At long last, baseball season is finally here. I always start getting excited about baseball in February and this year was no exception.
Of course, I don’t know why I’d like baseball. I mean, as a Cubs fan I am pretty much destined to have the season end in gut-wrenching fashion whether in be in July or October.
Still, I have high hopes for this season. The Cubs always seem to do better when one of their former icons dies in the offseason. Here’s hoping Ron Santo can play a little Angels in the Outfield this year.
That said, here are my predictions for the year. Be sure to go to Vegas and bet the exact opposite.
1. Boston: Top to bottom, the deepest and most talented team in all of baseball.
2. New York (WC): Starting rotation still has a lot of question marks, but Yankees will still easily win the wild card.
3. Tampa Bay: Manny and Johnny Damon will help keep the Rays in contention for a bit.
4. Baltimore: Making strides, but still in the division of death.
5. Toronto: Not a whole lot of positives coming from Canada.
1. Chicago: The most solid of the Central squads. Bullpen still a bit of a question, but the offense is stout.
2. Detroit: Pitching staff will need to carry the Tigers.
3. Minnesota: A lack of pitching is going to hurt them this year.
4. Kansas City: Same old Royals.
5. Cleveland: To think, they could have a rotation led by Sabathia and Cliff Lee if it wasn’t a small market.
1. Texas: No Lee, but the pitching staff is still solid. Offense is great, too.
2. Los Angeles: Going to be a lot closer to Texas assuming the pitching stays healthy.
3. Oakland: Injuries always seem to affect the A’s.
4. Seattle: Still a long way from being a competitor.
AL MVP: Adrian Gonzalez, 1B, Boston
AL Cy Young: David Price, Tampa Bay
1. Philadelphia: A little banged up, but that pitching staff is still top notch.
2. Atlanta: I’m not as high on the Braves as a lot of people are.
3. Washington: They are building a nice foundation for the return of Strasburg and the arrival of Bryce Harper in 2012.
4. Florida: Will be a pesky team, but won’t turn that into a lot of wins.
5. New York: The Mets are a mess. Period.
1. Milwaukee: Deep pitching, strong offense and a motivated Prince. If Brewers don’t win the division, then they never will.
2. Chicago (WC): The offense isn’t great and the starting pitching is solid, but not overwhelming. However, I think the Cubs have the best bullpen in the NL. That can go a long way in a baseball season. (Editor’s Note: This was written before Marmol’s implosion against Pittsburgh on Sunday.)
3. Cincinnati: Injuries already making a repeat of last year a tough chore.
4. Houston: Well, the kids will play hard. Too bad a lot of them aren’t very good.
5. St. Louis: With Pujols in lame duck status, I predict a collapse by the Cards this year.
6. Pittsburgh: See Kansas City.
1. San Francisco: Posey is only going to get better, as are the young pitchers.
2. Colorado: Would be nice to see them play well before August for once.
3. San Diego: Not going to have a dream season like last year, but won’t be an easy out either.
4. Los Angeles: They say kids are affected the most in a divorce. The McCourts have proved that with the Dodgers.
NL MVP: Ryan Braun, OF, Milwaukee (I got a hunch on this)
NL Cy Young: Roy Halladay, Philadelphia
Division: Boston over Chicago, New York over Texas
ALCS: Boston over New York
Unless they have injury issues, the Red Sox are just too strong.
Division: San Francisco over Milwaukee, Chicago over Philadelphia
NCLS: Chicago over San Francisco
I’m a homer. However…I do think if the Cubs are in this come July, they are going to make a move for a big piece, whether it’s a top starter or a good bat (more likely). The Giants proved if your pitching gets hot at the right time, you can win a pennant.
Boston over Chicago in six
I would cry. And then find a way to blame Bartman.
Worth the road trip?
People were dogging UConn fans on Saturday because they didn’t have a strong student showing for the Final Four.
I came to the defense of Huskies fans. Why? Because shit ain’t cheap these days.
To come to Houston, that would have involved fans forking over at least $600 for plane tickets from Conn., with only six days notice.
“Why don’t they just drive?” people asked me on Twitter. Simple — it’s almost as expensive as flying.
Assuming you drove in a car that got 27 mpg and gas was priced at just $3.40 the whole way (yeah right!), then driving from Storrs to Houston would cost $225 — one way. Did I also mention it is a 29-hour drive one-way?
By comparison, one-way gas costs for the other schools break down like this: Kentucky $126, Butler $130, VCU $168. VCU’s drive to Houston is 22 hours, but Kentucky (17 hours) and Butler (18 hours) are much more manageable.
So, you are talking about a minimum of $450 for gas + hotel + food + 58 hours of driving, all for crummy floor seats for UConn fans.
Look, I love road trips as much as the next guy, but I’d much rather sit home and watch my HDTV then do that shit. Plus, unless you are a UConn recruit, that’s a pretty expensive road trip (see what I did there?).
Give the kids a break. That’s a long and expensive trip to go to a basketball game. I don’t blame them for staying at home.
• I thought there was some brilliance behind Charlie Sheen’s madness. Then I started reading reports from his live show on Saturday night. Sorry Charlie, but this ain’t going to help your brand.
• Great column by Mark Cuban on how Twitter is actually hurting ESPN, unlike other sports sites and columnists.
• While search for a public relations job, this posting came up on a job posting: Model wanted. Ah…I probably wouldn’t be the best for this kind of public relations. Or would I???
• Finally, Rebecca Black’s 15 minutes of fame is surely coming to an end. But it should be fondly remembered if for nothing else than bringing forth this moment of comic genius.
Bear Down and Keep the Faith!