Saturday, April 01, 2006

Money Ball

So the logical transition is to move into baseball, which I am comfortable doing. I really enjoy our national pastime, with a particular interest in the San Francisco Giants. The Giants are an interesting team to dissect because of the attention that surrounds Barry Bonds. I love Bonds and what he can do on the field, but after reading about his life outside of baseball, I have become very sour on him. I frankly wish he would retire so we could move on from this mess. But, he has too big of an ego, and wants to hit more homeruns than Babe Ruth, so he will stay until he does. Don’t be surprised if he has another “injury” that sidelines him for the rest of the season after he passes the Babe. If he stays on the field this year, the Giants will run away from all the teams in the worst division in baseball, the NL West.

Here are my predictions for the upcoming season:

AL East: Boston Red Sox
I think both the Yankees and Red Sox will be quite competive and be right there at the top in their division come September. I give the edge here to the Red Sox, not so much because of what they did in the off season, but because of the lack of faith I have in the Yankees starting rotation.

AL Central: Cleveland Indians
I really like this team. They have so many great young players. Travis Hafner, who is jokingly referred to as Pronk (half donkey, half project), could be the AL MVP. He is that good offensively. Victor Martinez, Jhonny (not a typo) Peralta and Grady Sizemore will be All-Stars this year. Their starting rotation is good enough. Their achilles heal is their closer Bob Wickman, but he will lose the job soon and be replaced by young flamethrower, Fernando Cabrera. The White Sox had everything go their way last year. They were 61-33 in games decided by two run or less. This won’t happen again.

AL West: Los Angeles Angels
Vlad needs help. He will get it this year in the form of Casey Kotchman and Juan Rivera. These young studs put it together this year and give them a more formidable offense than most people expect. They have a fantastic rotation, strong bullpen and one of the best closers in the game.

Wildcard: Oakland Athletics
This team is so talented, that they will lose Barry Zito at the All-star break and they won’t even miss him. If Harden stays healthy, he will be one of the most dominant pitchers in the AL. Their offense has a lot of spunk. Each guy out there reminds me of Nick Swisher, and you could do a lot worse than having nine Nick Swisher’s running around.

NL East: Atlanta Braves
There is no way I will pick against Atlanta. They have won 14 straight division titles. I am not real sold on their team, and I think the departure of Leo Mazzone will hurt them quite a bit, but not enough that they fail to win the division.

NL Central: St. Louis Cardinals
This team is regressing, but they are still the class of this division, by a long shot. The other teams have too many question marks. It doesn’t hurt that they have the best player in baseball, in Albert Pujols, on their team.

NL West: San Francisco Giants
This division sucks. The Padres embarrassed the division last year making the playoffs with a record of 82-80. There is no reason to believe they will do any better. Ned Colletti, left the San Francisco Giants to create the San Fernando Dodgers, with a roster filled with ex-Giants. It did not work in SF, and it won’t work in LA. By the way, Ned, the secret to your success was Barry Bonds, which the Dodgers do not have. The rockies and diamondbacks have no chance, which leaves us with the Giants as the division leader. This assumes that Bonds will play half (or less) the season. The Giants could be great is Bonds stays healthy and ignores all the media and hate mail he receives this year. I say he snaps and exits mid season. The Giants should still be able to win this pathetic division on the strength of their starting pitching.

Wildcard: New York Mets
It may take some time for this team to start playing and winning together, but this team is loaded with talent. I like Willie Randolph and his aggressive style to keep these guys loose. It is hard to bet against this much talent.

World Series: NY Mets over LA Angels
Money is going with the Money and picking the Mets to win it all. This will be the fourth wildcard team in five years to win it all.

AL MVP: Vladimir Guerrero
NL MVP: Albert Pujols

AL Cy Young: Roy Halladay
NL Cy Young: Roy Oswalt

More Roys!

AL ROY: Fernando Cabrera
NL ROY: Ryan Zimmerman

NOTE: There is a comment field at the end of each article if you feel like expressing your anger publicly.


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