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Old 03-03-2005, 11:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Make your 2005 MLB Predictions Here

Team are listed in the order I expect them to finish:
AL WEST
Los Angeles of Anaheim Anaheim of Los Angeles Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim:
Right? Yeah, they’re good and stuff. Similar team to last year, but they’ve upgraded the pitching staff (a Byrd in the hand is worth more than Ortiz and Percival in the pen), shortstop (Cabrera), and the outfield (Finley). Sure, we can quibble over excess contracts (see Colon, Bartolo, Cabrera, Orlando, Erstad, Darin, and Escobar, Kelvim) and first basemen that make great centerfielders, but hell, at the very least they will be as good this year as last. Nothing wrong with that.

Oakland Athletics:
Oakland is good, too, but some combination of Haren, Blanton, and Harden is not up to the task of replacing Mulder and Hudson yet. The offense will be better than last year, with Crosby a year better, and Kendall setting the table, but they won’t exactly score 1,000 runs. The bullpen will be solid, the bench deep, and a core of good young players will keep this team in contention until September. They’ll probably be disappointing, but then again, John Mabry isn’t the best damn softball player in Delaware - yet. Words to live by.

Texas Rangers:
Despite a lovely nucleus of young offensive talent, Texas overreached last year. Funny, their pitching staff was offensive, too. Expect a consolidation year. This is the time to figure out who starts offensively in ’06, whether or not they can find any pitchers at all, and just how much magic they can realistically expect out of Orel Hersheiser. Stop me if you heard this one: if the Rangers can field even the 10th best AL pitching staff in 2006, watch out.

Seattle Mariners:
The rich have a greater chance of getting through the eye of a needle than the Mariners have of experiencing a winning season. And since the Mariners are rich, too, they are doubly damned to h–e–double–hockey–sticks. Beltre and Ichiro will be fun to watch, very valuable players, but about three smidgeons below what they were worth last year. Jeremy Reed and Miguel Olivo will begin their respective 15-year quests to make Kenny Williams look (even) stupid(er). On a sweeter note, I expect Richie Sexson, Chris Snelling, and every Mariners pitcher under the age of 25 to become bestest friends with trainer Rick Griffin. I know it’s silly, but I have this daydream in which the Mariners sign Sexson by playing The Price is Right. “I’ll take Sexson at $50 million, Bob,” says Bavasi. “Oops, looks like you’re over by about $30 million,” replies Barker. “You lose.”

AL CENTRAL
Minnesota Twins:
Oy. Despite trying their damndest, the Twins will most likely win their division by default for the third straight year. Look, the middle infield is still a mess. Shannon Stewart and Jacque Jones will enter their third straight seasons in which neither one should be on this team. The back of the rotation is still an unknown quantity. Does any of this sound familiar? If the Twins did all the right things, LeCroy, Mauer, and Redmond, Bowen, or Miller would split catching duties. Mauer and LeCroy can share DH time. Jones and Stewart will be traded or sat (especially Jones) in order to give more deserving players like Mike Ryan, Lew Ford, Michael Restovich, and Kubel (when he comes back) time to play. The infield would consist of Cuddyer at third, Tiffee at second, Castro (ugh) at short and Morneau at first. But please, this is the Twins; they never know what to do with the wealth of players at their disposal. The difference between watching a smart, talented person ruin their life with drugs and watching the Twins construct their roster is that the former is illegal, and the latter should be.

Cleveland Indians:
The Indians are very, very interesting - but I’m not ready to anoint them AL Central champs quite yet. Their young players are both good and interesting, but let us not confuse them with young Thome’s, Ramirez’, Belle’s, or even Sexson’s quite yet. The difference between forcing the Twins into a stupid deadline trade and merely remaining squarely in the Minnesota rearview mirror is how C.C. Sabathia and Cliff Lee progress. The bullpen will be solidly above average, but because everyone will compare it to its 2004 counterpart, it’ll become Leonardo DiCaprio-sized overrated. Their year is ’06, once all the intriguing young talent has diluted the chances of any one Indian winning 2005 Rookie of the Year.

Chicago White Sox:
It’s like the White Sox have some tragic case of keeping up with the Jones’, where they see that other teams have nice things so they start to acquire name brand objects as some sort of reflex. At retail price. At least some rolls of the dice will pan out (Iguchi, or maybe one of Los Dos Aging Cubanos), but Podsenik really, really won’t. To be fair, I have to give Kenny Boy props for getting A.J. “Peaches” Pierzynsky. I just don’t see how a dramatically overpaid Garcia, Mark “isn’t that Jim Kaat?” Buehrle, and a good bullpen will be enough to overcome the lack of offense. The lineup will consist of four men who I’m fairly confident will do well in Pierzynsky, Thomas, Konerko, and Rowand; four I’m unsure of in Willis, Iguchi, Uribe, and Dye; and I know Borchard, Crede, and Podsednik will fail like an Anna Nicole Smith drug test. (Too obvious?) Four good starting hitters and two good starting pitchers…well, if you think a winning team they make, I’ve got a penis enlarging cream I know you’d just love.

Detroit Tigers:
Detroit is still on its campaign to be the most bizarre team since the ’99 Spiders. On the plus side, they’ve got Dmitri Young, Rondell White, Craig Monroe, Carlos Guillen, Ivan Rodriguez, and Jeremy Bonderman. If you imagine that all teams got to keep six players, and the rest of the league got randomly distributed amongst the franchises, the Tigers would be starting out in a pretty good position. In terms of value, relocated players would theoretically be distributed evenly – like in a bell curve. So you’ve got to figure that, in this scenario, it’s close to statistically impossible for the Tigers to wind up with 19 other players so awful as to be equivalent in value to what the rest of their team really is. An aside: Magglio Ordonez’ contract was so unfathomably oversized that I wondered if somehow the Tigers had lost some bet, double-or-nothing, to Scott Boras. That man needs to become a hostage negotiator, or join the American U.N. delegation, or something.

Kansas City Royals:
The Royals, well, I doubt there’s much I could tell you about the Royals that you didn’t already know. They suck, and have a long way to go; maybe it’s irrational, but I don’t think any team playing in a city that straddles two states has any right to be good. I mean, come on, that’s just stupid. Beloit Snappers: I’m looking at you. Fun activity for Kansas City fans: every time Calvin Pickering homers, look directly at manager Tony Pena and scream, “Ken Harvey would’ve singled that one!” in a disappointed, scolding tone.

AL EAST
Boston Red Sox:
There’s not much to add here that everyone else hasn’t covered to death. The offense is still sick, and the starting staff may take a slight downturn this year while remaining one of the league’s best. The bullpen will be better. The bench is deep and hairy. What’s the over/under for Schilling and Wells giving up a combined 50 walks this season? So why, you ask, do you pick the Sox over the Yanks? Well, I’ll tell you what…

New York Yankees:
…it’s a tough call, but the tie-breaker goes to any team smart enough to not sign Jaret Wright to a multi-year contract. Wells + Clement > Johnson + Wright. Pavano is what makes this really close, but isn’t quite enough to make up for the superior Sox offense. Look, the team is similar to last years and won’t perform too differently than in 2004. Either they or the defending World Champions will win the Wild Card, and the other the division. Similar to the Red Sox, there is very little I can add about the Yankees that others haven’t already discussed, save this: Tanyon Sturtze is really cool and currently my favorite Yankee. In an on-air interview recently, he admitted that – and I’m paraphrasing – “I’m comfortable being a reliever or a starter. I mean, last year I stunk as a reliever, and I stunk as a starter; hopefully I can continue doing whatever kept me pitching.” He may be no Doug Glanville, but he does make fun of how much he sucks, so they aren’t all that different. I’m going to try and begin my analyses of the rest of the AL East with a one-sentence slogan. Let’s begin.

Toronto Blue Jays:
“Free health care for anyone accidentally injured by the impact of one of our young players cratering!” Everything - and by “everything” I mean except for J.P. Ricciardi’s name still being the coolest amongst general managers – went wrong last year. You know how the Patriots went to the Superbowl, then missed one, but picked up right where they left off and reached football’s championship game again two years in a row? For the 2005 Blue Jays, think “Patriots,” but without the whole “championships” thing. Last year will soon be a bad memory as the Jays pick up where they left off in 2003: slowly but surely rebuilding from within and relying on shrewd trades and free agent pickups in the meantime. Expect rebounds from Hinske, Batista, Halladay, and co. The Jays have too many good young players coming over the next few years to remain this bad. However, do not mistake this for a sunny forecast: unless the Jays start making smarter decisions, and accelerate their improvement rate, they will tread water forever.

Baltimore Orioles:
“At Least We’re Interesting!” This ordering of AL East teams may seem familiar to you, or at least it will be once you remember how to engage in the process of elimination. Lots of high-return, high-risk players with name recognition means that this year will be fun to watch if nothing else. And for that, Orioles fans can be grateful. Yeah, they goosed the Cubs out of Sammy, and good for them. But it is their own interest not to give him a contract extension; he costs too much and can’t possibly draw in fans the way he could in Chicago. I mean, I’m from Chicago, and over here he draws fans to the ballpark like he has his own gravitational pull or something. He won’t do that in Baltimore. I don’t think the O’s are going anywhere in particular. But hey, at least they’re interesting.

Tampa Bay Devil Rays:
“Watch Lou Piniella Scream!” I have a prediction (I know, I know, what else have I been doing? Just bear with me). The year is 2008. Aubrey Huff has been gone for two years. Rocco Baldelli and Carl Crawford decide to test the free agent waters. Scott Kazmir is rehabbing his Tommy John-ed arm in AAA Durham. Delmon Young is only two years from arbitration and absolutely raking. Ditto B.J. Upton. Piniella examines his .425 record as a Devil Rays manager, beats a watercooler into its next life, and asks the new clubhouse attendant where his damn latte is. Suddenly, and without warning, he collapses before he makes it halfway to his Pepto-Bismol cabinet. Aneurysm’s a bitch.

NL WEST
Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants:
At Dodgers-Giants games last year, I like to think that Barry Bonds and Adrian Beltre hung out together before the game, stretching, injecting each other with steroids, and wondering if a lineup of just the two of them could beat a lineup cherry-picked from the rest of their teams’ combined rosters. The Dodgers no longer have Beltre, but then again, the Giants do have Omar Vizquel. My best guess is that Barry Bonds and the Seven Dwarves (that should be a name of a band) won’t get the same year out of J.T. Snow and won’t quite be able to catch up with that oh-so mighty Dodgers offense. Realistically, how good can a rotation relying on Schmidt, Reuter, Tomko, and prayer be? Alou’s slow, aging body and noodle arm will really hurt the San Franciscans in right field. The Giants weren’t good enough last year, and I don’t think they have done anything to get better.
The Dodgers lost a great third baseman. They replaced him with Jose Valentin. Uh-huh. I’ve seen him play for years in Chicago, and he’s an underrated shortstop who is wasted defensively at third and can’t hit enough anymore to stay at the hot corner. However, the Dodgers will have a full year of Choi, whom I think will surprise quite a few people. Will Drew stay healthy? Look: it is very close between the Dodgers and the Giants. Neither team did much to help themselves. The tie-breaker, in my opinion, is that we don’t know how many games Bonds will play. If he plays 150 games, he’ll get another chance to play Baysball in October. If he plays 120, he’ll watch a Dodgers team with less combined offensive talent than him alone reach the playoffs.
Question of the year: which will be more fun to watch, a Gagne-Bonds matchup, or Marquis Grissom struggling vainly to cover about three-fourths of the outfield?

San Diego Padres:
I’ll admit that I thought the Padres were going to win the West in 2001. And 2002. And 2003. And 2004. It’s time to give up; they made a valiant effort. Kevin Towers made the right moves – it’s not his fault that Brian Giles aged rapidly, or that Phil Nevin and Ryan Klesko started to become injury-prone. It isn’t his fault that Tagg Bozied, Xavier Nady, Jake Gatreau, Sean Burroughs and company didn’t become the players everyone expected. It isn’t his fault that Dennis Tankersly is uncoachable, or that Peavy got injured. Look, if one of the veteran hitters stayed healthier and two of the young hitters developed, the Padres would at the very least be in the thick of things. Sometimes, the best laid plans simply don’t work out. And I hate to be the one to say it, but the Padres’ window of opportunity has closed. Really, the only things left for Padres fans are their money, beautiful city, and perpetual 70-degree weather. F*ckers.

Colorado Rockies:
Is Dan O’Dowd’s new crazy scheme for the Rockies building a solid core of young hitters and pitchers from within, giving them time to play, and bolstering them with a good bullpen? Sounds crazy, huh? The Rockies won’t be good this year, but gosh darn, they might be headed somewhere. With J.D. Closser at catcher, Garrett Atkins at third, Clint Barmes at shortstop, Matt Holliday, Brad Hawpe in right, and Jeff Francis in the rotation, these new Rockies will be cheap, young, decent-to-good, and will get better each of the next few years. The Rockies will soon have Ian Stewart, super-prospect, at third as well. If O’Dowd is shrewd, he can turn this into an early-‘90s Indians situation: good to great young players signed early to long-term contracts in a town that will come out to a great ballpark to watch a good team, a decent enough rotation, a killer bullpen, and a few good, highly paid players, like Todd Helton, rounding everything out. Things are looking up, Rox fans, and your team could really be quite good in three or four years. Meanwhile, the new Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition just came out. I’m sure you can think of something to occupy your time.

NL CENTRAL
St. Louis Cardinals:
The Cardinals will most likely experience the devastating impact of the Plexiglas Principal. They also lost Haren, Calero, and Renteria. They replaced them with an alliteratively ailing ex-A’s ace, prayers, and even worse, David Eckstein. They will be good, but will win far fewer game than before. Nevertheless, their core is solid: Rolen/Edmonds/Pujols can rake even without Renteria. Larry Walker will get injured; the question is, when and for how long? They really look like a team better suited for the long-run than the playoffs. If another team’s starter can shut down those big three hitters, I don’t see the rest of the team being able to put up crooked numbers on the board. Plus, their pitching staff is “Whassup!” old and I’m pretty sure that I saw Dr. Lewis Yocum asking Matt Morris’ wife what health insurance provider they use. The biggest reason I think they’ll make the playoffs, though, is that without Haren or Daric Barton, they have no really good prospects, and Walt Jocketty is smart enough to know that this may be the Cardinals’ last hurrah. He’ll trade for somebody good in July.

Chicago Cubs:
I’m not so bold a Cubs fan as to predict they win the division. The lineup is still middle of the pack, and can only score as many runs as last year if Nomar stays healthy. The bullpen is untested. If I remember correctly, the bench’s 90th percentile PECOTA projection is a .190/.200/.210 line, which would look absolutely wonderful if compared to what I would hit as a major leaguer. However, two things are in the Cubs’ favor: 1) the Cubs underperformed their Pythagorean last year, although though Dusty may be a big part of that, and 2) their starting rotation was unhealthy last year, although Dusty may be a big part of that. Because if that rotation stays healthy, look out. Prior to Zambrano to Wood to Maddux. Yowza. As for the Sosa thing; well, lets just say I heard that when Cam Bonifay learned of the trade, he called up Hendry personally to congratulate him and suggested this great outfielder who played for the Rockies last year. My best guess: wild card.

Houston Astros:
The Astros are primed for collapse, as Joe Sheehan so aptly summarized: Baggs and Biggio are a year older, they lost Beltran and Kent, Clemens at best will be as good as last year, Pettite may be injured, Oswalt’s elbow is questionable, they don’t have any fourth or fifth starters, Lidge may be their only decent reliever, and they haven’t filled any of their holes in the offseason. Plus, Berkman will be out for the first month, the Astros will play mostly terrible defense, and Jason Lane will most likely eat bench until it’s too late. Really, though, I’d like to sum up the biggest problem the Astros have: they are paying Brad Ausmus $3 million to suck harder than Creed. I know this isn’t literally the biggest problem the ‘Stros have, but it is indicative of their inability to reign in foolhardy spending. Look out below! The Astros are going spelunking.

Pittsburgh Pirates:
The best thing that can be said about the Pirates is that a couple years ago, their manager literally stole a base. OK, that’s not fair: I like to watch them in order to catch a glimpse of Craig Wilson’s haircut. (Yes, yes, they actually some decent young players this year like Perez and Bay, but come on – I’m trying to be glib here!) [I wrote this before I discovered that Wilson has tragically cut off the world’s only mullet with blond highlights. Damn!] I actually think the Pirates will surprise people with their offense, as Jason Bay, Craig Wilson, and Matt Lawton make for one hell of a more or less acceptable outfield. Hey, this is the Pirates. Wigginton and Wilson and Sanchez and Hill and Ward and Santiago will all pitch in to produce an astoundingly average infield. That is not an offense to be ashamed of. Oliver Perez, Josh Fogg and Kip Wells will do a good job in the rotation. The rest of the pitching staff, not so much. All of which adds up to the Pirates’ best season in years: 76 to 80 wins. If they reach the high point of that projection, it’ll be the best Bucs season since 1992. In case you were wondering, Barry Bonds has hit 527 homers since then.

Milwaukee Brewers:
Little known fact: did you know that, alongside the brat, the polish, the Italian sausage and the hot dog, there is a fifth runner in the Brewers’ sausage race? You guessed it - the Brewers themselves are racing as well, it’s just that they improve in increments so slowly that any forward movement is invisible to the naked eye. I like Ben Sheets, because besides being an awesome pitcher, he’s a genuinely nice guy. I hope for the other Brewers’ sake that they are nice guys, too, because I imagine most of them will find themselves in a new line of work within a couple of years.

Cincinnati Reds:
Lastly, and oh so certainly least, the Reds made the best signing of the offseason; I personally cannot wait to watch Eric Milton pitch in the Great American Ballpark, can you? Let’s see…that’s about $8.5 million dollars a year, which comes to…um…about $17,000 a homerun. This is an absolutely terrible, uninteresting team in the infield, bullpen, and rotation. At least home viewers get to play Pin The Injury On The Outfielder. I like Kearns, Dunn, Pena, and Jr. for varying reasons, but damn, they have to stay healthy.

NL EAST
Atlanta Braves:
At first I though of the NL East, “do I have to give a prediction?” But then, on the horizon…Wait! What’s that I see? A saving grace? Why so it is: I officially gave up not predicting the Braves to win the NL East last year. Sweet! Yeah, so…Hudson was nice for the Braves. Their outfield will be weak, but Giles will…oh, screw it. I’ll just say it: I have no clue how the Braves will win the East this year. Neither do the Braves. One year, they win because of an amazing starting rotation; the next, because of the bullpen; the next, because of a world beating offense. But something utterly improbable always comes together in time. Just ask Johnny Estrada. Hell, I’ll just put my money on a 25-homer Julio Franco performance. That’s about one for every two years of his career.

New York Mets:
The Mets’ season will depend entirely on Pedro’s right arm. So who knows? If it is healthy, they could be damn decent. My prediction is that Pedro pitches 160 awesome innings. Along with Carlos Beltran, this will give the Mets enough of a boost to leapfrog everyone but the Braves, who will be leading the division for some as-yet undetermined reason. Man, if Pedro and Piazza are healthy, this team could be tough to beat. Then again, Pedro’s never healthy, and Piazza’s knees are Britney Spears marriage vows hollow. This is easily the toughest division to forecast; every team save one has a good shot at October ball.

Florida Marlins:
The Marlins will repeat 2004: they will annoy everyone through September, but ultimately will be eliminated by the Cubs. Er, maybe not the last part. But some team will do it. Carlos Delgado cures what ails ya, but I’m not sure he isn’t going to fall just short of really helping this team reach the playoffs. For example, Luis Castillo is hitting for less average, less power (somehow), and is slowing down. Juan Encarnacion is utterly useless. Alex Gonzalez may no longer be The Lesser, but he’s not greater than much. So much rests on the young pitching; I feel like the Marlins are some sort of cliffhanging 1950s comic book. “Will Beckett survive The Blister?! Can Willis control the temperamental Windup? Is A.J. going to survive…his own arm?! Find out in next season’s thrilling Fighting Fish!”

Philadelphia Phillies:
I refuse to believe in a team who doesn’t have the good sense to show Bull Durham to one of their top young pitching prospects. That’s just asking for trouble. More importantly, though, the Phils have probably missed their window of opportunity. Burrell, Abreu, Thome…I’m not sure this lineup is good enough anymore. A couple years ago, when it was a couple of years younger, perhaps. But a new manager and Jon Lieber just don’t fix the damage wrought by Stormin’ Bowa. Unfortunately, Byrd and Rollins and Bell and Polanco won’t be enough to help this long-suffering franchise succeed in this tough division. Just…when they’re eliminated, try to keep the batteries at home, Phils fans. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

Washington Nationals:
This wandering team, composed of but four good players, will be forever remembered as tragic. This time next year, the official won-loss record for the 2005 Washington Nationals will read: 45-117*. That * will be there because they actually won 72 games; it’s just that every time they wore their white home uniforms the official scorer mistakenly marked them down as the “Los Angeles Anaheim of Angels,” then crossed that out and wrote “Anaheim and Los Angeles Angels,” then crossed that out and wrote “California Angels.”

Yeah, that sounds about right.
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Old 03-04-2005, 12:20 AM   #2 (permalink)
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My estimation will be that the Dodgers will be the same as 2-3 years ago - Amazing pitching that nobody can get a leg up on, but absolutely no power whatsoever. Jason Werth may be a great prospect, but tht wont cut it.
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Old 03-04-2005, 03:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guy44
AL WEST
Los Angeles of Anaheim Anaheim of Los Angeles Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim:
...but hell, at the very least they will be as good this year as last. Nothing wrong with that.
Yea, I see nothing wrong with them being as good as last year. I'd enjoy seeing the Red Sox take a circular saw to their season again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by guy44
Oakland Athletics:
Oakland is good, too, but some combination of Haren, Blanton, and Harden is not up to the task of replacing Mulder and Hudson yet.
Agreed, but I think the A's could surprise some folks like the Rangers did last year. I doubt they'll make playoffs or even be in contention after the All-Star break.

Quote:
Originally Posted by guy44
Seattle Mariners:
The rich have a greater chance of getting through the eye of a needle than the Mariners have of experiencing a winning season.
Seattle will be a lot better than this and I could definitely see them winning 82 games, which equals a winning season.

Quote:
Originally Posted by guy44
Chicago White Sox:
The lineup will consist of four men who I’m fairly confident will do well in Pierzynsky, Thomas, Konerko, and Rowand; four I’m unsure of in Willis, Iguchi, Uribe, and Dye; and I know Borchard, Crede, and Podsednik will fail like an Anna Nicole Smith drug test. (Too obvious?)
Although the Sox will suck ass, it will be fun to watch Rowand and Podsednik steal over 100 bases this season. Of course, they'll also get caught in the realm of 50 times, thus enabling the Sox to lose an extra 20-25 games this season.

Quote:
Originally Posted by guy44
Kansas City Royals:
They suck, and have a long way to go; maybe it’s irrational, but I don’t think any team playing in a city that straddles two states has any right to be good.
I never thought about it this way but it is true. I would go so far as to say Philadelphia is in the same boat, which leaves me pondering the likelihood of re-match of the 1980 World Series.

Quote:
Originally Posted by guy44
Boston Red Sox:
So why, you ask, do you pick the Sox over the Yanks? Well, I’ll tell you what…
Okay, you're my new best friend. I agree with you but for the simple fact that the division is the only thing the Red Sox haven't taken away from the Yankees in the past year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by guy44
Toronto Blue Jays
Baltimore Orioles
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
The only interesting thing about this bunch is Scott Kazmir and how many times Sosa and Vernon Wells will swing and miss at his fastball.

Quote:
Originally Posted by guy44
San Diego Padres:
I’ll admit that I thought the Padres were going to win the West in 2001. And 2002. And 2003. And 2004. Brian Giles , Phil Nevin and Ryan Klesko
Okay, with a core line-up of players that begins or ends with any of these guys, a division title or contending are a definite pipe-dream. I coulda told you that years ago and saved you the agony of hoping for a division title since 2001.

Quote:
Originally Posted by guy44
Chicago Cubs:
My best guess: wild card.
My best guess: Alou homers in the bottom of the 10th of a one game playoff for the wild card and the Cubs' fans suffer for another winter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by guy44
Pittsburgh Pirates:
All of which adds up to the Pirates’ best season in years: 76 to 80 wins. If they reach the high point of that projection, it’ll be the best Bucs season since 1992. In case you were wondering, Barry Bonds has hit 527 homers since then.
I agree with this prediction but don't forget about the Bucs pitching staff trying to make it up to the Pittsburgh faithful by surrendering 527 homers this season.

Quote:
Originally Posted by guy44
Cincinnati Reds:
Jr.
Well, Reds fans can take comfort that they will be watching a future hall of famer, at least, that is, until someone takes his contract. Paging Mr. Steinbrenner.

And yes, Junior will make the hall. They took Tony Perez, didn't they?

Quote:
Originally Posted by guy44
New York Mets:
...this team could be tough to beat. Then again, Pedro’s never healthy, and Piazza’s knees are Britney Spears marriage vows hollow.
Interesting concept comparing some aspects of the Mets to Britney. I would change it up a bit, though, and say that Piazza's knees are failing faster than Britney's career and that Omar will take as much crap for signing Pedro from the NY media as Britney did for marrying Kevin Federline.

Quote:
Originally Posted by guy44
Florida Marlins:
The Marlins will repeat 2004: they will annoy everyone through September, but ultimately will be eliminated by the Cubs.
I can't follow you on this one. The Fish are a force to be reckoned with and, IMHO, will take the division. Too many good hitters and too many good young, experienced pitchers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by guy44
Washington Nationals:
This wandering team, composed of but four good players, will be forever remembered as tragic. This time next year, the official won-loss record for the 2005 Washington Nationals will read: 45-117*.
Agreed, but I can't wait for Ted Williams hat day where the first 10,000 fans (if they get that many) receive a frozen Senators hat that has one of Ted's epic managerial pieces of advice embroidered on the back such as "Swing the fucking bat you bush leaguer" or "Sid Hudson, you are worth less than empty bottle of scotch" or "Where's my scotch?" or "Where's my bourbon?" or "I shoulda hocked Mr. Coffee instead of this shit."

Quote:
Originally Posted by guy44
Yeah, that sounds about right.
Good and entertaining analysis overall. The Marlins were my only disagreement.

Last edited by dylanmarsh; 03-04-2005 at 03:21 PM..
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Old 03-04-2005, 03:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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2005 Baltimore Orioles

2004 record: 78-84, Third Place

2005 prediction: 86-76, Third Place

2004 Review:

2004 was an up-and-down year for the Orioles. They had some very good months, and some very bad months. In May three members of the starting rotation were injured, forcing Rodrigo Lopez to come out of the pen, as well as Daniel Cabrera to come up from AA. Both pitched very well. In June the team went on a bad losing skid led by eleven-straight losses by Sidney Ponson. The month ended with two turning point events at the same time: the firing of pitching coach Mark Wiley, and picking up David Newhan as a minor-league FA. Wiley's replacement was Ray Miller, a legend within the Orioles organization, who led the pitching staff to the fouth-best ERA in the league in the second half. Newhan was a shot in the arm to the lineup, and hit above .400 well into August. In the latter part of the season, call-ups Bruce Chen and Dave Borkowski each contributed as the Orioles finished with their best record since 1999, and out of fourth place for the first time since 1997.

2005 Overview:
The Orioles are an intriguing team. They have a potentially great lineup, and a pitching staff with great potential. The Sosa trade was huge for three reasons:

1) It solved one of the burning questions for the past two seasons: Brian Roberts or Jerry Hairston at second.
2) It increased the potential offensive output from the outfield.
3) It finally allowed Jay Gibbons to move to first base, his natural position, and Palmeiro to DH.

This team could win 90 games, or lose 90 games, depending on the pitching staff.

Offense:

Lineup -
2B Brian Roberts
3B Melvin Mora
SS Miguel Tejada
RF Sammy Sosa
DH Rafael Palmeiro
C Javy Lopez
1B Jay Gibbons
CF Luis Matos
LF Larry Bigbie

Bench -
C Geranimo Gil
IF/OF BJ Surhoff
IF/OF David Newhan
IF Chris Gomez
Overall this lineup can compare favorably with the Big Two in the AL East. Injuries to Jay Gibbons and Luis Matos limited their production last year, but both will be healthy this year. Palmeiro had a down year, but hit nine home runs in September and October after being moved to DH and given a few games rest.

Tejada and Mora are the backbone of the lineup. Mora hit .340 last year, and Tejada led MLB in RBI with 150. Sosa adds the potential for more home runs and another right-handed bat to face the tough lefthanders that killed the Orioles last year. Javy Lopez hit .316 as well. Larry Bigbie is continuing to develop into a solid ML player, hitting .280 with 15 home runs.

Pitching:

Starters -
Rodrigo Lopez
Sidney Ponson
Erik Bedard
Daniel Cabrera
Matt Riley

Bullpen -
LR Bruce Chen
LR Rick Bauer
MR Steve Reed
MR John Parrish
SET Steve Kline
SET B.J. Ryan
C Jorge Julio

The starting rotation is where the Orioles will live and die. The staff ERA was 4.70 last season, seventh in the league, but was a full run lower in the second half then the first half after changing pitching coaches, bringing back an organizational legend in Ray Miller.

Sidney Ponson was one of the biggest benificiaries of Miller's return, going 8-3 post-All-Star Break after a 3-12 first half. He hopes to continue that success after a tumaltuous offseason.

Rodrigo Lopez will likely be the "ace" of the staff after going 14-9, after being in the bullpen until May saw injuries to other pitchers. Eric Bedard was one of the top pitching prospects in baseball before Tommy John surgury, and hadn't pitched an inning above A ball before last season. He finished 6-10 with a 4.59 ERA, and is expected to contribute more this season.

Daniel Cabrera was the surprise of last season, going from AA afterthought to Rookie-of-the-year candidate within a month of coming up in May. He is raw, but is developing as he goes and should contribute. Matt Riley is the living embodiment of Nuke LaLoosh. He is projected in the rotation because he is out of options, but he still has more potential then anyone on the staff. Whether he puts it together will remain to be seen.

The bullpen is the strength of the team this year. Jorge Julio and BJ Ryan will fight it out to be the closer. Ryan is already considered one of the toughest lefties in baseball. The Orioles also signed Steve Kline as a setup man, and Steve Reed as a much-needed righty in middle relief.

The two long-relief spots will probably go to two starters who don't make the rotation. In addition to Bedard, Cabrera, and Riley, the Orioles have a bunch of other pitchers. Bruce Chen and Dave Borkowski both contributed as starters last year. Kurt Ainsworth and Eric DuBose were expected to be in last year's rotation, but were both injured by May. John Maine is the pitching prospect closest to the majors, and Rick Bauer can start and relieve, and has been around seemingly forever.

Overall:
The Orioles will live and die by their pitching. If the young guys can step up with their development, Ponson can continue his rebound, and Lopez can pitch like last year this team can be a very good team, and with a little luck (OK, a LOT of luck ) compete for a wild-card spot. The lineup is very good. The bullpen is very good. Hopefully, the team can prove to be very good.
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Old 03-07-2005, 10:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Red Sox, enough said.
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Old 03-08-2005, 12:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I forgot to add my bit about the Diamondbacks, so I'll do it here:

Arizona Diamondbacks:
A quick, Ronald Reagan-level lesson: when an entity spends more money than it receives, it falls into debt. Then, since it lacks money, it can’t buy itself any lunches (after all, they aren’t free) unless, apparently, it knows voodoo. Emperor Bush I understood this, and had the cajones to raise taxes (and thus revenue) in order to try and take the United States out of debt. The Diamondbacks share more in common with Bush Deuce(bag): they spent like money like Paris Hilton at a Plastic Surgery ‘R Us over the last few years, often on dreadful ideas, revenues be damned. Naturally, they found themselves terrible and over $100 million dollars in debt at the end of the 2004 season. Instead of selling off expensive players for cheap youngsters they could build upon, they decided to reinvest gullible investors’ money into the team. Hello, Troy Glaus! Adios, solvency! My favorite line about the 2005 Diamondbacks came after the newly signed Russ Ortiz claimed that the Snakes fully expect to make the World Series this year. When informed of the comment, a Baseball Prospectus author replied, “Does he know they signed Russ Ortiz?” They’re toast, and they’ll be acquiring even more debt for the pleasure of finishing last.
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Old 03-09-2005, 02:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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You know, the DBacks are probably the most misunderstood franchise in baseball. As a fan I hardly understand them. It's very strange. I've read and heard interviews with the owners and the impression I get from them is 'fuck it, we have billions, this isn't a money-making venture' In 2004, they convinced the investors to commit to something like $100 over the next 10 years. By trading Randy Johnson, the DID move their highest price player for Vazquez. They also got a good lefty and $9M cash for it. In the Green trade they got like $10M and they renegotiated his contract so that it runs through 2007 for a total of $32M (Green was due $16M in 2005 alone). The funny thing is that despite the huge attendance drop last season, 2004 was the best financial year for the team (even though they still lost money).

This season, despite the "free spending" they did, they still will open the year with a payroll about $10M lower than last season. Remember, they were freed of RJ's $17M, Finley's $8M, Mantei's $9M, Dessens's $4M, and lots of other smaller contracts. People talk about the DBacks spending money like drunk sailors but they fail to mention that the team payroll is UNDER $60M for 2005 (not quite Stienbrenneresque).

Now about the offseason moves of getting Glaus and Ortiz:

Glaus: Without a doubt he's one of the top offensive 3rd basemen in baseball. Although he has an injury risk associated with him, the $/year amount is in line with other contracts out there for similar players. The fourth year is what could make it a bad deal. As long as he's healthy (remember he had surgery instead of trying to push through the injury that forced him to lose time over the last two years), he'll easily hit 30-35 HR and could possibly hit over 40 in such a hitter friendly park like BOB.

Ortiz: He is a different story altogether. I've never been an Ortiz fan but he defies logic somehow. His DIPS plain ass suck but he's somehow able to win games and post reasonable ERA's despite the terrible walk rates and uninpressive K/9 rate. He does alright because he keeps his HR rate relatively low. If he can keep the HR do a reasonable level, he'll do alright for at least the first two years of his contract with AZ.

Overall, I think people are selling the team way short. Will they make the playoffs? Most likely no, but who knows the NL West is a shitty division. The Giants are a bunch of old men with a crap rotation (Schmitt and who?). The Dodgers are much weaker than last year (Drew at his best isn't much better than a healthy Green is, no Beltre, but good rotation). Padres are the same, and the Rockies still suck. Furthermore, any evaluation of the pitching and hitting of these NL west teams has to inlcude the fact that the teams got to play 19 games agains the DBacks which were basically a AA team after May (hitting, pitching and fielding).
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Old 03-09-2005, 05:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Pirates, hands down, not sure what yet but we will start good and then sell our team for two packs of bubble gum. Sox and Braves in the pennet unless the cardinals don't break down
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Old 03-09-2005, 08:51 PM   #9 (permalink)
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You know, kutulu, I have a good friend who shares the same exact baseball philosophy as me and only disagreed with my predictions regarding the Diamondbacks.

However, I just don't believe that things are gonna go their way.

1) Russ Ortiz sucks. Well, that's unfair. He has never missed a start in his career, throughout which he has always been an almost exactly league average pitcher. In the past, he played in great pitcher's parks, like Pac Bell and Turner Field. Now, he's moving to the hitter's haven in the BOB. In the past, he was young. Now he's entering his decline phase as a 31-year old. The Braves only used him in the postseason after John Thompson got injured. His run support has always been great - something that isn't likely to continue in Arizona. Lastly, his HR rate shot up the last half of last season, and I doubt it'll go down in the BOB, and playing away from all those AL East pitcher's parks.

2) Glaus is not a good defensive thirdbaseman. Also, it is a foolish to assume he will be healthy. Glaus hasn't been healthy in a long time, and there is no reason to wishcast him into the role of healthy bopper. He might stay healthy, but I think it is far more likely that he won't. Which doesn't make him worth that kind of money. The man's only played about 150 games in the last two years. He is only really worth that kind of money if he performs at the upper limits of his possible performance, and I doubt he'll reach that for many reasons.

3) Shawn Green just isn't that good any more. The last two years, he hit .280/.355/.460 and .266/.352/.459. He also wasn't healthy. The last time he had a year worth the money he makes was 2002 - we're now entering the 2005 season and Green's older and hitting and playing about as much as Rondell White, for way more money.

4) The DBacks don't have Randy Johnson anymore. Instead they'll have Javier Vazquez, who at his best won't even come close to approximating Johnson.

5) The Dodgers and Giants both have decent teams - see my earlier post. The DBacks won 51 games last year - do these moves really suggest that they'll be able to compete this year? Do these long term contracts look like they'll be a boon over the next few years? And if the DBacks aren't good, will they make enough money to be able to at least try and accumulate less debt?
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Old 03-10-2005, 09:28 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Compete for the Division? No, but I doubt they will be in last place.

Also, when talking about Russ Ortiz you have to acknowledge that he isn't intended to be our 'ace' starter. He's our '#2' pitcher but it's obvious to everyone outside of the organization that he will be the third best pitcher on the team (Vazquez and Webb should both easily post sub-3.75 ERAs with good K rates).
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Old 03-10-2005, 07:36 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Yeah, but the problem with Ortiz is that he makes #1 money for, at best, #3 performance, while the #4 and #5 pitchers will perform at the level of...well, let me put it this way: I can name 5 Cubs pitching prospects off the top of my head that I would take right now over the DBacks' #4 and #5 pitchers.

In addition, there's two Cubs pitching prospects that I think are a pretty decent shot (Mitre and Guzman) to pitch better than Ortiz.
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Old 03-10-2005, 09:48 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0energy0
Red Sox, enough said.
Geez, win a title and all of a sudden Red Sox fans try to be more like Yankees fans

Yes, the Sox will be good. But they are not far and away above everyone else.

My predictions are as follows:

AL West: 1. Angels 2. Rangers 3. A's 4. Mariners
AL Central: 1. Indians 2. Twins 3. White Sox 4. Tigers 5. Royals
AL East: 1. Red Sox 2. Yankees 3. Orioles 4. Blue Jays 5. D-Rays
NL West: 1. Dodgers 2. Giants 3. Padres 4. D-Backs 5. Rockies
NL Central: 1. Cardinals 2. Cubs 3. Pirates 4. Astros 5. Brewers 6. Reds
NL East: 1. Marlins 2. Mets 3. Phillies 4. Braves 5. Nationals

Playoffs:
ALDS: Red Sox over Indians, Angels over Yankees (wild card)
NLDS: Cardinals over Giants (wild card), Marlins over Dodgers
ALCS: Red Sox over Angels, Cardinals over Marlins
World Series: Cardinals over Red Sox
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Old 03-11-2005, 11:33 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I never added my predictions:

AL West
Angles
Rangers
A's
Mariners

AL Central
Twins
Indians
White Sox
Tigers
Royals

AL East
Yankees
Red Sox
Orioles
Devil Rays
Blue Jays

WC- Red Sox

NL West
Dogers
Giants
DBacks
Padres
Rockies

NL Central
Cards
Cubs
Astros
Pirates
Brewers
Reds

NL East
Braves
Marlins
Mets
Phillies
Nats

WC - Cubs

ALDS - Yanks over Twins, Sox over Angles
NLDS - Cards over Dodgers, Cubs over Braves

ALCS - Yanks over Sox
NLCS - Cubs over Yanks

WS - Yanks over Cubs
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Old 03-11-2005, 12:32 PM   #14 (permalink)
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As a Cubs fan, why don't I find it completely depressing that I'd be delighted with the Cubs losing the World Series to the Yankees, or any other team for that matter?

By the way, you've got the Cubs playing the Yanks in the WS and the NLCS, which I'm pretty sure can't happen. Just a typo, I know...
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Old 03-11-2005, 12:49 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I get it. Just getting to the WS means you had an exciting season.

Quote:
Originally Posted by guy44
By the way, you've got the Cubs playing the Yanks in the WS and the NLCS, which I'm pretty sure can't happen. Just a typo, I know...
Well with the money King George has, anything is possible...
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Old 03-11-2005, 04:13 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guy44
Yeah, but the problem with Ortiz is that he makes #1 money for, at best, #3 performance, while the #4 and #5 pitchers will perform at the level of...well, let me put it this way: I can name 5 Cubs pitching prospects off the top of my head that I would take right now over the DBacks' #4 and #5 pitchers.

In addition, there's two Cubs pitching prospects that I think are a pretty decent shot (Mitre and Guzman) to pitch better than Ortiz.
At first I agreed with you but now I think you are wrong about the money Ortiz makes. First of all, bonafide #1 starters (the RJ, Clemens, Pedro, Schilling, Prior once he hits free agency, etc.) are getting over $15M/yr. The DBacks signed him for 4yr/$32M contract ($8/yr). This was definitely a player's market and $8M/yr was the going rate for a #3 pitcher. Pavano (4yr/$40M), Wright (3yr/$21M), Clement (3yr/$25M), Milton (3yr/$25.5M) Millwood (1yr/$7M). The $/yr matches up perfectly. The only difference is the fourth year and a club coming off a 111 loss season has to offer that fourth year to lure the free agent.

All of those guys are between 29-30 yrs old and none of them have performed consistantly over the last 4 years. Ortiz's ERA has steadily increased over that time period whereas all the others are bouncing from low 3's to low 6's. Despite this, the Ortiz signing gets made fun of a lot more than any of these other signings (except maybe Milton's).

As far as him being outperformed by Guzman and Mitre, possibly, however Guzman is the Cubs' top pitching prospect according to Baseball America.

And on AZ's #4 and #5 pitchers, we'll see. People make fun of Estes (I do too) but I looked at him game log from last year and it was not what I expected at all. Basically he threw 100 innings at a 2.15 ERA, 60 innings at a 6.39 ERA, and 40 innings at a 14.18 ERA. Considering that half his starts were in Coor's field, that really isn't that bad for your #4-#5 starter. If you are interested check out the second to last post on this thread.

Brad Halsey will probably get the #5 spot. It's early in ST but he's only given up 1 hit in his first 6 innings this spring. He could surprise us with a solid 4.50 ERA.

Last edited by kutulu; 03-11-2005 at 04:16 PM..
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Old 03-11-2005, 05:30 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Whoa ... Red Sox over Yankees?

I don't think that will happen.
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Old 03-11-2005, 07:25 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vbuser
Whoa ... Red Sox over Yankees?

I don't think that will happen.
Believe it, Rookie!

The Sox have taken everything from the Yankees in the past year and now it's time to complete the circle of death for Joe Torre's boys and take the division.

I feel a curse forming and it ain't with the Red Sox this time. 20, 30, 86 years from now, Yankee fans will point to Aaron Boone ripping up his knee as the exact moment the Yankee aura was destroyed and a dark cloud formed over the Bronx.
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Old 03-11-2005, 08:47 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by dylanmarsh
Believe it, Rookie!

The Sox have taken everything from the Yankees in the past year and now it's time to complete the circle of death for Joe Torre's boys and take the division.

I feel a curse forming and it ain't with the Red Sox this time. 20, 30, 86 years from now, Yankee fans will point to Aaron Boone ripping up his knee as the exact moment the Yankee aura was destroyed and a dark cloud formed over the Bronx.
I posted this on an Orioles forum and think you all might appreciate it. Won a Larry Bigbie autographed baseball card for my trouble

Quote:
Yankee Win Ends Century of Loss

New York Times - November 5, 2099

NEW YORK-The New York Yankees overcame a century of futility last night, defeating the Las Vegas Expos 3-1 to win Game Six, and the World Series four games to two.

Kacy Clemens III gave up one run over seven innings to earn the win, ending a steller rookie season where he won 22 games, the first Yankee to win more then 20 in one season since his great-grandfather Roger Clemens.

All of the Yankees' runs were scored on a three-run home run by Steve Giambi, who had a Yankees-record 65 home runs during the regular season, and added five in 15 playoff games.

This victory broke once and for all the now-famous "Curse of the Moose", named for pitcher Mike Mussina, who signed with the Yankees as a free agent after the fanchise won the 2000 World Series, and who's penchent for failing in important games set the stage for a century of futility by the Yankees franchise.

Mussina came from the Baltimore Orioles as a free agent, considered one of the best pitchers in the game. However, he never lived up to his promise he showed with the Orioles, never winning twenty games in a season or winning a critical playoff game.

After Mussina, Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, great-grandfather of current owner Marcus Steinbrenner, tried in vain to sign stars to regain his past success, neglecting his farm system in the process.

This came to a head in 2007 when the Yankees collapsed to a dead-last finish. That was only the beginning, as the Yankees spent billions over the next century trying to buy the talent they needed to win.

Only the arrival of the younger Steinbrenner ten years ago, along with his plan for development of the farm system, saved the franchise. The drafting of Clemens in the fifth-round three years ago, and his meteoric rise through the minors is just the most recent of successes that include Giambi and third-baseman Glenn Henson, the American League leader in RBI, thirteenth and fifteenth round picks respectively in 2092.

The Yankees have few needs going into the offseason, which they plan to try and fill from within the system now rated the best of all forty franchises in Major League Baseball.

The Yankees will begin their championship defense March 28 in Havana, Cuba, against the Rebeldes, whom they defeated in the ALCS this season and is generally considered the main competition to the Yankees in 2100.
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Old 03-11-2005, 10:19 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Im a Braves fan so of course im gonna pick the Braves to win the NL east.... But this season im really interested in how Smoltz will do as a starter. What do you guys think about him starting?
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Old 03-11-2005, 11:06 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Being a Marlins fan, I hope that this is the year that the Fish finally win the NL East. But, if they win the wild card and win the World Series for the third time, I won't complain.

Here are some of my thoughts regarding MLB Teams that I know something about.

Marlins - I think the Marlins look pretty good this year. They addressed their main problem last year with the signing of Carlos Delgado. He more than replaces the power that they lost when the traded Lee to the cubs; Miguel Cabrera should continue to improve and could have a superstar season; They continue to have an excellent middle infield which will help settle the young pitchers; and oh yeah, they have pretty good young pitching. Adding Leiter should help develop Beckett and Burnett and provide leadership.

Braves - I am almost positive that Smoltz will not be able to pitch for the entire season. But, I think that when he is healthy, he will pitch well, but they will miss him sorely as a closer. The addition of Hudson is a great addition, but nagging injuries could creep up. The Braves lost a lot of power in the their lineup which will be difficult to replace. But, somehow, they always play well, which makes me sad.

Phillies - In my opinion, the Phillies have a good team this year, and I think that they have been overlooked for 2005. Chase Utley should come into his own this year. They have a solid lineup, a good rotation, and a great closer. Lately, the team in general has tended to underchieve.

Yanks - Like usual, They'll be good, and will be a factor come the playoffs. I wonder how Johnson will handle the big time in NY. It seems that every big name player that the Yanks sign a year or two to come into their own playing in New York. They tossed a lot of money at Pavano, and I'm pissed. Stay away from Beckett and Burnett, please.

Redsox - Like usual, They'll be good and will be a factor come the playoffs. They have a great lineup, and all of their hitters should be healthy come the season. Like so many other pitchers, Schilling is a injury question mark. I can't help but wonder what the long term effects of his surgery will be.

Last edited by lpj8; 03-13-2005 at 10:43 AM..
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Old 03-12-2005, 11:20 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kutulu
At first I agreed with you but now I think you are wrong about the money Ortiz makes. First of all, bonafide #1 starters (the RJ, Clemens, Pedro, Schilling, Prior once he hits free agency, etc.) are getting over $15M/yr. The DBacks signed him for 4yr/$32M contract ($8/yr). This was definitely a player's market and $8M/yr was the going rate for a #3 pitcher. Pavano (4yr/$40M), Wright (3yr/$21M), Clement (3yr/$25M), Milton (3yr/$25.5M) Millwood (1yr/$7M). The $/yr matches up perfectly. The only difference is the fourth year and a club coming off a 111 loss season has to offer that fourth year to lure the free agent.

All of those guys are between 29-30 yrs old and none of them have performed consistantly over the last 4 years. Ortiz's ERA has steadily increased over that time period whereas all the others are bouncing from low 3's to low 6's. Despite this, the Ortiz signing gets made fun of a lot more than any of these other signings (except maybe Milton's).

As far as him being outperformed by Guzman and Mitre, possibly, however Guzman is the Cubs' top pitching prospect according to Baseball America.

And on AZ's #4 and #5 pitchers, we'll see. People make fun of Estes (I do too) but I looked at him game log from last year and it was not what I expected at all. Basically he threw 100 innings at a 2.15 ERA, 60 innings at a 6.39 ERA, and 40 innings at a 14.18 ERA. Considering that half his starts were in Coor's field, that really isn't that bad for your #4-#5 starter. If you are interested check out the second to last post on this thread.

Brad Halsey will probably get the #5 spot. It's early in ST but he's only given up 1 hit in his first 6 innings this spring. He could surprise us with a solid 4.50 ERA.

I don't disagree that Ortiz got money comparable to other #3 guys with similar stats. However:

1) Matt Clement is better than all those other guys and more of a #2

2) Just because the Yankees, Reds, and Indians give Ashlee Simpson-stupid contracts doesn't mean the DBacks should. It is unfortunate that the going rate for middling #3 guys was set so high by the Mets' contract with Benson, but that is no excuse for wasting many millions on these guys.
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Old 03-16-2005, 12:27 PM   #23 (permalink)
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I pick the Reds to not finish in last place. How's that for going out on a limb? Since I just picked up Kearns off of waivers in our fantasy league he should have a great year. You gotta believe.
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Old 03-16-2005, 12:34 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Wow. You got Kearns off waivers? That's unbelievable - up for fantasy baseball move of the year.

Even if he's injured, Kearns will provide crazy value.
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Old 03-17-2005, 05:51 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by guy44
Wow. You got Kearns off waivers? That's unbelievable - up for fantasy baseball move of the year.

Even if he's injured, Kearns will provide crazy value.
He is high risk since he has yet to play a full year without getting injured. Looks like a lot of people are probably sorry they took Prior in the draft. That guy can flat out pitch but he is always hurt.
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Old 03-17-2005, 10:09 AM   #26 (permalink)
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We have two DL spots, right? I might start the year with both filled. I have Prior and Wade Miller. At the very least, Miller will be out till May so I picked up Woody Williams to fill his role till then. PETCO Park is a good pitcher's park so he should fare well there.
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Old 03-17-2005, 11:48 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Yeah it looks like the league is set up with 2 DL spots. I don't know if I want Woody to do so good since I dropped him. My pitching sucks so I am hoping to pick up 1 or 2 after the season begins. There are always a few sleepers.

I wonder how Bonds, Sheffield, etc.. will do this year without steroids. I got Sheffield with my 4th pick.
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Old 03-17-2005, 09:54 PM   #28 (permalink)
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I liked the guy in our league who dumped Joe Borowski for Baldelli three days before Dusty Baker revealed that Ryan Dempster is in the rotation and LaTroy Hawkins is the set-up man for the newly named closer: Joe Borowski. On top of that, Baldelli isn't even going to play until the All-Star break due to a knee injury.

This scenario is exactly why I don't mess with my team until the first week of the season. Although I did pick up Borowski off of waivers and now have 4 closers (Gagne, Lidge and Looper being the others).
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Old 03-17-2005, 10:02 PM   #29 (permalink)
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I wouldn't hold up too much hope for Borowski. Watching him in spring training, he doesn't seem to have his velocity back. He's still about 88-89. In 2002-3, he was about 91-3, and the difference between those two speeds is tremendous. Additionally, and I'm admittedly not a scout, I'm pretty sure he's overthrowing in order to try and get a little more speed on his fastball. He's noticeably falling off to the left more than he ever used to, although it is possible that it's just spring training and he's not yet found his balance.
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Old 03-17-2005, 11:30 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Location: Moscow on the Ohio
Quote:
Originally Posted by dylanmarsh
This scenario is exactly why I don't mess with my team until the first week of the season.
Yeah, I've dropped players in the past that I was sorry about later but what the heck, when you are dealing with players taken at the end of the draft. Closers and sometimes starters are usually the easiest to find after the season begins. And then there are all those injuries.
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Old 03-18-2005, 09:56 AM   #31 (permalink)
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I've been pretty good so far about not dropping players. I did totally fuck up in the pitchers I drafted. I knew that Miller and probably Penny would start the season on the DL but I assumed that once they came off they'd be huge assets to have. Now that Prior is out and the prognosis keeps getting worse I'm going to start with three pitchers on the DL.

I still have Oliver Perez, Smotlz, Dontrelle and Woody Williams to hold things together till they start coming back. It's still a pretty strong rotation. I just hope Penny gets back soon. If I get to the point where everyone is healthy I can drop Williams and have a truly kick ass SP staff.

The Borowski thing pisses me off. I got both Hawkins and Dempster in hopes that one of those two would be the Cubs closer. Hopefully Borowski falters and Hawkins gets it but as of right now I only have two closers (Mesa and Aquino). If anyone is willing to part with a closer, I'm interested. My team is the Bongers.
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Old 03-18-2005, 12:35 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Location: Moscow on the Ohio
I'm sure there will be closers to be had on waivers. Heck, some of these guys may loose their job before opening day. I see that Putz (Seattle) is still available, he will open the season as the closer until/if Guardado heals. Putz is owned in 95% of ESPN leagues.

A lot of people are speculating that Oakland will trade Dotel and the youngster Street will take over some time this year. Street isn't available on Yahoo yet but the ESPN leagues have him owned in 93% of the leagues.
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Old 03-18-2005, 01:20 PM   #33 (permalink)
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That's why I'm holding on to Hawkins for now. If Putz is still available by the time we can start using DL spots I might pick him up. Once the season gets going I'll be checking the waiver wires multiple times per day. I've always had luck there.
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Old 03-23-2005, 01:47 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Location: too far from Texas
2005 predictions:

AL East: Yankees.
AL Central: Twins.
AL West: Angels.
Wildcard: Red Sox.

NL East: Braves.
NL Central: Cardinals.
NL West: Padres.
Wildcard: Marlins.

World Series: Yankees over Cardinals.

Last edited by bond007; 03-30-2005 at 03:08 PM..
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Old 03-30-2005, 06:33 PM   #35 (permalink)
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This seems like a good place to be in November 2005.
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Old 03-31-2005, 08:43 AM   #36 (permalink)
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Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
NL EAST:

ATL
FLA
NYM
PHI
WSH

NL CENTRAL:

STL
CHC
HOU
CIN
MIL
PIT

NL WEST:

SD
LA
SF
ARZ
COL


AL EAST:

BOS
NYY
BAL
TB
TOR

AL CENTRAL:

MIN
CWS
CLE
DET
KC

AL WEST:

LAA
TEX
OAK
SEA


NL WC: CHC
AL WC: NYY

NLDS: STL def. ATL
CHC def. SD

ALDS: BOS def. MIN
LAA def. NYY

NLCS: CHC def. STL

ALCS: BOS def. LAA

WS: BOS def. CHC
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Old 03-31-2005, 09:04 AM   #37 (permalink)
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If Barry is out for an extended amount of time (2+ months), SF moves to 4th place easily.
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Old 03-31-2005, 12:50 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Location: Turn left down that street then right and im on the left
Astros to win it all....I may be a little biased but if everyone stays healthy and the rookies play well you could see Astros WS champs and 2 possible ROY candidates: Luke Scott or Chris Burke (maybe even Zeke Astacio)

My $0.02
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Old 04-03-2005, 01:00 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Just a public service reminder, in case anyone has forgotten in the off-season:



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Old 04-03-2005, 08:08 PM   #40 (permalink)
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After todays game I'm willing to put the Yankees in the WS LOL!

I've been a long time yankee fan, and a friend of mine (has been a fan since the early 70s) says this is quite possibly one of the best yankee/teams made. 1-9, defense, sp, and bullpen

yankees vs. stros
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