Posted on: February 11, 2010 6:24 pm

Spring Is In The Air: Part 1

Even though the Northeast just got battered by another snowstorm, spring is in the air. Even though the groundhog saw his shadow in Punxsutawney, Pa, pitchers and catchers are reporting in less than three weeks. So, with most difference-making free agents signed, it can be a safe time for contenders, pretenders, sleepers, and rebuilding,
The Contenders:1. Obviously, then Yankees. A very strong rotation with C.C.-Burnett-Vasquez-Pettite-Joba/P
hil Hughes. A HOF left side of the infield, a perennial All-Star at first, and a breakout candidate at second in Robinson Cano. A so-so outfield, but Curtis Granderson should fit in nicely at the new Yankee Stadim, and Swisher is steady if not spectacular. Throw in the best closer of all time, and all the money in the world to patch up weak spots at the trade deadline, and the recipe for success is there, per usual.
2. The two-time defending NL champ Phillies show no signs of resting on their laurels. Essentially swapping Roy Halladay for Cliff Lee keeps this team at the top of the National League. Add that to Hamels, J.A. Haap, Joe Blanton and Co., and there is a solid rotation. A power-laden lineup with speed and depth. Should represent the Senior Circuit again in the fall classic.
3. Red Sox Nation was disappointed when Jason Bay didn't resign, but Theo Epstein did not sit on his hands. A busy offseason hauled in Mike Cameron, Marco Scutaro, Bill Hall, another Ramon Ramirez, Adrian Beltre, and the best free agent starter on the market, John Lackey. Lackey joins Josj Beckett, Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Tim Wakefield and a healthy Daisuke Matsuzaka to shape baseball's best rotation. Superior defense and high OPS should make the Sox the wild card favorite if they fail to unseat the Yankees atop the AL Beast.
4. The two-headed monster of Carpenter and Wainwright should make the Redbirds the flavor of the NL Central, where 85-88 wins should do the trick. Keeping Matt Holliday was huge, as Albert Pujols has a partner in crime to scare the pitchers in the National League. Dave Duncan could coax soild years from the likes of Brad Penny and Kyle Loshe. An otherwise unspectacular lineup could see a serious upgrade is Colby Rasmus breaks out. Ryan Franklin needs to be as good as last year.
5. No one can accuse Ken Williams of inactivity. The White Sox GM is the quintessential wheeler-and-dealer. He traded young hurlers Clayton Richard and Aaron Poreda for Jake Peavy, hoping a return to health for the former NL Cy Young Award winner will put the ChiSox into the promised land for the second time in 5 years. Mark Buerhle, John Danks and Gavin Floyd back up the ace to make up a good rotation. Carlos Quentin and Alexei Ramirez need to give this team more than they did last year. Gordon Beckham should be even better. Alex Rios, who knows? Mark Teahen trade was a good one. 
I see these five as the primary threats to capture the World Series trophy.
Posted on: December 10, 2009 8:47 pm

I Believe In.......

America. Babies. God. Love. Joe Mauer. I also believe money corrupts weak people. I don't know if Joe Mauer is a strong man, but I know the Twins, as a franchise, would be dealt a CRUSHING blow if they let this guy go. More than Johan Santana, Torii Hunter, Guzman, Koskie, Milton, Radke, whoever. Do what you have to go, devote literally half your payroll to this kid if need be. Keeping Joe Mauer keeps the Twins alive. Same way the Cardinals need Albert Pujols. It's not common, as we all know, for a superstar player to remain in one place for their entire careers. Shaq is on team number four. Brett Favre team number three. Roger Clemens played for four teams, Pedro five. It goes on and on. A much shorter list is iconic players starting one place, and ending there as well. Jeter will do it. Pujols, Mauer, maybe. I hope so. Good fans deserve to see that. The Pohlads were notoriously cheap owners, and the Twins still win the Central every other year it seems. Ron Gardenhire gets the most out of these guys, stresses fundamentals, all sunshine and rainbows. As a Red Sox fan of this generation, I might never see a guy start here and finish here. I thought at one point Nomar would, and we all know what happened there. I would love to see the Lesters/Youks/Pedroias/Ellsburys of the world stay here always. Chances all four finish in Boston, 1 in 100. My grandfather saw Teddy Williams, Bobby Doerr, and Dom Dimaggio start to finish. My Dad Yaz, Jim Rice and Dewey Evans do the same thing. Even though I am not a Twins fan, have no affiliation to the state and probably will never go to Minnesota, I am a baseball fan and will always be concerned as to the welfare of my favorite sport. I live and breathe baseball. As a fan, I would love to see Joe Mauer stay home, and someday even win a title for Minny (unless at the expense of my BoSox). Give the guy the contract extension he deserves, don't let him get to free agency if you can help it. Seeing this guy in a Boston uni or in evil pinstripes would suck. 
Category: MLB
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