Brewers improve by 15 games, Red Sox repeat. Howzat?
(edited by The Thrill on 31.3.05 0656)
(psssst - nobody's gonna be right this year either)
I say the Cubs do about the same - but differently. Third straight season about 500, first time since the Stone Age, I think.
I see The Cards and the Angels in the Series, with the Cards winning it this year. Boston's going to retreat a little, and the Yanks never do. Yanks and Minnesota and Angels in the AL with the Sox as the Wild Card. Atlanta, Cards and San Diego in the NL with the Cubs as the WC.
(see about for my idea of my chances of being right)
Originally posted by redsoxnationAnaheim/L.A./Guatalajara/whatever they call themselves this week: Surest bet in baseball is the Angels winning this division. Replacing Guillen's bat will be important, but should win this in a walk, as long as the starting pitching is better than mediocre. Around 100 wins, possibly 105.
Los Angeles: Derek Lowe with that hideous infield defense could be hilarious. Lost a lot of offense from last season, and Gagne might have a setback season. .500 area.
Anaheim will definitely not disappoint this season. Having rid themselves of albatrosses like Guillen, Glaus, and the oft-injured Percival, bolstering their defense with Orlando Cabrera, and improving their lineup with Steve Finley all with the combination of Oakland's offseason collapse makes them, as mentioned, the sure thing. A rotation that includes Bartolo Colon and Kelvim Escobar (who's much better than last year's record indicated. He lost a lost of close 1-0 duels last season) is something to be feared and if something goes wrong, don't think they won't bring in the new Weaver kid.
The only concern is the departure of David Eckstein, which is largely symbolic. Eckstein was a major fan-favorite and a tremendous feel-good story. He was among the many represented the blue-collar Angel team that won it all in 2002. Eckstein wasn't the best, but he overcame his size and other shortcomings with more heart than anyone. His departure represents Anaheim shifting their focus to winning a championship the George Steinbrenner Way, by spending lots and lots of cash. And that's something I'm concerned about, as an Angel fan.
Well said about eckstein. He wasn't just a "fan favorite", he was one of my favorites. The "Whirly Bird" was great, and although you like a team doing what it takes to put themselves in a winning situation, i am really gonna miss eck and percy. glaus i can do without. this season will be interesting. expectations are VERY high. if the team doesn't perform im not sure what moreno will do next. im just gonna keep my fingers crossed and enjoy watching this awesome team.
I said it last year, and I'll say it again this year. The Cards don't have the pitching. (Even with the addition of Mulder.) Morris is hurt, Carpenter couldn't make it to the end of the season last year, and I'm still waiting for the other shoe to drop on Marquis and Suppan. I'm fully aware that this is going to make me look like an ass if they win the division and CRZ pulls quotes from this thread.
That being said:
AL East Yankees Boston (wild card) Baltimore Toronto Tampa Bay
AL Central Minnesota White Sox Cleveland Detroit Kansas City
AL West I think it'll play out close to this, but this is going to be one of the better divisions in baseball to watch. Anaheim Texas Seattle Oakland
NL East Atlanta Florida Philly Mets Washington
NL Central Cubs St. Louis (Wild Card) Houston Milwaukee Cincinnati Pittsburgh
smark/net attack Advisory System Status is: High Triple H & John Bradshaw Layfield remain world champions; there is a significant backlash against the possibility of John Cena as champion; the state of the tag team divisions is reaching new lows; the cruiserweights are being ignored as usual. Wrestlemania is providing hope for the future as it usually does, just not nearly as much as last year. (March 30, 2005)
The Mets should be fine. Piazza, Reyes, and Floyd are healthy. Pedro will have a big year. They can always trade for some middle relief. They still fall below Atlanta and Florida in that division, but the Phillies have nothing. The thing I like most about Atlanta is their top 4 of Furcal, Giles, and the Joneses.
For a darkhorse team I'll go with the White Sox over the Twins. I wouldn't count on Mauer and Morneau staying healthy and I'm not a fan of Radke.
I like the makeup of Chicago with veteran pitching and young hitters. I'd rank Garcia as their #1 ahead of Buerhle. Their lineup is stacked. I like the additions of Podsednik, Iguchi, and Pierzinski. Rowand is on the upside and Thomas can hit if he's not hurt.
St. Louis won't win a world series with LaRussa - he can't win in the postseason.
Originally posted by skorpio17St. Louis won't win a world series with LaRussa - he can't win in the postseason.
You are aware the LaRussa-led Cardinals won a pennant last year, right?
The 1989 Series never happened, either. If it did, the Giants won in four.
Outside of the earthquake Series, LaRussa is 1-12 in his career in World Series Games, 5-12 throwing that in the mix. 1 title in over a quarter of a century with predominantly above average teams does take some of the luster off of the George Will "genius" label for Tony.
"Not a genius" and "can't win in the postseason" aren't the same thing. To say he can't win in the postseason goes against fact. He's won, I believe, five postseason series in five trips to the playoffs with the Cardinals (four NLDS and the NLCS last year). He's been to the World Series four times, winning once.
I mean, if LaRussa "can't win in the postseason," what is "winning in the postseason?"
Originally posted by skorpio17The Mets should be fine. Piazza, Reyes, and Floyd are healthy. Pedro will have a big year. They can always trade for some middle relief.
Innings per start last year: Martinez - 33 starts, 217 IP - about 6.2 I/S Glavine - 33/212.1 - about 6.1 Benson - 31/200.1 - about 6.1 Zambrano - 25/141 - about 5.2 Ishii - 31/172 - about 5.2
Mets projected bullpen: Looper (C), Mike DeJean, Bartolome Fortunato, Heath Bell, Dae Sung Koo, Matt Ginter, and Felix Heredia. There is probably not a worse bullpen in baseball, and these are the guys who are going to pitch the last 2.2 to 3 innings of every game? Their offense kicks insane ass, but that bullpen...
Originally posted by Freeway420 The Mets will somehow screw things up (they always do),
Did the Mets make some bad moves the past couple of years? Sure, but they don't screw things up EVERY year, they were just in the World Series in 2000. That's more recent than most of the teams in baseball including the "win every year" Braves.
AL East New York, Toronto, Boston, Baltimore, Tampa Bay
AL Central Cleveland, Minnesota, Detroit, Chicago, Kansas City
AL West LAoA, Seattle, Oakland, Texas
NL East Atlanta, Florida, New York, Philly, Washington
NL Central St. Louis, Chicago, Houston, Cincy, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh
NL West San Diego, LAD, San Fran, Arizona, Colorado
My serious World Series pick: Marlins over Yankees My crazy World Series pick: Dodgers over Indians
I'm interested in selling my youngest daughter into slavery as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. She's a Georgetown sophomore, speaks fluent Italian, always cleared the table when it was her turn. What would a good price for her be? While thinking about that, can I ask another? My Chief of Staff Leo McGarry insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly says he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself or is it okay to call the police? Here's one that's really important because we've got a lot of sports fans in this town: touching the skin of a dead pig makes one unclean. Leviticus 11:7. If they promise to wear gloves, can the Washington Redskins still play football? Can Notre Dame? Can West Point? Does the whole town really have to be together to stone my brother John for planting different crops side by side? Can I burn my mother in a small family gathering for wearing garments made from two different threads? Think about those questions, would you? One last thing: while you may be mistaking this for your monthly meeting of the Ignorant Tight-Ass Club, in this building, when the President stands, nobody sits." --- President Jed Bartlett, The West Wing
Originally posted by J.T. DutchIncidentally, these picks in this thread of "Padres finish over Dodgers" are some of the most laughable I've seen in quite some time.
Well i's pretty obvious you are a Dodgers fans, but I'll back you up on that one. If I remember correctly the Dodgers only really lacked offense last year. They added J.D. Drew and Jeff Kent, maybe they aren't superstars and maybe they got too much money, but the Dodgers did improve. They also added Derek Lowe. You can correct me If i'm missing somebody but I don't recall the Padres adding anyone significant. So I don't know how it makes sense that the Dodgers won the divison last year and got better and the Padres finished third and stayed the same but are now somehow better. I do like the changes the Giants made, I thought the Giants were going to win by a few games until I found out Bonds would miss some, now I think the Dodgers win the division.
Well, might as well give my other picks while I'm here I guess NL East 1. Marlins 2. Mets (WC) 3. Braves 4. Nationals 5. Phillies
NL Central 1. Cardinals 2. A five way tie between Cubs, Pirates, Brewers, Astros and Reds
Originally posted by QuezzyWell i's pretty obvious you are a Dodgers fans, but I'll back you up on that one. If I remember correctly the Dodgers only really lacked offense last year. They added J.D. Drew and Jeff Kent, maybe they aren't superstars and maybe they got too much money, but the Dodgers did improve. They also added Derek Lowe.
I don't think the Dodgers improved. (I also didn't like the moves the Giants made in the offseason.)
The Dodgers have weakened their infield defense (replacing Cora with Kent and Beltre with Valentin), and while they added Kent (old) and Drew (right up there with Griffey and Kearns in terms of staying healthy), they subtracted a Gold Glove caliber third baseman who had an MVP type year at the plate last year, and Shawn Green, who will probably have a better season than Big Choi. And the catcher position is just a huge black hole offensively. They went from having Bradley/Finley/Green/Werth in their outfield to having Drew/Bradley/Werth(injured)/Grabowski/Ricky Ledee. To me, that's a downgrade. Their pitching has a bunch of questions, even with Derek Lowe (he had a great post season, but has performed nowhere near his 2002 Cy Young Season, and benefitted from an incredible Boston offense. Brad Penny still isn't healthy, Eric Gagne is recovering from a knee injury (and now also an elbow injury - no timetable has been set for his return yet,) Odalis Perez, who was victimized by terrible run support last year, Wilson Alvarez, who I guess is going to be their #5 guy is currently on the DL.
Phillips replacing Ross, C ... plus with bat, even with glove Choi replacing Green, 1B ... minus with bat, plus with glove Kent replacing Cora, 2B ... BIG plus with bat, minus with glove Izturis, SS ... no change Valentin replacing Beltre, 3B ... BIG minus with bat and glove Werth, LF ... no change Bradley, CF ... no change Drew replacing Finley, RF ... plus with bat, minus with glove
Overall, 2 big minuses and 3 minuses -- 1 big plus and 3 pluses
I consider the bench to be slightly better, because it has guys who are hungry (like Perez, Grabowski, and Repko) instead of guys who are not (like Hernandez, Ventura, and Mayne).
Position players, overall, are not quite as good as a group as they were last year.
SP, Perez/Penny/Weaver/Alvarez ... no change SP, Lowe replacing Ishii/Nomo ... plus SP, Erickson replacing Lima ... tough to say, Lima was an unknown quantity at the beginning of 04, as Erickson is now. I tend to see a guy like Erickson being able to perform adequately enough, being a sinkerballer on grass in Dodger Stadium.
RP, Gagne/Brazoban/Carrara/Sanchez/Dessens ... no change RP, Carlyle/Schmoll replacing Martin/Falkenborg ... plus
Pitchers, overall, are a little better than they were last year.
I don't think the Dodgers will suffer too greatly (if at all) from last season to this. The minor league system is good, has been for the last several years; for instance, the catcher position looks to be improved once Navarro reaches the majors.
The Padres had to improve markedly from 04 to 05 to match the Dodgers, and they didn't. If the Giants had Bonds all season, I might be worried, but they don't; they may not see Bonds for three months if they even see him at all in 05. The D-Backs and Rockies are not ready to challenge for the division at this point. So, yeah, the Dodgers still win it, imo.
EDIT: BucsFan, Guru -- Sorry, guys; changed the backgrounds. Still working on it.
The Pedro cover is only for the northeast and southern part of the country. Out in the midwest and west, Kerry Wood is on the cover. There was an article in the Boston Herald earlier this week that mentioned this.