It’s time to once again make some predictions that will probably be terribly wrong. (I had Pitt winning the National Championship this year)
Anyway, here is how I see teams finishing this season….
1- Yankees- There are a lot of things I worry about from Posada’s health to Jeter’s range, but the fact remains the Yankess had a wonderful offseason and are a deep and dangerous team. I think they have improved the defense, offense and pitching staff. They are better equipped to deal with the inevitable injuries they will suffer and Girardi seems looser this year. I think it adds up to an AL East crown.
2- Boston- Great team, great pitching, but I think just a fraction behind the Yankees.
3- Tampa- It’s too bad that the three best teams in the AL are all in the same division. I like a lot of things about Tampa, but this year they are not going to surprise anyone, they will be expected to win. I think those expectations will be tough to live up to for a young team and they won’t repeat as division champs or even make the playoffs.
4- Baltimore- The reason I pick them 4th instead of 5th? See below
5- Toronto- I just have a feeling they are going to launch a fire sale and Roy Halliday will be pitching somewhere else and Alex Rios will be hitting somewhere else
1- Minnesota- Joe Mauer’s back worries me, but I think a full season with Liriano pushes them to the top of a bad division
2- Cleveland- Does anyone else expect Carl Pavano to pitch against the Yankees when they open the new Stadium and fire a two-hit shutout or is it just me? Anyway, I think they just miss out beating the Twins for the crown.
3- White Sox- I think the final three spots are a toss up, but I think Chicago finishes third plus they have a big fan in the Oval Office.
4- Kansas City- I think Detroit is a mess and the Royals have some nice young players, plus Greinke could be great.
5- Detroit- I don’t like the pitching in either the rotation or bullpen and I think it is going to be a long summer for the Tigers.
1- Angels- Losing Teixeira hurts, but Abreu will help replace him. Still the class of the division, but they had better watch behind them because…
2- Oakland- The A’s are closing fast on them. Giambi+Holliday+ young pitchers= a pretty good club.
3- Texas- Signs of life, but as the saying goes in Texas, the baseball season is over when the Cowboys open training camp.
4- Seattle- Bedard is an injury mess and Ichiro on the DL. At least the fans can root for Griffey again.
1- Phillies- I actually like the Mets a little bit better, but after the last two Septembers I am going with the defending champs.
2- Mets- See above, but that bullpen has been reworked and looks great. I have some doubts about the rotation, especially Oliver Perez.
3- Braves- Better than last year, but still not as good as the top two teams in the division.
4- Marlins- The best player in baseball is Hanley Ramirez and Nolasco has been amazing this spring, but I don’t think they have enough pieces to make a run. Then again, they could be the 2009 version of the Rays if everything clicks.
5- Washington- We can update that great baseball line to, "First in war, first in peace and last in the National League"
1- Cubs- The class of the division and possibly the league
2- Reds- I think there will be a revival on the banks of the Ohio this season.
3- Cardinals- Mediocre at a number of spots, but Pujols is amazing.
4- Brewers- Tough to lose all those players and still compete.
5- Pirates- Yes, they lost to a college team last week, but I think they are better than Houston.
6- Houston- This is another team I could see holding a fire sale in the middle of the season. Berkman, Oswalt, Lee, they have some attractive pieces to trade.
1- Dodgers- Manny’s back and that makes the difference.
2- Arizona- Love the rotation and I think they will make some noise before falling short.
3- Giants- They are on the upswing, but the offense needs to improve.
4- Colorado- I would have picked them for last, but there is no question in my mind that the Padres are terrible.
5- San Diego- The worst team in baseball.
Red Sox win the wild card and play the Angels who they beat for the 55th time in a row
Yankees play the Twins and beat them
Red Sox beat the Yankees in the 17th inning of Game 7 when A-Rod forgets to throw to first on a bunt play because he is posing for another photo shoot.
In the NL the Mets are the wild card team and they beat the Dodgers.
The Cubs take care of the Phillies
The Cubs beat the Mets, setting up a World Series between the most tortured fan base in baseball and the former holders of that title. The Cubs win it all, putting an end to 101 years of losing. Embracing the spirit of bipartisanship, the President embraces the team from the North Side for a change.