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The W - Baseball - Pre-Spring Training American League Regular Season Prediction Thread
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redsoxnation
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Since: 24.7.02

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.38
I'd do a National League one, but the NL West is in flux until Maddux signs.

AL East:

1) Boston (103-59) Before the Yankees fans bitch, I picked the Yankees to win the division last year, and I want Game 7 at home. Had a great offense last year despite an average season by Ramirez and a dreadful last 2 months by Garciaparra. Mueller will probably go down a bit, but Ortiz should stay near the same level playing the whole season. Ellis Burks provides a semi-designated hitter for Pokey Reese after the 7th inning. Starters improved, physically impossible for bullpen to be worse than last season.

2) New York (101-61) Biggest acquisition is actually Tom Gordon and Paul Quantrill to strengthen middle relief. A-Rod will do well, but ball doesn't carry as well at Yankee Stadium as it does in Arlington. Have to wonder how Giambi is post-Balco. Starting pitching questionable, as Brown has had physical problems for years, Contreras is close to 40 in actual years, and Lieber hasn't pitched in a year.

3) Toronto (85-77) Good addition in Lilly, still have no real bullpen. Impressive middle of the order, but will Delgado be traded mid-year as his contract is close to expiring (early guess for landing spot: Atlanta). Halladay needs to show he can get on they type of roll he was on for 4 months again. Will be in the race through June, will falter in the heat.

4) Baltimore (76-86) Improved offensively, but still have lousy pitching. Lets see if Ponson can do anything outside of his contract year. Same question can be asked of Javy Lopez as well. Tejada will struggle early (as he always does), before turning it on the second half.

5) Tampa Bay (55-107) The Devil Rays will be a better team, yet still lose 8 more games than last year, as the overall division is better and the unbalanced schedule kills them.

AL Central

1) Kansas City (86-76) Not crazy about there rotation, but its the Central Division. Improved offensively, and should have Sweeney for most of the season. Gained experience last year, and much like the Twins of a few years ago, get over the hump in year 2.

2) Cleveland (82-80) Every year some team comes out of nowhere in this division, might as well pick them. Young pitching should keep them around most of the year, fading in the last few weeks.

3) Chicago (78-84) Would offer SPF a spot on the Red Sox bandwagon, but apparently he doesn't want one. Lost Colon and Tom Gordon. Loiza has to show he was more than a 1 year wonder. And of course, when in doubt, Billy Koch will spit the bit.

4) Minnesota (72-90) Had a few good years, but of course ownership was to cheap to keep the team together. Lost to much pitching, and doesn't have the hitting to make up for it.

5) Tigers (53-109) A ten game improvement, but still awful. I-Rod will be on the DL by mid-May, and the only purpose the Tigers have is to keep someone in the division over .500 with the unbalanced schedule.

AL West

1) Anaheim (98-64) Quietly have assembled a scary team. Have offensive punch and pitching and a bullpen and a good manager. Very dangerous team that should be able to have its staff set going into the playoffs.

2) Seattle (88-74) Team is getting older. Still good enough to contend early, but each years swoons more after the All-Star break. Could be challenging Anaheim into July, and then die.

3) Oakland (83-79) Starting rotation started to break down last year, and I'm not sold on Harden. Arthur Rhodes as a closer is akin to Armando Benitez as closer. Loss of Tejada hurts, and since they might be out of the race early look for Chavez to be dealt so they finally get something in return for the free-agent losses.

4) Texas (59-103) They suck. Not due to losing A-Rod, as Soriano could hit over 50 home runs in Arlington and they do have some good young players. They still have absolutely zero pitching, and they don't even have as good a pinball line-up to win 12-11 games consistently.

(edited by redsoxnation on 16.2.04 1439)


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Since: 2.1.02
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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.79
RSN: I appreciate the chance to get on a winning Sox bandwagon. But you can only have one "I'm going to support them along with my usual team because neither has won in damn near anyone's lifetime" bandwagon spot, and pending the Maddux acquisition going through I'm going to be giving some love to Dusty's North Siders. Though I promise in the event of a Red Sox/Yanks ALCS to be firmly with the rest of the non-NYC world in rooting for Boston.

As for the White Sox...pray for us. This could be the year someone dies at The Cell.



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drjayphd
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Since: 22.4.02
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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.63
You wanted the best, you got... Out of Context Quote of the Week. "EMBRACE THE PENIS! LOVE THE PENIS! THE PENIS IS YOUR BEST FRIEND! Be..... the penis." (DEAN)
Well, by all accounts, Harden is the real deal, but I think he might still be a year or two away from being the freaknasty ace he will be.

I'd also agree with your picks, rsn. The Yanks didn't have an offensive hole. They really could've gotten away with the schlubs they had lined up at 3B. But then again, if you can make that trade, how do you not do it? Regardless, I think they still have the wrong lineup for their stadium. They've easily got the talent to overcome that hurdle (which is about as high as your ankle, really) but the Red Sox are still a better team.

And I'd also like to reiterate that Dan Shaughnessy can fuck off. All he's doing is reinforcing the defeatist Red Sox fan stereotype.



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BOSsportsfan34
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Since: 2.1.03
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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.61
    Originally posted by drjayphd
    And I'd also like to reiterate that Dan Shaughnessy can fuck off. All he's doing is reinforcing the defeatist Red Sox fan stereotype.


Amen to that. If there is a god, I hope he has a special place in hell reserved for Shaughnessy as punishment for inventing the whole "The Curse of the Bambino" crap.






Patriots win another Super Bowl. So much for that idea of a "Curse of Jim Plunkett" book.
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Since: 2.1.02
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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.62
I have just one prediction for the 2004 season, and it's something I've been saying jokingly all offseason, since Bill Bavasi took the figurehead captain's chair of the Not-So-Good Ship Mariner...

78-84 in '04.



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Since: 20.9.02
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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.22
Dan Shaughnessy will rot with every other war profiteer.

Of course, that's the opinion of a lifelong Yankee fan who's lived most of his life in Massachusetts.

Let's get to the real issue. 2004 ALCS. Yanks in 7. Boston media sobs, "Francona should have left Pedro in". Satan, Steinbrenner, and Grady Little all have a hearty laugh. And Shaughnessy's great grandchildren go to law school on the newest edition of that piece of crap book.

Isn't that what this is *really* about?



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Since: 11.7.02
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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
I think everybody realizes that the Yankees have no chance of winning the division and that this team is worse after the trade beause of the loss of Soriano moreso than picking up A-Rod.



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wudis007
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Since: 18.2.04

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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.14
    Originally posted by redsoxnation
    Texas (59-103) They suck. Not due to losing A-Rod, as Soriano could hit over 50 home runs in Arlington and they do have some good young players. They still have absolutely zero pitching, and they don't even have as good a pinball line-up to win 12-11 games consistently.

    (edited by redsoxnation on 16.2.04 1439)


Thanks for reminding me. I'm going to go stab myself in the heart like Elliot Smith now....

Sincerely,

Hagard, Tired, Crappy Rangers Fan
JayJayDean
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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.99
    Originally posted by Grimis
    I think everybody realizes that the Yankees have no chance of winning the division and that this team is worse after the trade beause of the loss of Soriano moreso than picking up A-Rod.


Is that sarcasm? Because if it isn't that is the stupidest thing I've ever read.



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redsoxnation
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Since: 24.7.02

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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.44
    Originally posted by JayJayDean
      Originally posted by Grimis
      I think everybody realizes that the Yankees have no chance of winning the division and that this team is worse after the trade beause of the loss of Soriano moreso than picking up A-Rod.


    Is that sarcasm? Because if it isn't that is the stupidest thing I've ever read.






Actually, here's an interesting question: Is the Yankees line-up stronger with Soriano in the middle and Aaron Boone batting 9th or with A-Rod and Enrique Wilson/Miguel Cairo batting 9th?



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Since: 17.2.04
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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.00
Alright I agree with RSN mostly, I feel that the best moves in the AL this last year were definately Anaheim, New York, and Boston. But here are my rankings, with some rationale.

East- (Come on, the East has been damn predictable the last few years.)
1)Yankees: Yeah I know... I don't like it, but their roster reads like an All-Star list, they're loaded with a good roster. Contreras, Vasquez, and Lieber are all kinda iffy, in one way or the other, but the Yanks always seem to pull it off. A-Rod will be adjusting to a new position, so their defense in the infield is going to suffer. Plus Lofton is a bit old, a season ending injury is likely. Though would like to remind that Sheffield does his best generally near the end of his contracts.

2)Red Sox: Face it there is going to be some questions, particular after the off season. Though their starting rotation is going to be good, at least three of them, and they will be offensively consistent. Still uncertain how their bullpen will be. But they do have a closer now. Keeping the F' the Yankees attitude may get them to break the curse yet. They do possess a better 1-2-3 lineup. I do expect Pedro to do his standard Memorial Day stint on the DL though.

3)Blue Jays: I think the team as a whole will be pretty streaky, and ultimately their lack of cohesive consistency is gonna make this spot being their final home. But their rotation is good maybe better than I expect it will be. But it would be enough.

4)Orioles: Not enough improvement. Pitching sucks, and Ponson will probably have a year that's like most of his others. The offense they did gain cannot save them.

5)Devil Rays: They have gotten better, and will get better, but the improvement wont be enough.

Central- (Everyone but Detroit could put up a surprise.)
1)Royals: Overall one the most improved team in the league, definately similar to the Twins, though they lacked the rotation. Still should be enough to be on top here. So who knows.

2)Twins: Yeah they are weaker, but they've been pulling off miracles for awhile now. Plus they've got Home Games, and that's always a bonus for this team, even on weaker pitching.

3)White Sox: Their rotation will be their biggest weakness, and it will cut them short. If they stay solid then they will manage well, but I see an overall slow start and ending.

4)Indians: Young team. Talent is there, but I see them folding. I think the pitching having to deal with the prevalent offense in the AL will be enough to rattle them.

5)Tigers: If I need to justify this then something is wrong. They will get better, but there are weaknesses all over the place.


West-
1)Angels: I will say they've had the best off-season (arguable), I do doubt Escobar however. Plus they've had one of the, if not the, best bullpen in the majors the last two seasons. Their offense has increased, but there is some if's on their team, Salmon and Glaus primarily. Barring a major breakdown the Angels will be walking away with the Division title. I kind of feel that they should keep Erstad in CF, and move Anderson to first. Erstad is the better defensive player.

2)Athletics: Still they have a good starting rotation, and while their closer is questionable I think that they are a good capable team. Admittedly their offense is going to be weaker, but if the starters hold they're going to be near the top in the west.

3)Mariners: They're getting old, and they have continued the trend of doing poorly in trading. The talent they do have wont be able to carry enough of a load. Plus Cameron's loss does weaken the outfield's defense.

4)Rangers: No pitching, no pitching, no pitching. Nothing they can do will save them from that fact.


Again I agree with most of the points put forth by RSN. Will concede that the Central division is a bit unpredictable, so whatever I've put there is my least confident. Though that the Central division Champ will likely not make it out of the first round. And most likely it'll end up with Anaheim against New York for the AL title.



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I don't think it was so much the batters he was facing as it was the environment. Benitez sucks in Yankee Stadium. Good riddance to bad rubbish.
- Stefonics, Mets dealing again. (2003)
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