This Years Smart Baseball Picks

Aaahh, still a beautiful sight.

Hey did you know that the New York Yankees were world champions? Sorry I had to rub that in one more time. After a decade of dealing with annoyingly fair-weather Orioles fans in Baltimore and bitter fans in Cleveland I got to throw it back in the face of everyone within a 500 mile radius of my obnoxiousness.

After Mark Teixeira collected the final out of the World Series me and buddy Mark Damiano jumped around like kids that just found out that they were going to Disneyworld. It was as if we had never won a title even though the nineties were the greatest time of my sports life when the Yanks won 4 titles in 5 years. Truth is the last ten years of being a Yankee fan was hell (and here’s where the Cubs, Astros and about 20 other teams fans tune me out until I get to my picks). It wasn’t hell in the sense that we didn’t a title every year; it was hell due to the amount of pressure that was placed on the team every year to win a title.

When I was a kid I was happy to watch Don Mattingly roam first base freely even though the team was terrible. When we lost in 97 to Cleveland after winning the title in 96 I was upset but it wasn’t a monumental thing that made me want to jump off of a cliff. For a stretch of the 2000’s the Yankees front office made it impossible to watch the Yankees without being disappointed. We treated playoff appearances like wins over the Royals. If we didn’t win titles we spent millions on guys who we thought would make the team better (Jason Giambi, Randy Johnson, Kei Igawa, etc.) and when they failed we spent more. For a while I felt like- gulp- a Red Sox fan.

That’s why last year’s title was a relief for fans (again boo-hoo’s from the Mets, Pirates and Reds fans). This year we can go back to being normal fans. We didn’t spend a ton of money on free agents because we didn’t need to. For all of the flack that Brian Cashman receives, he is without question the best GM in baseball. After watching the rotation feast or famine with 3 pitchers, and somehow win, he traded for Javy Vazquez (moment of silence for my “Got Melky?’ t-shirt). He knew our outfield needed to get younger so he traded for the underachieving yet talented outfielder Curtis Granderson. He got guys that fit the attitude of these Yankees and didn’t break the bank to do it.

It sets up the Yankees for another title run with expectations to win, but not in a psychopathic “we have to match the Red Sox” kind of way that it has been. In all honesty if the Yankees don’t win it all this year it won’t be such a bad thing (and if you truly believe that last line I just typed, then you must not understand the Yankees or our fans. As long as someone named Steinbrenner owns the team it’s all about winning and winning now. In fact if we don’t win it all this year I wouldn’t be surprised if Joe Girardi got fired. Welcome to the Bronx Zoo. Come for the excitement, stay for the carnage).

If the Yankees do want to repeat they need to be the exact same team they were last year. This year so many teams and divisions are so tough to call that the six divisions could be won by either two or three teams. There are no gimmies this season; the Braves are the Rockies are the Mariners are the Rays are Cardinals. Every team in contention has a go to starter, big time hitter and consistency in most areas of their game. The Phillies for example picked up Roy Halladay to go with Cole Hamels (who will not have another 2009. EVER! Write that down. Last year was a fluke. I’m talking Kevin Stevens 50 goals in 1992 fluke.) , they have a ton of offensive fire power and you know once August rolls around that Ryan Howard should put up his usual .300/15/45 last two months to carry Philly to the postseason. Likewise in Boston who have a healthy Josh Beckett (don’t get it confused, he struggled last year because he was injured. He didn’t tell anyone but we knew) plus John Lackey, Jon Lester and the best bullpen in the game. However, the Sox struggled against the Rays all year last season, and with a sense of urgency on a team that has this season as its last for contention with this much talent, who’s to say Matt Garza and James Shields won’t dominate them again as they did last year or that a possible career year from free agents to be Carl Crawford and Carlos Pena wont overpower them? Likewise in the Central, couldn’t you imagine the Astros putting it all together and using Roy Oswalt and Wandy Rodriguez to lead a charge to the top of the division, or Ryan Braun and the Brewers overpowering the Cardinals?

As you can see, the Phillies didn't take losing the series lightly.

With all of these possibilities comes one thing that is for sure, that I will predict something completely and utterly stupid this season in my preview. Let’s not forget that two years ago I thought the Reds were good enough to win the NL Central (fail), or that the Mariners with Erik Bedard were the best team in the AL West (to my credit, so did everyone else for that matter). My favorite was predicting that Robinson Cano would have an MVP year in 2008; he ended up with his worst offensive season of his young career that year (triple fail). So for this year I have a full proof way of showing off my prowess for baseball knowledge, without looking like a jack-ass. Ladies and gentlemen I give you my picks, and the picks I would make if I had no sense whatsoever:

NL WEST: Old Kevin- San Francisco Giants. Smart Kevin- Colorado Rockies

I love the pitching by the bay. Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain might be the best one-two punch in baseball (apologies to Carpenter and Wainwright). Plus they have a healthy Nate Lowry and Jonathan Sanchez looks like he has finally put it together. However, if you think they can get by with that offense of theirs you must be crazy. Pablo Sandoval is about as much of a clean-up hitter as Aaron Rowand is a lead-off guy.

In Colorado you have a team primed for another run at the playoffs. Troy Tulowitzky is an MVP caliber player and Ubaldo Jimenez and Jorge De La Rosa make a great tandem at the top of the rotation. The only question is what about the health of Huston Street? When healthy you can argue that Street is of the top 5 closers in the game. Once is arm is healthy look for the Rocks to outlast Los Angeles in the West.

Player to watch- Adrian Gonzalez.

The Red Sox wanted him, and failed in acquiring him. The Padres will finish last in the division, and will do so after jettisoning Gonzalez before the deadline.  Gonzalez is a 30 homerun 100 RBI guy on the most inept team in baseball. Imagine him in Atlanta or Chicago with the White Sox.

NL Central: Old Kevin- Milwaukee Brewers Smart Kevin- St. Louis Cardinals

Can the Brew Crew hit? Uh yeah. They didn’t ink Braun and Fielder for fun and games. The two of them are a yearly 80+ homeruns and 200-225 RBI. Yet the Rotation (as always) is a huge question. You don’t doubt Iovany Gallardo, but you question whether or not Randy Wolf and Doug Davis are 2 and 3 guys.

The Cardinals are more complete in all aspects. Pujols is in MVP until further notice mode while Matt Holiday should put up huge numbers in season number two in the Lou. Plus the aforementioned Carpenter and Wainwright are worth a guaranteed 42 wins this year. Only concern might be Ryan Franklin as closer. Some days he’s good, some days he’s not.

Wildcard team- Cincinnati Reds

I’m not picking them to win the division, but they are going to give teams fits, as well as themselves. Look at the rotation: Jonny Cueto, Aroldis Chapman and Homer Bailey are talent scouts wet dreams. Yet Bailey seems to be on his last chance and Cueto still has questionable maturity issues. Then there’s the much talked about Chapman with a cannon of a left arm and a mound of control problems. Add in Jay Bruce (he’ll bounce back after a poor 2009) and Joey Votto and this young team should be a problem. If they can get over struggles better than they have.

NL East: Old Kevin- Florida Marlins Smart Kevin- Philadelphia Phillies

I can’t pick a team with Dan Uggla as there Feature power hitter. I want to pick the Marlins I really do (sound familiar). I have a man crush on Josh Johnson and Hanley Ramirez. Yet once again I don’t trust Uggla, Leo Nunez and I don’t think Chris Caghlan will have another year like last year.

The Phillies aren’t exactly a smash either. Brad Lidge is injured, Cole Hamels is fragile as we learned last year and Jimmy Rollins might be a 7 hitter disguised as a lead-off man. Yet there’s still Ryan Howard (My pick for MVP), Chase Utley and the addition of Roy Halladay that makes every team fear for their lives against the Phillies. So it’s the Phillies to win 4 years and running.

The Team that reminds me of the Jersey Shore cast – New York Mets

Sucks to be you.

THEY ARE A TRAIN WRECK… yet I can’t stop watching. How can I not watch? Who’s going to back up Johan Santana in the rotation? Who’ll protect David Wright in the lineup? When will Jerry Manuel get fired? Will Omar Minaya punch Jose Reyes in the face? All they need is The Situation and J-Woww swinging at each other in between innings and they become the best side show in baseball.

AL West: Old Kevin-Texas Rangers Smart Kevin- Seattle Mariners

On paper the Rangers can compete. They’ll score 850 runs and Derek Holland and Neftali Perez look like future aces. In reality, Ron Washington’s a coke head. I’m sorry; I’m not picking a team managed by Tyrone Biggums.

Seattle was handed Cliff Lee for reason that still puzzle me. What did they give up again? A mid-rated minor leaguer? Anyway, he and Felix Hernandez get the honor of scaring every team on back –to-back days for at least a year and there’s Ichiro. In this division that’s all you really need. (How about Milton Bradley batting fourth for them. Did they not see him in Chicago last year? His one good year came in a hitters park in Texas. Clean-up? Clean-up in a pitchers park? Why am I picking Seattle again?)

Most fun guy to watch- Brett Anderson, A’s Pitcher

If you ever get to watch this spazz in between innings please do. Get a bucket of popcorn and watch him go OCD on a water bottle, and look like he has facial contusions. Comedy. (Also watch him on the mound. In his first season he finished 11-11 with a 4.50 ERA but he thrived in the second half of the season.)

AL Central: Old Kevin- Minnesota Twins. Smart Kevin- Detroit Tigers

I would’ve been been blinded by Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau and Michael Cuddyer. I would’ve said Nick Blackburn and Francisco Liriano were more than enough pitching with that offense. I would’ve ignored the fact that Joe Nathan’s career is possibly over following Tommy John surgery. Now I’ve come to my senses. It aint happening.

It’s not that I truly trust a team with a recovering Alcoholic, a mentally complacent right-fielder, a head-case of a starting pitcher or a bullpen with live arms and no health. I just know that Jim Leyland, who is one of the top 5 managers today, will put it together, and as long as Justin Verlander is going every 5 days that’s 20 wins in the bag. (But to reiterate I really don’t trust them.)

Team I really think can be better than both teams mentioned, but no one is noticing- Chicago White Sox

It’s a team with more questions than the GRE. Is Jake Peavy healthy? Will Alex Rios ever return to the form that made him tantalizing in Toronto? Will Alexei Ramirez, Carlos Quentin and Gordon Beckham put up the numbers that they should put up yearly? Can Ozzie Guillen keep his job? How can you not like the makeup of this team? They have a great rotation lead by Mark Buerhle, a steady bat in Jermaine Dye and of course the mad scientist Guillen who is heavily underrated as a Manager. The problem is you really don’t know what to expect from them on a game to game basis. They seem to have the tools to be great, but it may take time. Also you have to wonder if eventually this team will tune out Ozzie. His fiery style may finally be wearing thin, and unless he can deliver on the field he might be in a studio by October.

AL East: Old Kevin- New York Yankees. Smart Kevin-Tampa Bay Rays

Expect The Rays to win the east and this guy to win the MVP.

Ok I had to throw in one shocker. Why don’t I trust the defending champs? The best looking pitcher in spring training was A.J. Burnett for one (C.C. Sabathia looked miserably bad). Two, A-rod has been in the news for things other than baseball, again. Three,  Joba Chamberlain isn’t saying it, but he looks like a disgruntled reliever after losing a rotation spot to Phil Hughes. I think these Yankees also have to go through being the prey for the first time to get a good feel for them. This is a different Yankee team because these boys are more blue-collar than the teams of Yankees past. You have to wonder if that laid back style will falter when the pennant race heats up, and the pressure of repeating kicks in.

So why Tampa? Like I said, this is their last chance to win a title for another ten years. They won’t keep Crawford and Pena after this year. They may deal Matt Garza. This might be a different team next year. They will play like their lives depend on it. This team is so undisciplined at the plate (ahem, B.J. Upton), so streaky and so hit or miss that you love them one second, and pull your hair out the next. Yet Joe Madden had righted the ship for two straight years. He’s molded Matt Garza into an ace, Evan Longoria into a star (he’s my AL MVP) and a league laughingstock into a respectable contender. The urgency is there and I think Madden will mold it into another division title and possibly a World Series birth.

Team to fear in two years (once they get some pitching)- Baltimore Orioles

I hate admitting this, but Baltimore is almost back. If Peter Angelos can somehow spend a little money on a pitcher next year or down the line (how crazy would it sound to get Cliff Lee or Zach Greinke in Baltimore?) then this team could be better than Boston or New York. The outfield is set for years to come with Nolan Reimold, Adam Jones and Nick Markakis, and Matt Wieters behind the plate will be a monster. Yet it’s that product on the mound that hurts them more than anything else. They thought Jeremy Guthrie was an ace, oops. They thought Erik Bedard was as well, oops number two. Instead of getting pitching one year they got Sammy Sosa. Angelos had been so bad in making this team competitive that it’s a wonder that all of this talent fell into their lap.

He has routinely made decisions that hurt the Orioles on and off of the field. Go to an O’s game when the Red Sox or Yankees are in town and you’ll know what I’m talking about. It’s embarrassing that Camden Yards becomes Yankee Stadium and Fenway South. Angelos has ticked off his own fans and turned them into fans of the enemy. Yet here he is on the cusp of reviving baseball in Baltimore, one of the best baseball towns in America. Will he finally get it right? (Probably not. If you ever live in Maryland than you know that Peter Angelos is loved about as much as the Yankees. AND YOU KNOW HE WONT DO ANYTHING REMOTELY CLOSE TO MAKING THE ORIOLES LOOK GOOD!)

World Series: Old Kevin- Yankees vs. Phillies with the Phillies winning it all

Smart Kevin- Tigers vs. Cardinals with the Cardinals winning it all

I really like the Cardinals this year. I like the rotation with the addition of Brad Penny. I like the subtraction of Rick Ankiel and having Cody Rasmus in Centerfield. I like the lineup headed by Scott Schumaker with Pujols, Holliday and Ryan Ludwick in the middle. This team is capable of winning the title with what they have, save for possibly acquiring a middle reliever at the trade deadline. It is a good mix of youth and experience. Plus the best player in the game plays for them so why not take a flyer on them.

So there you have it. No crazy picks, no ridiculous obsession over the Yankees. A smart pick to win the title from a crazed baseball fan. However, you all know I think the Yankees will win it all. You’ll read my facebook statuses and watch me cry, whine and moan every time A-rod strikes out or Robby grounds into a double play. Just remember don’t blame me, blame Cashman and the powers that be. They made all Yankees fans like this. I just have to keep reminding myself that we’re World Champions. That does sound great doesn’t it?

AL EAST- RAYS                         NL EAST- PHILLIES

CENTRAL- TIGERS                   CENTRAL- CARDINALS

WEST-MARINERS                    WEST- ROCKIES

WILDCARD-YANKEES              WILDCARD- DIAMONDBACKS

NLCS- PHILLIES VS. CARDINALS          ALCS- YANKEES VS. TIGERS

WORLD SERIES- CARDINALS VS. TIGERS        CARDINALS-WORLD CHAMPS

AL MANAGER OF THE YEAR- DON WAKAMATSU NL- TONY LARUSSA

AL CY YOUNG- CLIFF LEE        NL- CHRIS CARPENTER

AL MVP- EVAN LONGORIA      NL- RYAN HOWARD

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About brooklynbuckeye


4 responses to “This Years Smart Baseball Picks

  • Andrew

    For my Phillies fans…

    E-A-G-L-E-S… EAGLES!

  • whitsport

    haha the Mets, what a joke. Not sure about your assessment of the Tigers though…

    http://whitsport.wordpress.com/mlb-preview/

  • Brian Scully

    I love being able to read your preseason picks every year with a confused look and concern that as a sports fanatic, I don’t know how you miss some things!

    First let me say, I know that I am writing this a few days after you posted, but Jermaine Dye doesn’t have a job and Cliff Lee is already on the DL! So, in regards to their associated comments in your posting, I will have to assume you just missed something.

    Rather than commenting on the commentary that starts your blog, I am going to jump right in with your picks and take on the divisions.

    The NL West is the saddest division in MLB. Who would have thought divorce would be the Padres and Dodgers biggest opponent. With sites like dodgerdivorce.com out there and Manny not on PEDs, there is little chance this team repeats. They will have no money to spend at the deadline, and actually might end up dumping depending on how ugly the proceedings go. Oh, and there is the fact that Vincente Padilla is/was there opening day starter! C’mon!

    The Giants will lose two to three games a week by exactly that score 2-3! I love their pitching too, but you can’t put that much pressure on a rotation day in and day out. Do you remember the Rockies a la Dante Bichette and Larry Walker? Its basically the bizzaro version of that team.

    The Padres are Chris Young, Health Bell, Adrian Gonzalez and Kyle Blanks. Otherwise, they are washed up, has beens with a sprinkling of young talent that needs a few years in the minors to not be subjected to losing all the time.

    The D-Backs will be surprisingly better than most predict. I keep picking them, so they have to be! The pitching is better even with Webb’s return unknown, since he pitching one game last year. Yes, the strike out enough to claim copyright on the letter K, but the offense has so much potential that they will have to put it together soon.

    The Rockies are the class of the division. They have depth in the field and in the rotation. They have former closers to cover while Street is on the shelf. And most importantly, they have that “it factor” that is so important. They play to win games, how can they not win the NL West.

    I promise I won’t rant on each division like the NL West!

    The NL Central is exactly what it is every year. The Cards are the class, which hurts to say as I have family from Chicago. But they are the best team with the best player in baseball. They have two great starters and will patch up the bullpen at some point.

    Chicago got better but just getting rid of Bradley. I don’t care if Carlos Silva pitches 30 games and has an ERA or 30.00, he was worth it. But Zambrano is huge question mark, and tell me that you trust anyone in that rotation.

    The Brewers have an outside shot of being a good team. I know Randy Wolf isn’t CC Sabathia, but he is a talent lefty that will keep them in games long enough for their powerful offense to kick a couple across the plate.

    The Reds as before, are mirage. Edison Volquez is on the shelf, the rest of the staff has done nothing in the last few years to make me want them as a fifth starter. Votto and Bruce are great, but Rolen will break down Phillips disappears and the rest of the offense are backups.

    As for the Pirates and the Houston “Old Phillies Players,” I have one thing to say. I hope they like golf. Because there isn’t much to look forward to but the off days.

    Now for the NL East. The Mets should change there name to the MASH. They can’t stay healthy, especially with testing nowadays. Santana is tremendous, but he can only go once every five. I used to fear this team, now I just pitty them.

    The Marlins are, as always, young and talented. They could make a good run like they do every year, but their lineup has holes even if Coghlan repeats his performance. And the back end of the rotation and bullpen are huge question marks.

    The Nats are really a fun team to watch…….if you like watching losing. Zimmerman has been a great player since they drafted him in June and brought him up in September. I was amazed to see a guy step into the Majors had play like he had been there for years. That being said, they are on watch for two things. Not in any particular order, but the promotion of Strasburg and the potential drafting of Bryce Harper.

    The Braves are the biggest threat of an upset. They have the potential for a deadly rotation, a good bullpen and a solid everyday lineup. But the key, as it is every year is at third. If Chipper goes down for anything more that one 15 day DL stint, Jason Heyward will not be able to carry that offense by himself.

    “My” Phils will take the East again. They have the best pitcher in the NL. Yes, I said it. I know there is Santana, and Carpenter/Wainwright and Lincecum, but I am not sure anyone will stop Doc from winning 25 games. I mean the guy should have been in consideration for the Cy last year (17-10, 2.79, 239 IP, 208 Ks, 9 CGs, all for Toronto!). They have no holes in the lineup. I know you say Rollins is at best a seven hole hitter, and I am cheating, but he went 2 for 4 with 2 BBs today. I think last year’s start was a fluke as you thought Hamel’s year was. Speaking of Hamels, I cannot imagine he has as bad a year. The hangover and time demands of the World Series MVP can be a huge distraction. I see a bounce back there. Okay, Lidge, Romero and Blanton started the season on the DL, but all will be back soon. We only need to close games when they are close and we start with three games against the Nats.

    The AL West is a bit tricky. With key loses of Figgins, Vlad and Lackey, one would think the Angels are falling back. But Vlad was a shadow of himself the last few years. And Lackey was hurt for a good part of last year. Not to mention, half their rotation started last season on the DL. Yes Figgins is spark plug but the time has come for someone else to carry that mantel. Shoot, I thought of him as a young Melvin Mora not much more. Right off the bat, I am telling you Scioscia will not let them lose. He is the best manager in baseball.

    The A’s are a few years away from realizing their young talent, but the pitching is coming.

    The Rangers are a good team, but when Nolan Ryan questions the ability of his ace, you have to worry. Speaking of worrying, do you think Josh Hamilton has to be thinking all those drugs might have done some damage? They have a good offense, but they play in Arlington!

    Seattle is trendy pick. But they are two years removed from 101 losses! Yes Felix is good and Lee is a fantastic number 2, but he is already hurt. I think that is what was brilliant about that trade. Lee had a Cy Young season, then a good one last year, and a great postseason. But show me more than a few years. Do you want me to post Halladay’s baseball card? This team needs more offense and Figgins isn’t the answer. And now for my Milton Bradley rant. He is a club house cancer. He is the baseball version of TO. He is lucky that someone thinks his bat is worth a nickel, much less all the money he makes. I was glad to see the Cubbies get rid of him. Shoot had they gotten a sack of potatoes it would be worth it. Oh, and he is not a clean up hitter.

    On to the AL Central. KC and Cleveland aren’t worth the breath. So its up to Minny, Motown and the other Sox.

    Minnesota has almost the same team as last year. They are moving into a new stadium. They signed the best player not named Pujols to a long term deal that was team friendly. They are riding a high. Unfortunately, I don’t see it lasting a full season. I don’t see that they have the pitching in either the rotation or the pen. Nathan was key to them, and his presence will be missed.

    Detroit was a confusing team to follow this offseason. I thought they were rebuilding, then they go after Valverde and Damon. Their lineup is either too young, too old or too drunk to make me feel good about an everyday consistency. The rotation looks pretty good, but Verlander is the only one you could remotely call a sure thing. I just don’t see them putting it together for another year.

    The White Sox are my pick. Look at that rotation! Peavy, Buehrle, Floyd, Danks and Garcia. I know Freddy was washed up, but he did his best work under Ozzie. I think they need one more thumper in the middle of the lineup, but Dye is still out there. I like the defense. So, other than Andruw Jones being their DH, I am not seeing a place to make a big jump. Kenny Williams is a master and I will be curious to see where they go.

    Finally, the AL East. You won’t be happy, but the Yankees don’t have the best rotation. I think they are third behind Boston and Tampa. AJ Burnett is due for a blow up season. CC looked like a different pitcher in the preseason, and he got thumped last night to start the season. The infield is aging. Jeter was not the gold glove shortstop (Elvis Andrus could run circles around him.) ARod got the monkey off his back, but will it help? Damon was key to the lineup and Matsui will be missed. Granderson already peaked a few years ago, and he can’t hit lefthanded pitching. Is he going to be platooned??? Nick Johnson is not a DH. He is a DL place holder. I am guessing by mid-May he will be almost permanently out of the lineup. And Gardner is a pinch runner/defensive replacement, not a starting left fielder. That said, they have a hell of a pen.

    Toronto is already 10 GB. The Orioles will be scary if the talent starts to come together as it looks it will. As you said, a locked in outfield. A good young catcher. One of the best leadoff guys in baseball. So its all about pitching. I imagine that between Matusz, Tillman, Bergeson, Arrieta, and Hobgood at least two have to pan out. If one of the other three comes in as a 4-5 starter, they will only need to add some pieces. Living here, I understand the Angelos issues, but he handed the keys to Andy MacPhail. Andy has built this team and the rumor was that Angelos wanted to go out and make a free agent splash. MacPhail more or less told him to save his money until the pitching comes around so watch out for next year or the following because this could be a team like Tampa has been.

    To touch on Tampa, it is sad that they can’t keep their players. I think their window is closing somewhat. Crawford will be in NY or Boston or Chicago or LA (or maybe Philly with Werth leaving next year) and Pena will move on too. But don’t feel too bad, they have a ton of young talent still coming up. Their rotation has the potential to be the best in baseball. Wade Davis is nasty and is the fifth starter!?!

    As for Boston, they might need a 4th or 5th starter. But Matsuzaka is on the DL. If he comes back, where is their hole? Really, I don’t see it. Mike Cameron is their 8th hitter! Seriously!

    So here are my picks

    AL East – Red Sox NL East – Phillies
    AL Central – White Soz NL Central – Cardinals
    AL West – Angels NL West – Rockies

    AL Wildcard – Yankees NL Wildcard – Braves

    ALCS – Angels vs Red Sox
    NLCS – Phillies vs Cardinals

    World Series – Boston over Philadelphia

    AL Cy Young – Felix Hernadez
    NL Cy Young – Roy Halladay

    AL Manager of the Year – Sciocia
    NL Manager of the Year – Clint Hurdle…I mean Jim Tracy

    AL MVP – Victor Martinez
    NL MVP – Albert “MVP” Pujols

    So there you go! I think we could talk for days about all this but seriously, you picked the Reds and Mariner two years ago. Haha!

    • brooklynbuckeye

      i thought jermaine dye did have a job…oops. anyway Victor Martinez as MVP? really? is this including the summer months of june and july where he hit .170 and .249 last year? plus the fact that he cant call a game to save his life? i know Jason Varitek cant give you anything offensively, but with the rotation they have set up he is the much better option behind the plate than Martinez. Also if anyone is going to be considered MVP for Boston it’ll Kevin Youkilis. he’ll put up his usual .330/30/110 and possibly more with David Ortiz not taking roids anymore (or b12 vitamins).

      the Braves wont make the playoffs for three reasons: 1. chipper jones wont stay healthy, so they wont have a steady bat in the lineup out outweigh the big swingers that will be Jason Hayward, Brian McCann and Troy Glaus. 2. they will rely on a staff that features two young guns (Tommy Hanson, Jair Jurrjens), an oft-injured TIm Hudson, a wild card in Kenshin Kawakami and Derek Lowe who HAS NEVER PUT TOGETHER TWO GOOD YEARS CONSECUTIVELY…EVER! and 3. their closer is Billy Wagner, no explanation needed.

      The Red Sox (and for that matter The Yankees and Rays) have to go through the toughest division in Baseball and have enough gas to win the World Series. The AL East has turned into the Big East of Baseball with 3 teams that have outstanding power pitching, the potential to score a ton of runs and dont really have help on the backends of the rotation to help them get through the season without overusing their starters. Josh Becketts first start was nothing short of disasterous (C.C. Sabathia wasnt much better) which doesnt look good for a team who last year thought they had all the starting pitching they needed to win it all and found out in June that they were in trouble. If Anything the Phillies have the formula to beat the Sox, Rays or Yankees from the top of the rotation, to the lineups and into the bullpen (that is of course if Brad Lidge comes back mentally and physically healthy).

      but hey it should be noted that i learned from the reds and mariners a few years ago. I almost took the Rangers to win the West until Ron Washington decided to test Rick James’ theory that cocaine was a hell of a drug. so im getting smarter.

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