Thank god we're five days from the kickoff to the season...
AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST 1. New York 2. Boston 3. Baltimore 4. Toronto 5. Tampa Bay
CENTRAL 1. Minnesota 2. Chicago 3. Cleveland 4. Detroit 5. Kansas City
WEST 1. Oakland 2. Anaheim 3. Seattle 4. Texas
The Indians will be better than people expect them to be, and they'll be really good within a year or two; my gut says that Anaheim could be the wild-card again, but that the West will kill each other this year, with the White Sox edging the Red Sox by beating up on their own division.
NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST 1. Montreal 2. Philadelphia 3. Atlanta 4. New York 5. Florida
CENTRAL 1. Houston 2. Chicago 3. St. Louis 4. Cincinnati 5. Pittsburgh 6. Milwaukee
WEST 1. San Francisco 2. Arizona 3. Los Angeles 4. San Diego 5. Colorado
The Cubs are going to surprise some folks; Atlanta's pitching isfinally going to collapse without Millwood and Glavine; Jeff Kent will hit 50 HR at Astros Field; Montreal is good enough to win the entire thing.
AL CHAMPS: Minnesota NL CHAMPS: Houston
WORLD SERIES CHAMPS: Houston
AWARDS AL MVP: Alex Rodriguez, SS, Texas(Hon.Mention: Torii Hunter, OF, Minnesota) AL CY: Barry Zito, Oakland(Hon.Mention: Kenny Rogers, Minnesota) AL ROY: Rocco Baldelli, OF, Tampa Bay(Hon.Mention: Mark Teixeira, 3B, Texas)
NL MVP: Barry Bonds, OF, San Francisco(Hon.Mention: Jeff Kent, 2B, Houston) NL CY: Randy Johnson, Arizona(Hon.Mention: Kevin Millwood, Philadelphia) NL ROY: Hee Seop Choi, 1B, Chicago(Hon.Mention: Marlon Byrd, OF, Philadelphia)
There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. - Theodore Roosevelt, Ocotber 12, 1915
East 1. Boston 2. New York 3. Baltimore 4. Tampa Bay 5. Tornoto
Central 1. Minnesota 2. Chicago 3. Cleveland 4. Kansas City 5. Detroit
West 1. Oakland 2. Anahiem 3. Texas 4. Seattle
WILD CARD- Yankees
Why Boston over New York in the east? I have no idea. Temporary insanity I guess.
East 1. Philly 2. Metropolitans 3. Montrael 4. Atlanta 5. Florida
Central 1. St. Louis 2. Houston 3. Cincinnati 4. Chicago 5. Milwaukee
West 1. San Fran 2. Arizona 3. Los Angeles 4. San Diego 5. Colorado
I like Montrael and all, but I can't see them duplicating the success of last year. Art Howe will make a big difference in the Mets clubhouse and put them in position to chase the Wild Card. But I like the moves the Phillies made in the off season a lot.
NL CHAMPS- Philly
WORLD CHAMPIONS- Oakland Athletics in 7 games
WIENER OF THE DAY! July 6, 2002!
I have as much authority as the Pope, I just don't have as many people who believe it. --George Carlin
Grim, Big Tex won't play 3B this year. He'll platoon first and right, giving Juan Gone and Raffy some DH time when their bodies wear down.
"The time for debate is really beforehand. Obviously history will speak on whether this was the right thing or the wrong thing, but right now (the soldiers) are out there. Support 'em. There's plenty of time for commentary later." -David Robinson
To pick anyone but the Yanks, to me, is silly. If Wells gets his head out of his ass, they will have 5 monster starters, including Jeff Weaver. Their offense is better than last year with Matsui (and it was the best last year), they have a much deeper bench, and some nice power arms out of the pen with Osuna and Acevedo. They need Rivera, Hammond, and Karsay healthy, but Joe will be careful with them. This is an awesome team, and for $150+ million, it friggin better be. On top of that, if they turn out to need a starter for whatever reason, Leiber might be ready. With Cablevision coming to terms with YES, there is even MORE money there.
I think that if Kevin Brown is healthy, and I hear that he is, LA will be way tough. If the Texas pen holds up, Buck could have those guys up there as well.
"You know Monsoon, I am impressed, and I don't impress easy" -Jesse "The Body" Ventura
Sorry, but there is no way Montreal is going to win the East. Every club in that division improved this offseason while Montreal added Jeff Liefer and Livan Hernandez. You do remember they finished last last year, right?
St. Louis Chicago Houston Pittsburgh Cincinnati Milwaukee
Los Angeles Arizona San Francisco Colorado San Diego
AL Wild Card: Seattle NL Wild Card: Arizona
I think the idea of the Mets coming close to first is assinine. Last year they were apparently 3 times the club from the year before - and played pitiful ball. Minor leaguers are more exciting, if for no other reason than they appear to TRY.
Philly is close...but will fail. Last year was apparently the year Atlanta was due to fall apart - and they won 101 games. Their rotation now includes Paul Byrd who was stellar last year, the ever solid Russ Ortiz - and if Darryl Kile syndrome means anything, then now that Hampton's ass is out of Colorado, he's due for a big year!
Anaheim and San Francisco will not even come close to matching last year.
Los Angeles will surprise... I don't know why I'm convinced of this, but they're quiet. Too quiet. It's not LA's style.
Pittsburgh will look like they're challenging for the division for the first couple months of the year - but fall apart in late June.
Originally posted by geemoneyHoly crap, I was way off. Why was I thinking they finished last?....
The difference between finishing 19 games out and finishing 26 games out is negligible.
The 'Spos ain't goin' nowhere. 'Cept maybe D.C.
Edit: And I might as well add my own predictions...
AL EAST New York Boston Toronto Baltimore Tampa Bay
I like Toronto, generally, and they're only going to get better; at least for the next few years.
AL CENTRAL Chicago Minnesota Cleveland Kansas City Detroit
No way KC finishes above Cleveland... they stank last year, and this year they don't have Byrd. Runelvys Hernandez has a great first name, but how many games did he win last year? Not enough to start on opening day for most teams.
AL WEST Anaheim Oakland Seattle Texas
The Rangers were so dismal last year I don't have a lot of faith in them this year. Rebuilding the pen or no, they had more problems than that. Chan Ho Park needs to stop gobbling the beef dart if they want to contend.
AL WILD CARD: I figure it will be pretty damn close, so I'm going to say Boston, simply out of wishful thinking. Plus, the team looks to kick ass this year, if you ignore the back 2 of our pitching rotation.
NL EAST Philadelphia Atlanta New York Florida Montreal
This division is pretty up in the air, as every team has undergone some revision. Florida lost Floyd and added Pudge, but I don't think it's going to be enough for them to contend. In the end I like Philly. Thome and Milwood are significant acquisitions.
NL CENTRAL Chicago St. Louis Houston Cincinnati Pittsburgh Milwaukee
A fairly stacked division. I take the Cubs on the strength of their pitching staff, both its proven commodities like Wood and Clement, and because of promising young pitchers like Prior, Cruz and Zambrano. (Estes gets no love, for missing the Rocket.)
NL WEST Los Angeles San Francisco Arizona Colorado San Diego
I'm not too confident about my picks here, but I'll take LA on their general all-around excellent, plus hope for Dreifort and Brown to come back.
NL WILD CARD: I'm going with Arizona, based on the Byung-Hyun Kim x-factor.
(edited by PalpatineW on 26.3.03 2018) "May God bless our country and all who defend her."
I don't get it, everybody says "watch out for the Cubs they're going to surprise people". If everybody knows this, then doesn't that mean it isn't a surprise.
As for the Mets finishing first. Well let's see, every single one of their significant players had the worst year of their career last year and they still didn't finish far behind .500. Piazza will bounce back. Alomar will definitely bounce back. Mo is quesitonable. But even with Piazza and Alomar playing well it will make a huge difference. Their defense last year was a fluke, they won't be that bad again. THey got rid of Rey Ordonez who was a trouble maker. Alomar and Vaughn are very determined to bounce back. The team is behind each other (just watch Burnitz and McEwing chase down Moto after he hit Piazza). They got a great new coach. They added some power to their outfield. They added a Cy Young winner to their starting five. Overall they have a pretty good pitching staff just didn't get any run support last year. Glavine/Leiter/Astacio is a great first three, Traschel only had a 3.37 ERA last year despite having a bad record, and Bascik could be good. They have great relievers with Grant Roberts, Dave Weathers, Benitez, Scott Strickland and Mike Stanton. All they need is some more run support and better defense which I think the Mets lineup can easily provide this year. I'm not saying they are going to win the East because the Braves and Phillies are both good too, but I don't think it's ridiculous to think the Mets will be there in the end.
"A fairly stacked division. I take the Cubs on the strength of their pitching staff, both its proven commodities like Wood and Clement, and because of promising young pitchers like Prior, Cruz and Zambrano. (Estes gets no love, for missing the Rocket.)"
Everyone picking the Cubs is bothering the hell out of me. Have you all gone insane? They are a rotten team. Their only advantage is that their players are so young they are too naive to realize how bad they really are.
Clement is sure as hell not a proven commodity. He had ONE GOOD YEAR. He's no Andy Pettite. Cruz had a shitty year last year = 3-11. Zambrano is a no-name rookie. Wood's arm may be shot. And their starting pitching is their strength.
At first, second, and center they have unproven minor league rookies. At short and third and catcher they have nothing special.
The only hitter they have is Sosa and unless Alou can bounce back he won't have any protection. I'd walk Sosa every single game.
Not only is Clement a proven commodity but I wouldn't say Kerry Wood is either. Sure he's a good pitcher, but he's never won more than 13 games and never lower than a 3.36 ERA, that's not exactly ace pitching material.
I'll give you Clement, but the Kerry Wood debate is pointless.
Last season was his first real healthy season. He pitched his 200 innings and made a stride in becoming a sure fire ace. Ever since he came up, he's been pitching for really poor teams. For him to win 13 games last year on a team as bad as they were is a pretty decent accomplishment.
While Prior and Zambrano are young, and Estes is iffy, it's a bit unrealistic to think of them winning the division with all the offensive question marks. Houston reloading with Jeff Kent is just too much. However, if everyone has a great season with the Cubs, then they'd be able to take them over easily and get eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.
Juan Cruz last year... yeah... he was horrible. However, if you look at his numbers pitching out of the pen, they're pretty impressive.
At best, they're a year or two away from seriously contending. Any success this year will need to be because of dominant pitching. Kyle Farnsworth rebounding is the key piece of the bullpen puzzle. They'll be able to finish above .500 easily.
AL EAST 1. New York 2. Baltimore 3. Boston 4. Toronto 5. Tampa Bay
Sweet Lou will be regretting his move to Tampa all year long. Look out for a resurgent Orioles team that has one of the better pitching staffs you've never heard of. I don't like Boston's mix at all, and Pedro's arm is this close to completely separating in a game. Of course, the Yankees will lap them all by August.
AL CENTRAL 1. Minnesota 2(WC). Cleveland 3. Chicago 4. Kansas City 5. Detroit
The AL's punching bag no more, the Central looks like the 2nd best division right now, with three solid, if unspectacular, teams leading things off. Detroit, however, will manage to bring the division W/L down singlehandedly.
AL WEST 1. Oakland 2. Anaheim 3. Seattle 4. Texas
Seattle's pitching staff has weakened severely since its playoff runs of 2000 and 2001. Add the lack of pop in the lineup and they'll be lucky to finish ahead of A-Rod and the Texas Wishin We Could Bring Back Nolan Ryans. Oakland has the second best pitching staff in the bigs, and should run away with the AL West.
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No way Baltimore beats Boston. You think Rodrigo Lopez and Omar Daal are going to provide what it takes to beat Pedro and Derek Lowe? Will David Segui and Jeff Conine out-hit Nomar and Manny? I know Pedro's always an injury risk, but he held up fine last season, posting the best ERA in the majors.
Besides which, Boston has only improved in the offseason. The bullpen has been completely reloaded with some good arms (Ramiro Mendoza, Chad Fox, Embree). Tony Clark is history, and along with him his .220 average. Todd Walker might not have Rey Sanchez's defense, but his bat should be better. Bottom line: The O's aren't beating the Sox this year, unless our shady defense allows two or three hundred unearned runs.
And Toronto isn't bad, either. They've got a Cy Young candidate in Halladay. Cory Lidle's not bad, and Tanyon Sturtze could get better. And they've got some solid young bats with Vernon Wells, Josh Phelps and Eric Hinske. Not to mention Carlos Delgado.
Meanwhile, you're picking the O's on the strengths of its pitching. I'll give you Lopez, because he showed some brilliance last season. Maybe he has another breakout year. But Daal, Ponson and Helling have been around the block, and I wouldn't call any of them spectacular. Solid players, but not spectacular. Maybe Omar's a step above that, we'll see. And we'll see about Jason Johnson, too. But what about their offense? Segui's opening the season on the DL with a thumb injury, which never bodes well. That leaves Tony Batista as your biggest offensive producer, and while he's not bad, I don't think he can out-hit Toronto and Boston by himself.
However, all of the above points may be moot if the damnable Geronimo Gil keeps hitting homeruns off of my beloved Sox. That guy was a headache last season.
"May God bless our country and all who defend her."
Here we go: AL East: 1 - New York 2 - Boston 3 - Toronto 4 - Tampa Bay 5 - Baltimore (Hey, I can finally dream that this is the year Tampa finally gets out of the bottom, right?)
AL Central: 1 - Minnesota 2 - Chicago 3 - Cleveland 4 - Kansas City 5 - Detroit (Your wild card, the Chicago White Sox.)
AL West: 1 - Oakland 2 - Anaheim 3 - Seattle 4 - Texas (Defending champs don't even make the playoffs, mainly because the competition is so much stronger.)
NL East: 1 - Atlanta 2 - Philadelphia 3 - New York 4 - Florida 5 - Montreal (After this year, Leo Mazzone leaves the Braves to cure cancer and stop world hunger; calls it "easier than fixing this staff.")
NL Central: 1 - Chicago 2 - Houston 3 - St. Louis 4 - Cincinatti 5 - Pittsburgh 6 - Milwaukee (Any one of the first 4 teams could change.)
NL West: 1 - Arizona 2 - Los Angeles 3 - San Francisco 4 - Colorado 5 - San Diego (This is the year the Dodgers finally get a wild card.)
Playoffs: 1st round: Oakland over Chicago Minnesota over New York
If it actually does come down to a Cubs vs. Red Sox Series, I'd be making the greatest of emotional investments in the Cubbies. I agree that of the two teams, they are definitely the faces, but, as CRZ would say, "I'm biased."