball (MLB), football (NFL), Hockey (NHL), basketball (NBA), and soccer (MLS). I am, for now, limiting my arguments to team sports that involve an object shared among players, such as a ball or a puck.

I will start with what might be the most obvious difference between baseball and the other 4 sports. In baseball there is no time limit and therefore the game is truly never over until it is over. In hockey, basketball, football, and soccer there comes a point in almost every game where it is simply impossible for the losing team to win. You cannot score 3 touch downs or 4 goals with 15 seconds left, it just ain't gonna happen unless The Flash is on your team and even then it'd be tough. In baseball both teams have the exact same chance no matter what. The odds may be insane, you may be down by 10 runs with two outs in the 9th, but it is still POSSIBLE to come back and win. You can't down the ball to waste 90 seconds. There is no anti-climax. It always comes down to the last out!

Baseball is the only one of the 5 major sports where the object doesn't score the points! The players do! Now, like hockey and soccer, you can only score one point at a time, which is my preference in a sport, but it is different in that when you have men on base, you have points waiting to be scored! Though one ball in play may score more than one run each run counts as one point. There are no extra points for hitting the ball further or multiple points for no reason........6? really? wtf? (then you can add one more!..........?). Anyway, no sport besides baseball has points being put in a "more likely to score" situation as with runners on base.

There is no possession of the ball in baseball and if you'd like to argue that the team in the field has possession than it is the only sport where the DEFENSE is in control of the ball! I'd like to pause here to say that when I say "ball", "puck" is also valid most of the time. Furthermore because there is no set "possession" there are no steals or take-aways. The team controlling the ball will control the ball until they accomplish there goal of getting 3 outs.

The baseball field is different from the courts and fields played on in other sports as well. All 4 of the others have set dimensions and two distinct ends and each team defends one end and tries to score on the other. In baseball, while the baselines and pitching mound are universal, all the other dimensions may be whatever the creator's heart desires! This gives a baseball field and stadium a hugely unique feel and taste unlike any other sport. Both teams defend the same plate and both score on the same plate. I would be interested to see a mirror image baseball field where you play both ways though like football or soccer, I think cricket is kinda like that? I could be wrong.

While I will admit that baseball probably requires the least pure athleticism of these 5 sports, I would argue that baseball requires the most precision in finely tuned skills. Pitching and hitting require a tremendous amount of athletic ability but they require even more honing and repetition to master. I'm sure many great athletes can throw a baseball very hard, but to able to hit a spot while pitching and create the movement we see by great pitchers is closer to art than sport. Watch film of Greg Maddux pitching in the late 90s and tell me that's not art. Also the speed and quickness required in the hands to hit major league pitchers and to make some of those spectacular defense plays is unique to most other sports.

This next point may raise some argument but I also think that baseball requires the most mental ability to excel at. I will take nothing away from an NFL quarterback. The quickness of their thought process and decision making in excellent, however there are so many variables and new situations in baseball every day that it takes an incredible amount of awareness and adaptability to do well. In football, basketball, soccer, and hockey, you have a play list. You memorize your job and you focus on what you are supposed to do and you do it. Most games follow a similar pattern. You find a man to pass to and you shoot or in football you block and get the ball across the line. In baseball every aspect of the game can take on a completely new appearance. There are so many different situations on defense and at the plate and even as a pitcher that you have to know exactly what is going on and be completely alert to everything around you. I would say that baseball players have the most to think about during the course of a game.

I'm sure there are more and if I wanted to get insanely specific I could go on and on but for now that sums it up. Now, in my opinion, these are some of the reasons baseball is the best! I respect the athletic ability of all the other players in the other sports but baseball is my game!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

New York Yankees Starting Rotation

There has been a lot of worry this year about the Yankees starting rotation. I think most if not all Yankee fans would agree this will be the biggest question mark for boys from the Bronx in the 2011 season. The top 3 starters are set, it will be C.C. Sabathia, Phil Hughes, and A.J. Burnett. Both C.C. and Hughes had very good years in 2010 and if Hughes can get his ERA down a half a run or so I think the front end of the rotation will stack up well with the rest of the division. However, A.J. Burnett had the worst season of his career and needs to bounce back for the Yankees to be successful. A.J. has changed his delivery a bit this off season and his control seems to be much better. He has stopped wrapping his left leg arounad his body and has much more straight line movement toward home plate. From what I've seen of him this spring he has looked great and his control has been excellent which is very important for Burnett. A.J. has a very strong mental side to his pitching also and however great his mechanics looks if he gets his head in the wrong place during the season he may be in for more trouble. We won't know how that will manifest itself until the season starts, but as of now I am excited to see A.J. Burnett bounce back and be a very good third starter. Now, the big questions are the fourth and fifth positions in the rotation. There are 4 pitchers in the mix for these 2 spots, Bartolo Colon, Freddy Garcia, Ivan Nova, and Sergio Mitre. These 4 guys have all taken up the challenge and so far this spring they have allowed only 1 run with 14 Ks and only one walk. Garcia threw 3 hitless innings today in his start and though I didn't see it I've heard he was locating and mixing speeds well. Everything I've been hearing from the Yankee experts and officials has seemed to lean on Nova being the front runner for the 4th starting spot but the 5th spot is wide open. I am optimistically biased on these issues since my hope is for the Yankees to do well but I think that if Burnett bounces back and two of the four potentials are able to be serviceable then Yankee fans can look to have a better season than originally anticipated. You all can smell the "IF" coming off of this situation but there is a possibility for a strong Yankee rotation!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Yankees vs, Red Sox...Round 1/2

Well with previews complete its time to start talking about actual baseball games! As I write this the Red Sox take a 4-1 lead over my Yanks. No big deal. It's Spring! The big thing today was the two great innings throw  by Manny Banuelos! I am very excited about this 19 year-old pitching prospect as many Yankee fans are. He was sitting 92-95 with the fastball and at least twice gasses it up 96. His curve ball looked very good once and just okay a few others, he seemed to be overthrowing it a bit. His change up was devastating and that is big for a young kid. Curve balls are overrated. The best off speed pitch is a good change up. Man Ban has it! His poise is way beyond his years and even though its crazy early I look forward to seeing him progress! A good friend of mine, Yubin, made a great comparison. I've already heard a few people say Banuelos reminds them of Johan Santana, which I can see, but Yubin compared him to Jon Lester of Boston which I think is the better answer. Banuelos hasn't developed the stuff to the point of Lester yet but the mid-90s heater and the good curve and change are very similar between these two guys. If Banuelos can pitch like Lester, I'll be thrilled! For the fans of the Santana comparison, they look exactly the same standing on the rubber before they move! Another great sign from Banuelos was a 2-0 curve ball he threw to Jason Varitek for a strike to get back into the at bat. Whether it was Russel Martin calling the pitch or Banuelos wanting to throw it, it was a great sign from the battery as a whole. Many young pitchers with good arms like to try and throw harder and harder when they get in trouble. The ability to slow it down and focus is huge!! Also his mechanics are excellent and if he trains properly should be able to avoid major injuries. Expect to see him start in Trenton, which I live 5 minutes from and will be going to see the games, and MAYBE pitch a few innings in September but I wouldn't count on seeing Manny Banuelos in Yankee Stadium until 2012.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A.L. East Preview

Well it's time.....finale divisional preview.....and it's the American League East. I am a Yankee fan. It is going to be very hard for me to be objective about this. My predicted stats will be as objective as I can make them but my individual team previews may be a bit biased. Also I know a lot more about the Yankees than any other team so my predictions about them should be more accurate than other teams (also I have a lot more to say about them, so bear with me). Last year, the A.L. East appeared like this......

Rays: 96-66
Yankees: 95-67
Red Sox: 89-73
Blue Jays: 85-77
Orioles: 66-96

So the flat fish....the Tampa Bay (no longer devil, perhaps soon to be heavenly?) Rays. I think flat might be the way the Rays come out this year. The key word there is might. They won't have a high team batting average BUT they will score runs. Some of the young talent that was on display last year will have a chance to fill out that line up, Sean Rodriguez, Matt Joyce, and Reid Brignac among them. The biggest hits to the Rays offense will be the loss of Carl Crawford, Carlos Pena, and Jason Bartlet. These players brought a couple of different approaches to the plate and a different strength. Pena hit the bombs, Bartlett got on base and got into scoring position and Crawford did what Bartlet did only better. Although the team has lost a few key bats they have also added former Red Sox teammates Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon. Pausing briefly for a personal statement, I can't wait for these two guys to come back to the Bronx! Okay, so, will Damon and Ramirez replace Crawford, Bartlet and Pena? Well I think they will. Manny is one of, if not the best right handed hitters I have ever seen. This is the first time he has come into spring training expecting to be a full time DH. I think he will flourish in the role and have a great season. Damon is not Crawford but he will get his hits and maybe even steal a few bases. He is no where near the defensive outfielder that Crawford is but aside from a very poor arm, Damon is a serviceable replacement. I have heard many times that the Rays have the best rotation in the American league. I just don't buy that. I think David Price has proven he is a front end starter and will continue to do so, however I think James Shields is very questionable. Wade Davis and Jeff Nieman I haven't formed an opinion on yet. Without Garza and with the young Hellickson being unproven this is not the best rotation in the A.L. I will concede that with the inconsistency that has plagued all the starting pitching the this division the Rays might have the best starting pitching in the division. I would talk about the bull pen but it's gone. They all left. If anyone has an idea of the plan for the Rays pen please let me know.

The New York Yankees......I will not hide that this is my team. I am a Yankee fan. I am scared. First, lets look at the bad stuff. Last year A.J. Burnett, who was great in 2009, was terrible. In the month of June he was 0-5 with an ERA over 11.00!!!! He had by far the worst year of his career with highs in losses and ERA. As I am writing this I am watching the Houston Astros blow a 4 run lead to the Yankees in the bottom of the 9th on errors which is how they got the lead in the first place. Gotta love the spring. Anyway, Burnett started this game and I will say the mechanical tweaks are noticeable and seemed to make a big difference. Burnett had excellent control of the fastball and one of the two curves he threw looked good. I know, it's very very early. This is by no means conclusive. However I am hopeful for an A.J. Burnett rebound year which would be enormous for the Yankees. C.C. Sabathia had a great season in 2010 winning 20 games for the first time in his career and barring injury should be able to repeat something similar. Phil Hughes had 18 wins but an ERA over 4.00. He got great run support but he needs to keep the ERA down a bit to be a real 2 or 3 role starter. The back end of the rotation is going to be interesting. Ivan Nova will likely be the 4th starter and he showed he could get major league hitters out last year but would get lit starting around the 5th inning. He needs to develop stamina and take a good start into the 6th at least if not the 7th. Nova has a great opportunity to be a hero in New York this year. With the greatness that will be the Boston line up the Yankees will have a very hard time making the post season without a solid 4th starter. If Nova can come through he will be well on his way to being a beloved Yankee. For the 5th spot I think Brian Cashman may have put up an ad in the local retirement home. I know that's a little harsh, but Freddy Garcia and especially Bartolo Colon are very, well, "experienced". The other man in the mix is Sergio Mitre who will probably end up as the long man in the pen. One way or another I don't expect much from the 5 starter. The pen however I think is one that the Yankees can be proud of. Mo is still Mo and will convert at least 9 out of 10 save chances. Cashman also brought over the best closer in the American League last year to set up for Mo. In the 7th inning the Yankees will look to a mix of left handers Pedro Feliciano and Boone Logan along with righties Dave Robertson and Joba Chamberlain to get the game to Soriano and Mo when the starters can't get 7 innings. I think the line up will go through some changes throughout this season. The starting line up on opening day, if written down tonight, would probably look like this: Jeter, Swisher, Tex, Arod, Cano, Posada, Granderson, Martin, Gardener. By the All-Star break I wouldn't be surprised to see something more like this: Gardener, Swisher, Cano, Arod, Tex, Montero, Posada, Granderson, Jeter. I realize that if Jeter is able to rebound from last year, which was on the heels of the best year of his career and may have just been a fluke, he may retain the lead off spot. Similarly if Brett Gardener doesn't have the season he is capable of Jeter may be the best choice either way. I think Curtis Granderson made huge progress working with new hitting coach Kevin Long last year and I expect a big year out of him, however I would still keep him down in the order for some late pop and a base runner for the top. Robinson Cano is the best hitter on the team and I like him in the three hole from opening day but that change will not be made swiftly. Tex has been there for a few years and will keep the job if he doesn't struggle too much early on. Arod looks lean and quick this spring and may be able to pull off another few "Arod"ish years before age gets him. Jesus Montero is probably the biggest question among Yankee fans right now when it comes to know will be the Yankee catcher in 2011. Montero's bat is great and while his defense has been criticized he has been working hard on it and made great improvement. The Yankees are very deep at the catcher position with Austin Romine and Gary Sanchez also in the minors behind Montero. I won't be surprised to see one of them traded for a pitcher, especially if the rotation is struggling mid season. The other question is will the "Killer Bs" log any major league innings this year. Banuelos, Betances, and Brackman are the 3 biggest Yankee pitching prospects and while Brackman hasn't thrown yet this spring due to a minor groin twinge Banuelos and Betences have both looked excellent for this early and I think we can expect to see all three at least in September in 2011. Sorry for so much detail but I know the most about these guys. Moving on....

The Boston Red Sox may be the most improved team offensively in all of baseball heading into the 2011 season. Not only will they regain offensive threats Kevin Youkilis, Dustin Pedroia, and Jacoby Ellsbury, who were injured for much of the 2010 season, they have added two great hitters in Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford. Adding the speed of Crawford to Ellsbury's at the top of the line up and the pop in A-gonz's bat this line up could be historic. I am not convince that Ellsbury will stay healthy because he has been injured several times in a short career but even with Ellsbury hurt it almost makes line up decisions easier when it comes to the top 3 spots. The only chink I can find in the Boston line up is that with Crawford, Ellsbury, A-Gonz, Drew, and Ortiz it is a bit left handed and may be able to be held down by a good lefty. However the great majority of the pitchers in baseball are right handed including 4 of the 5 Yankee starters. With the added bonus of hitting in Fenway this team may score an obscene amount of runs and I think new comer Adrian Gonzalez will add close to 10 home runs to his total last year. He is great at hitting fly balls the other way and moving from Petco to Fenway could send many of those from outs to HRs increasing his batting average as well. If you go to a Yankee Red Sox game this year prepare to be there for awhile and see a lot of hits. Unless Sabathia is pitching against Lester the Yankee Red Sox games have great slug fest potential. The Red Sox rotation, like the Yankee's, outside of John Lester, is full of questions. Will John Lackey stay healthy? Will Josh Beckett remember how to pitch they way he used to? Will Matsuzaka ever be worth the millions the Sox spent on him? Is Clay Bucholtz for real? Will the offense score so many runs that they could win Christopher Reeve on the mound? We shall see. Real quick, I'm not sure the Red Sox will have many games where the score is closer than 4 runs but if they need saves who will it be? They added Bobby Jenks to last year's closer Johnathon Papplebon and set up man Daniel Bard and I think whichever pitcher proves they can handle the job will get it.

I have never had a problem with the Toronto Blue Jays but I think there is something funny going on in the locker room. It seems that in the off season between 2009 and 2010 Adam Lind and Aaron Hill left their "mojo" lying around and Jose Bautista stole it. In 2009 Hill and Lind both seemed to have break out seasons and then in 2010 they both had break down seasons. Meanwhile in 2010 Jose Bautista hit 54 HRs while batting .260 and made a name for himself. I'm not sure what to expect from the Jay's line up this year, I guess we'll just have to wait and see. The rotation should be solid with Brandon Morrow, Ricky Romero, Kyle Drabek, Brett Cecil, and Jesse Litsch. With the loss of closer Kevin Gregg we'll have to wait and see who gets that job. This team is a bit of a mystery this year and I am excited to see how they compete is this tough division.

If the Boston Red Sox are the most improved line up, the Baltimore Orioles are a close second. Last year the Orioles had a great turn around during the last month of the season and now with a full season under Buck Showalter I am hoping they will compete. An entire division over .500? I haven't done the math to see how bad that would require the other division to be but it would be very impressive to see. With new sticks, Vladamir Guerrero, Mark Reynolds, J.J. Hardy, and Derrick Lee to go along with Nick Markakis, Brian Roberts, Adam Jones, and the potential upside of Matt Weiters, this team could score serious runs. I would not be surprised to see two teams in this division score 1,000 runs and a third get close. Following the trend of this division the pitching is an unknown. Over the last few years pitching has been the real issue for Baltimore and I'm not sure they have solved it even though they have added closer Kevin Gregg and starter Justin Duchscherer may add some stability. The returning starters, Jeremy Guthrie, and youngster Brian Matusz, with some added run support, may be able win more games than they have the last couple years.

These predicted standings will be based on no assumed injuries and no speculation about rebounding players or unproven youngsters. Here we go....

Red Sox: 92-70
Yankees: 90-72
Rays: 89-73
Blue Jays: 85-77
Orioles: 79-83

This hurts me and I hope its wrong but that's how I see it right now.

Now that we've come to the end of the divisional previews lets take a brief look and how baseball will go down in October. The Red Sox will play the Wild Card Tigers and the White Sox will play the Athletics. The White Sox and Tigers will win and play each other in the ALCS with the Tigers achieving revenge over losing the division and defeating the Phillies in the World Series and becoming the champions of baseball in 2011!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A.L. Central Preview

What do an "entertaining" manager, an unreal farm system, a superstar catcher, an alcoholic future hall-of-famer, and a big dude named PRONK! have in common? THE AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL! WOOT! Last year it went down like this....

Twins: 94-68
White Sox: 88-74
Tigers: 81-81
Indians: 69-93
Royals: 67-95

The Minnesota Twins get it done. It's amazing. They may not impress on paper all the time but they make it happen. I think a huge part of that is Ron Gardenhire, the Twins' manager. I love his approach to the game and unity he inspires in his players. Now it hasn't all been mystical managerial success. This team has talent. Joe Mauer is such a great hitter. He seems to have had a flukey (professional term) power season in 2009 but even without his home run stroke returning he will continue to hit for average and drive in runs, not to mention being great behind the plate. I think he may start to have some injury problems but if not look for another .320 BA and 100 RBI season. This is a line up of scrappy players who love to compete. Jason Kubel, Michael Cuddyer, and Delmon Young are all, I feel, underrated players. I think Delmon Young will add to the progress he has already made as a hitter and put some great number this year. Kubel and Cuddyer are both clutch hitters and Cuddyer especially is very versatile on defense. As I Yankee fan its hard for me to talk about Carl Pavano in a positive way but he did have a good year last year. I'm bitter about it but he seems to have to starter a new chapter of his career and if it continues he will be key for this team. There are three players with recent injury problems that will make or break this team. Joe Nathan, Francisco Liriano, and Justin Morneau. If these three guys are healthy, this division will be epic, if they aren't, its a two team race.

I don't like Ozzie Guillen. I don't like the Chicago White Sox. I think they will be very good this year. :) Okay, moving on......The pen, the rotation, and the line-up are all nasty! Mark Buehrle is the best non-ace ace in baseball. He doesn't have front end stuff, but he carries himself like a front end pitcher and KNOWS how to pitch. I like both Gavin Floyd and John Danks and I think they will both continue to improve and be fantastic pitchers. Jake Peavy could be a key for them. If he is healthy he could add 15-18 wins to the club but even if he's not healthy I think the rotation is good enough to survive. Edwin Jackson came over from Arizona and will work out his issues and be a great back end guy. Chris Sale may end up making a few starts and is a nasty hard throwing south paw. Sale may also contribute to a fire filled bull pen. With Jenks gone to Boston Matt Thorton will assume the closing role and he should dominate. Along with (possibly) Sale, Scott Linebrink, a flame throwing righty, will set up for Thorton. With the addition of Adam Dunn to an already strong line up this team should compete heavily for the division.

Motor City Kitties! Tiger fans probably aren't thrilled with that nick name but it's cute! The Tigers will attempt to be anything but cute this season. Miguel Cabrera probably should have tried being cute with the cops butttt he didn't. Whether or not pro athletes should be accorded leniency for poor decision is not what I want to discuss. This incident will not effect Mcab on the field. He will hit .320 and hit 40 HRs while driving in 120 runs. Ahead of Mcab, Austin Jackson. I was looking forward to him being a star Yankee but I will root for him in Detroit also. I think he will prove to be a great acquisition for the puttey tats. Behind Mr. Cabrera, Victor Martinez. Martinez won't throw anyone out from behind the plate but the man can hit. Going from Fenway to Tiger Stadium won't help his home run total but his average may climb and he may add a few more doubles. Either way he'll drive in the runs that Mcab doesn't. Valverde will get his saves and the new set-up man Joaquin Benoit along with Joel Zumaya (no more guitar hero or saving your parents from fires man!!!) will make for a solid pen. What I really want to talk about with the Tigers is their rotation. I've written about the youthful brilliance of the Oakland and San Fransisco rotations and some teams with one or two great young arms. The team with the best combined stuff among their top 3 starters is the Detroit Tigers. Justin Verlander, Rick Porcello, and Max Scherzer. These three young horses are all at different levels of consistency. Justin Verlander has a fastball that sits at 98 or 99 and he can hit 100 through the entire game! He hit 101 with his 100th pitch in one start last year and his curve ball is just filthy. He had some problems in the last couple seasons, especially in 2009, but he made some mechanical tweaks and seems to have solved the issue and became one of the nastiest pitchers in baseball. Porcello had a great season in 2010 and although he is younger than Scherzer, seems to have surpassed him in his ability to maintain a quality start. Scherzer will get it together. Last year he went 12-11 with a 3.50 ERA. Not a bad year by any standards. However his stuff projects a much better upside. If he can gain some better control and maintain his stuff longer into a start I think he can put up some great numbers. As a sinker ball pitcher he needs to keep the ball down and get ground outs and not worry about trying to strike batters out. This team will be right in the thick of the division race.

I am going to preview the Royals and the Indians together because well, there ain't much to say.....To any Royals fans I say hold one a couple more years guys its about to get sooooo good! The Kansas City farm system is unreal. Just to mention a few, if you want to look them up for yourself, check out Mike Moustakis, Eric Hosmer, Wil Meyers, and Mike Montgomery. For the Indians I don't see a bright future. Carlos Santana, a big catching prospect, comes up and very quickly has a season ending knee injury? Not good. Grady Sizemore is not going to be ready for opening day and if history is any example, he won't stay healthy long even when he gets there. The bright spot? Shin-Soo Choo! If you don't know who he is, look him up and then draft him in the third round of your fantasy draft. I think the Indians will need to make a move dealing Choo and Santana for a new core of 4 or 5 young players.

I am really hoping the Twins compete because along with the improved Tigers and White Sox this division could challenge the A.L. East for the best division in baseball. With a healthy Twins team it will definitely be the most fun division. Don't be surprised to see this division end in a one game play-off....again! Here's how it will wrap up....

White Sox: 94-69 (defeats Detroit in a one game play-off)
Tigers: 93-70 (American League Wild Card Winner)
Twins: 88-74
Royals: 60-102
Indians: 58-104

Monday, February 28, 2011

A.L. West Preview

Well with the National League complete it's time for the junior circuit preview! I will begin in the West. Last year the A.L. West finished like this.....

Rangers: 90-72 (American League Champions)
Athletics: 81-81
Angels: 80-82
Mariners: 61-101

Let's begin with the Texas Rangers. On a personal note, I am not happy with the organization right now. The Michael Young situation is terrible. Young has been the face of their franchise for years now and has switched positions twice in an effort to do what's best for his team. He dealt with many losing seasons and put up 5 straight 200 hit seasons and is a 6 time all star. After the conclusion of the 2010 season the Rangers went out and signed Adrian Beltre to play third base, Young's most recent position. Again, with the best interest of the team in mind, Young agreed to a third position switch that would make him the full time DH. Shortly after this, the Rangers signed Mike Napoli, a catcher/first baseman. However Napoli was brought in primarily to be a designated hitter leaving Young nowhere to play. Following the Napoli signing Young requested and trade and said he felt manipulated and misled. I think it is very wrong to treat your star player this way. He put up with many losing seasons and once the team became successful, they replace him. Not cool. That said lets get to an unbiased preview! The 2010 Rangers added pitching to a Texas line up that had been able to score runs for many years. Cliff Lee joined the team in the second half and although he didn't pitch his best he helped the team secure a play-off birth and make it to the World Series. C.J. Wilson made a new name for himself as a starter and the rest of the rotation pitched well enough to win 90 games. The Rangers were helped in the regular season by the poorness of the other teams in their division, but they proved in the Play-Offs they had what it takes to beat good teams. The line up is nasty. Vladamir Guerrero was a surprise hitting 29 bombs and driving in over 115 runs. Josh Hamilton leads a long list of great hitters including Nelson Cruz, Ian Kinsler, and Michael Young. Youngsters like Elvis Andrus (SS) and the new closer Neftali Feliz (CLP), who was the A.L. Rookie of the Year, also made their presence known. The biggest issue that will stand in the way of this team repeating is injuries. Josh Hamilton and Ian Kinsler, possibly their two best players, can't stay on the field. Furthermore Cliff Lee and Vladamir Guerrero are no longer on the team, both signing with other teams through Free Agency. The additions of Adrian Beltre and Nike Napoli should take care of the gap left by Vlad but the young pitchers in the rotation will need to step it up. The biggest difference this year will be the improvement of other teams in the division, mostly the Oakland Athletics. I think the Rangers will fall just short of the division title and finish a close second, but miss the play-offs.

The Oakland Athletics are going to be good. I think they will win over 90 games in 2011 and capture the division title. The youthful arms in Oakland may even rival the ones across the bay. The difference? Oakland will score runs. The offense wasn't scary last year but with a couple of new bats including Hideki Matsui, David DeJesus, and Josh Willingham, this team should be vastly improved at the plate. The rotation is one most other teams should be envious of. Brett Anderson, Trevor Cahill, and Gio Gonzalez all have huge potential and with Rich Harden on the team, healthy or not, the young guns should grow under his tutelage. The 5th starter will probably be Dallas Braden....I am a Yankee fan, I don't like Braden. I am really hoping that when Oakland comes to New York Braden is pitching and I can go to the game with a big sign that says "Get off OUR mound!". That said, as a 5th starter, he should be very good and with Grant Balfour setting up and Andrew Bailey closing this team should be very good. I think they will win the division.

The Angels are a hard team to preview. They have a lot of ups and downs. Last year they just didn't have the pitching to compete and their best hitter missed most of the season with a broken leg. This year they will have two Gold Glove winning center fielders in the corner outfield positions in Torii Hunter and Vernon Wells. Brandon Wood will be there third baseman and they will hope he has a break out year. Howie Kendrick at second base has always had a lot of potential but never quite reached it. If he can play close to his full upside he will be excellent. Kendry Morales will be coming off the Broken Leg but should be back to his old self driving in runs and hitting ballz over the wallz. I would like to see another left handed bad in this line up but they should score a decent amount of runs. Scott Downs will be their new closer. He has been primarily a set up man in Toronto for the last few seasons but I think he will adapt to the closer role just fine. The rotation is full of ???????. Dan Haren is an ace and I believe he will pitch like an ace along side Jared Weaver, who led the A.L. in strike outs and was the best Angels starter last year. Scott Kazmir was not good last year but he has had success in the past. If he can stay healthy and find his stuff the rotation will have a chance. Joel Piniero and Ervin Santana are both pretty decent so the team will have a chance to compete if everyone is healthy.

Seattle is a beautiful city. The same could not be said about their baseball team's 2010 season. I don't think that Mariners fans have much to look forward to in the 2011 season either. If it was up to me I would package Felix Hernandez and Ichiro for 5 or 6 good young prospects to go along with their new young pride Dustin Ackley and make a deal with a team competing for a spot down the stretch. King Felix is owed 68 million bucks over the next 4 seasons and after the 2011 season his salary goes from 10 mil a year to 18.5 mil. I think one way or another the Ms should trade him and split that money up amongst 3 or 4 good young players. On a happy note Ichiro should set the record for most consecutive 200 hit season when he reaches the mark this year. It is really incredible what Ichiro has been able to do and I know idea or trading must be terrifying so please forgive me for suggesting it, but I believe it would be the right move. The Mariners will finish bottom of the American League losing 100 games once again.

This should be a nice tight division and I think it will end like this....

Athletics: 89-73
Rangers: 87-75
Angels: 85-77
Mariners: 58-104

Saturday, February 26, 2011

N.L. West Preview

This division is loaded with young talent. It will be fun to watch them all try to attain their potential and make the post season. At the end of 2010 the N.L. West looked like this....

Giants: 92-70 (World Series Champions)
Padres: 90-72
Rockies: 83-79
Dodgers: 80-82
Diamondbacks: 65-97

The 2010 San Fransisco Giants were quite a story. They made the play offs by the skin of their teeth and only because of a late collapse by the Padres. They certainly look advantage of that break by securing their first World Series Title since 1954 and their first since they moved to California. In the 2010 post season the Giants really proved that great pitching is the way to win in series style baseball. They beat two teams, in the Braves and Phillies who both had much stronger line ups than the Giants did. With great pitching and clutch hitting, the Giants secured the title. Can they do it again? I think they have the most exciting young staff in baseball. Tim Lincecum headlines a rotation absolutely filled with talent. Although "The Freak" draws most of the attention I believe Matt Cain, who threw 21 scoreless innings in the post season last year, will prove to be the true ace of their staff over the coming seasons. I think Lincecum has already peaked and his slight stature will not be able to maintain his max-effort delivery. Jonathan Sanchez and Madison Bumgarner are both phenomenal young talents. With a little more experience and control they will round out a rotation that should challenge the Phillies for the best starters in the game. I see no reason why Brian Wilson will not continue to be dominant and so from a pitching perspective this team looks to be one of the best for a long time. Can they score runs? Buster Posey certainly will help create a few. The great young catcher burst upon the scene playing in 108 games in 2010 and batting .305 with 18 bombs and 67 RBI in his limited time with the club. He carries himself like a seasoned veteran and should continue to rake! (I have him as a keeper in fantasy so I really hope I'm right) Andres Torres showed that he can be a great spark at the top of the order and with the amazing weight loss of Pablo Sandoval and his drive to succeed I believe this team will once again claim the division title.

Pitching pitching pitching! That's what the San Diego Padres are all about. They had the best bull pen in baseball in 2010 with set-up men Mike Adams and Luke Gregerson and closer Heath Bell. The starting rotation is full of young guns who will continue to put up great numbers. The line up will be an issue for this team. Their best player over the past few season, Adrian Gonzalez, will now be banging doubles off the Green Monster (I'm upset about that one) and they really don't have much to replace him. Additions include several decent hitters including Jason Bartlett, Orlando Hudson, and Xavier Nady. Young Cameron Maybin also is due to reach his potential and could be a great lead off hitter. Ryan Ludwick, Chris Denorfia, and Chase Headley, while all good players, are not the makings of a strong middle of the line up. It will be hard for this team to score runs in any yard but especially in their own. Petco Park is a pitchers haven and I don't think they will score enough runs to compete.

Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki are the heart of the mile high line up. I really like this team as a whole and I think they are in for a very good year. Todd Helton will continue to save errors over at first and Dexter Fowler will have a break out year. Offensively the only concern I have is the ability of Tulo to stay on the field. Injuries have plagued him but we saw in September what he is capable of. He had half of a season in one month. If he stays healthy for a whole season it could be epic. Cargo, I think, will put up another season like his 2010 campaign and may even improve a little bit. He is a scary young hitter. From the bump they have the pitcher with the nastiest stuff in baseball, Ubaldo Jimenez. Once he gains a little control and stops walking the world, he will be as close to unhittable as it is possible to be. I think Jorge De La Rosa will have a nice year but the back end of the rotation may be in question. The Rockies seem to have the overwhelmingly dominant line up in this division however and may be able to slug their way to a few extra wins. I believe they will finish second.

My boy, Don Mattingly is taking over the reigns! One Yankee great taking over for manager for the Dodgers? Oh well, it could be worse. How will the Dodgers fare this season? Well it's hard to say. The Dodgers continue this division's tradition of young talent with Andrew Ethier, Matt Kemp, James Loney, Clayton Kershaw, and Chad Billingsly. If all of these players would even approach the pinnacle of their potential this could be the dominant team in National League. What are the hold ups? Well Clayton Kershaw, who led all the world in hits per 9 innings pitched, also walks way too many people. No one can hit him, but he puts runners on, that never ends well. Matt Kemp went from a Gold Glove winner to almost being traded and having his outfield play torn apart by critics. Andrew Ethier began 2010 on a torrid hot streak but after a finger injury never quite got it back. James Loney drives in a LOT of runs but hasn't been able to develop the power stroke and his batting average dropped 14 points from 2009 to 2010. Hopefully he can turn it around. Chad Billingsly has made 30 starts or more each of the last three years and at times is fantastic. If he is able to find some consistency he could be a Cy Young competitor. He also gets hurt a lot and though he makes his start he pitches hurt and that keeps him from being all that he can be. Broxton will look to reclaim his closing job which was given to Hong-Chih Kuo who did a great job with it. I think this team will show signs of brilliance and have a few very hot streaks but I don't think Donny Baseball's first year as MLB Manager will be overly successful, they will miss the play offs.

The Arizona Diamondbacks......well they aren't very good. The offensive core, like all the teams in this division, is quite talented. Chris Young, Justin Upton, Stephen Drew, and Kelly Johnson are all great young talents and will serve as a nice core in the future. However they have virtually no pitching. Daniel Hudson is a nice young prospect but he can't be counted on yet. Joe Saunders came over to front the rotation but he is always hurt. I see this team giving up way too many runs to win any significant amount of games.

This division will finish thus......

Giants: 90-72
Padres: 88-74
Rockies: 88-74
Dodgers: 75-87
Diamondbacks: 63-99

To sum up the Senior Circuit, in the divisional round of play-offs the Phillies will face the Reds and the Giants will face the Brewers. The Phillies will beat the Reds and face the victorious and inspired Brewers in the N.L.C.S. Anyone surprised yet? Well I have to go with the favorite hear. I expect to see the Phillies in the World Series again. Sucks I know. GO BREWERS!


I'M WATCHING THE YANKEES ON A FIELD!!!!! I know its spring training but wow!!! Players on a field!! YES!!! I'm so happy. We have our whole team out there too! It's amazing! I am so happy its hard to express.....GO YANKS!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

N.L. Central Preview

This division is going to be so much fun to watch! I think both central divisions will be amazing this year and we will start with the senior circuit. Last year the teams lined up like this...

Reds: 91-71
Cardinals: 86-76
Brew Crew: 77-85
Astros: 76-86
Cubs: 75-87
Pirates: 57-105 (ouch!)

The Cincinnati Reds, as storied a franchise as any, are fresh of their first taste of October baseball in.....uh.....too long! I was thrilled to see them win the division. I have been to Great American Ball Park and it is a beautiful place to watch the greatest sport in the world. The fans are amazing and deserve their team to be successful. I was so thrilled to see Joey Votto win the N.L. MVP. He is a phenomenal player and very deserving. Everyone can argue for King Albert but Votto was playing in October and Pujols was watching. Go Joey! With the emergence of young star Jay Bruce and the cocky attitude and production of Brandon Phillips that line up will continue to score runs. The rotation may be a little hit and miss. Volquez and Cueto are impressive when they are on but both can be a bit wild and we'll have to see if Volquez can bounce back from his suspension last year. Also since 2008 in which Volquez won 17 games and had an ERA of 3.21, a great season, he has made only 21 starts in 2009 and 2010 combined. Hard to rely on a full season from him. Bronson Arroyo has been solid the last two season having back to back years with an ERA under 4.00 and should be able to do it again. The young arms of Mike Leake and Homer Bailey will look to round out the rotation with break out seasons. At the back of the pen well you have 105 mph.....AROLDIS CHAPMAN! I believe he is being called the Cuban Missile? Seems appropriate to me. I would love to see him in the closer role this season. I think the Reds will compete very hard for the division title looking to continue October Baseball.

All is not well in St. Louis. They were unable to sign Albert Pujols to a contract extension and Adam Wainwright is now done for the season. It could be a long year for the Red Birds. These may be the greatest fans in all of baseball and its hard to see these things happen, but that's how the game goes. Another beautiful ball park, which I have been to also, the fans will come and support their team. Albert Pujols will do what he does, especially since he will most likely be testing free agency, I think we can expect a great year from him. He will be supported by some talent in the form of Colby Rasmus and Matt Holiday. The Cardinal line up should be relatively unchanged and will score runs. Will the pitching be able to give them a chance to win? We will have to wait and see. Chris Carpenter should still have a few good years left and I love the youngster Jaime Garcia but without Wainwright, who, without Roy Halladay coming over, would probably be the best pitcher in the N.L., it will be tough to win enough games to compete with the Reds and new rotation up north. Ryan Franklin will save what games get to him but there won't be enough. I see the Cardinals falling to third this year. Sorry St. Louis.

"The Ax-Factor!" Sorry I've been excited to say that since I decided to do this. The Hoff is out, the Ax is in! John Axford will have the job of finishing off the games in Miller Park (I've been there too, this division has really nice yards). The leads he will be defending will belong the a revamped rotation that may be the best in baseball not from either coast. Hard to argue with the arms in San Fran and Philly but the Boys in will have something to say. Newly led by Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum this rotation along with Randy Wolf and Yovani Gallardo should pwn! Prince Fielder is probably in his last year as a Brewer and will want to put up numbers that will show him the money so expect big things from him. Ryan Braun and a couple of very underrated players in Corey Hart and Casey McGehee will support Prince and they score an insane amount of runs. This team wants it bad. They will win this division.

The Houston Astros......I just don't know. Wandy Rodriguez is pretty good. Every team has to rebuild. Good luck!

Wrigley Field! If you haven't been! It is a fantastic place to watch a game. I think the team will have a better year than their 2010 campaign but not enough to compete against the Reds or Brewers. If Ryan Dempster stays healthy and Matt Garza can thrive in the N.L. I think they will win some games and Stralin Castro could add a nice spark at the top of the line up but I don't think they have the depth to compete in an improved division.

"If you build it....they will come!" As far as the Pirates are concerned this applies to a good team! Ray Cansella plowed under his corn to build a field your ownership plowed under your team to build a beautiful park. The setting is there, now keep some good young players and win some games! This is another historical franchise that deserves to be good. The talented youth is there you just have to keep it and add some veteran arms! If Andrew McCutchen is still there in two years I will say the team is turning around. It is time for this team to be good again and it can be if the front office will put the fans on top of their priority list. As for right now, they are looking at another bottom of the pile finish.

The final standings will be.....

Brewers: 93-69
Reds: 92-70 (N.L. Wild Card)
Cardinals: 80-82
Cubs: 79-83
Astros: 70-92
Pirates: 60-102

Should be so much fun to watch!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

N.L. East Preview

I will begin in the N.L. East with my previews for this season. It should be fun! At the close of the 2010 season the division looked like this....

Phillies: 97-65
Braves: 91-71
Marlins: 80-82
Mets: 79-83 (I won a bet because of this postion in the standings!)
Nationals: 69-93

I think this season we will be looking at a similar situation. We've all heard about the Philadelphia rotation for this year. It is hard to argue that it is excellent. Roy Halladay is widely considered as the best pitcher in baseball. Cliff Lee has been a post season machine the last two seasons and, although he struggled a bit with the Rangers during the regular season, he will win baseball games. He walked 18 batters in 212 wut? Cole Hammels and "The Other Roy" Mr. Oswalt have both been dominant pitchers and both have struggled as well. It's hard to say just how well they will pitch but I think this is the first rotation to even have a chance at four 20 game winners. If Rollins, Utley, and Howard can produce they way they have in the past, and stay healthy, and Brad Lidge can close the few games they need closed (their staff will have an insane number of complete games and middle relievers will be completely useless), this division is over.

The Atlanta Braves will be fighting to continue a winning tradition with a new skipper at the helm. It's a tough thing to do. Chipper Jones is looking to end his career on a high note and I know he will be playing hard to see that that happens. Whether or not his age will catch up to him is another issue, but he will be trying very hard to make his team a winner. The addition of Dan Uggla should be very helpful as he may be the second best offensive 2nd baseman in the game. Martin Prado had a break out season and if he can repeat and settle into an outfield spot he should score a lot of runs. Jason Heyward, if healthy, looking to avoid a sophmore slump will be key for them. The pitching staff should be fun to watch. Tommy Hansen is a great young starter and along with veteran Tim Hudson will look to anchor that rotation. I'm hoping to see Kimbrel close this year because I love his arm and I think he has the stuff. The Braves also possibly have the best pitching prospect in baseball not named Strasburg in Julio Teheran. I don't know if he'll see The Show this year but I can't wait for his call up. I see the Braves in 2nd place once again in 2011.

The Florida Marlins! 3rd place. All done. Just kidding. You can't talk about the Marlins without mentioning a few key guys. Hanley Ramirez needs to grow up. When he does we may see his full potential which is Mickey Mantle at short stop. He must lead by example. Josh Johnson will do what he does. Can Ricky Nolasco and the other guys in that rotation provide other leads for Leo Nunez to try and protect? It's by no means a sure thing. The young talent down there is hugely promising though. Mike Stanton looks like a greek god with a baseball bat, and the ball jumps of his bat like a lightning bolt thrown by Zues. Gaby Sanchez and Chris Coghlan both look to be good pro ball players.

Next up the New York Mets......I am a Yankee fan so I'm going to try and be gentle.....The Mets are in for a rough season. Opening day they will be tied for first place. Closing day they will be lucky to be in 4th. Rumor has it that Johan Santana will be making it back near the end of June, which is a bright spot on the cloudy horizon. However until then their rotation is a collection of 4 and 5 starters. Their pen is a Who's Who of WHO?! and the line up is David Wright and the admissions list from the local hospital. IF Bay, Beltran, and Reyes can ALL come back and play well, they may score enough runs to play .500 baseball. I think they need to trade Reyes at the break if he's playing well for a few young arms and go for it in 2012.

Optimistically The Nationals may get Strasburg back for September. It will be too late. Ryan Zimmerman and Jason Werth will get their hits and home runs and RBIs but without a serious step up but those young arms they will not compete this year. With my contempt for the Phillies, Mets and Braves I would love to see these young guys step up and shove it to the big fellas but I just don't see that happening yet. If we are lucky, however, this September we may see Bryce Harper in Major League Baseball!

The way I see it, the N.L. East will finish this way,

Phillies: 103-59
Braves: 85-77
Marlins: 83-79
Mets: 72-90
Nationals: 70-92

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Inverted W

And another one bites the dust! Adam Wainwright appears to be headed for some TJ surgery! Another pitcher with a serious inverted W. Following in the footsteps of Mark Prior perhaps? Another piece laid in place for The Brew Crew to step up and win that division! If the cardinals are without Wainy I don't see them competing for the division and then....will they trade King Albert?! Should be a fun season!

It's about time!

Well, it's the best time of year once again! Baseball is here!!!! Some people suffer from winter depression because of the cold and the dark, for me the only winter depression stems from a lack of 9 players on a green and brown field between two white lines throwing a ball around and hitting it with a stick. There is nothing more perfect. The boys have reported. The game begin in a few days. Baseball season is here. The best moment of my year is always when the last second ticks off the superbowl game clock. That is when baseball season begins. The pros are getting ready and at the same time the young men of the future are being placed on Little League teams and beginning their indoor practices. Millions of fans are preparing to laugh, smile, clap, and cry over the fate of their favorite team. Everyone starts in first place. The perennial power houses are ready to repeat, the teams who struggle have made their moves to try and compete. Fantasy teams are being drafted. Prospects are trying to make the team out of camp. Baseball is here. There's nothing better.