Friday, March 29, 2013

Did You Know that MLB Opening Day is Coming Up? Me neither. SO Let's Make Uninformed Predictions!

It's Almost Opening Day...And Even The Grounds Crew Aren't Excited
Although once known as "America's Pastime," baseball has morphed into something that only pays tribute to a time in America's Past.  Whether it's the length of the games, the steroids, the lack of prominent American players, or personal preference, MLB has lost its panache. The only saving grace to a large portion of its remaining fans is the long, and sometimes arduous, Fantasy Baseball season.  As the boys of summer get set to take the field this season, I sat back for about 15 minutes and came up with the following predictions.  Hey, it worked out for me in last year's world series.  Why not now?  We'll start with the AL East.

AL East:

1.  Tampa Bay Rays: Even though their franchise and fan base is one of the biggest travesties in professional sports, you cannot argue with their brand of winning.  If Evan Longoria can stay healthy, the Rays may run away with the division by August.  I know, the Blue Jays made all those moves, but NL players moving to the AL struggle at first (even Pujols struggled).  Specifically, pitchers struggle, and I was never a big fan of R.A. Dickey in the first place.  Record: 94-68

2.  Toronto Blue Jays: Is there a sexier pick this year than the Blue Jays?  Canada's team finally has something to cheer about again.  I do expect them to struggle out of the gate due to the flux of NL players playing in the AL for the first time (Josh Johnson, Jose Reyes, R.A. Dickey to name a few), but they'll right the ship and finish behind the Rays.  It's surprisingly fun to say that the Rays and Jays will finish atop the AL East.  Let's just hope that they will have more success than this Ray J.
Record: 90-72

3.  New York Yankees: Conversely, is there a less sexy pick than the Yankees this year?  This is a team that is showing its age with all of the injuries (Jeter, ARod, Texeira, and Granderson to begin the season on the DL).  Despite all of this, manager Joe Girardi has his roots in playing small ball, and was successful at it in his time with the Marlins.  This Yankees team will win a bunch of games, just not the way fans are used to seeing them win.  They have a boatload of speed with Brett Gardner and Ichiro, and they still have an AL-MVP candidate in Robinson Cano in the heart of the lineup.  Plus, Mariano Rivera is back and makes almost every game 8 innings long.
Record: 87-75

4.  Baltimore Orioles: Seriously, how did the Orioles make the playoffs last year?  By winning 29 one-run games.  That won't happen twice.  And I think the pendulum will swing towards more losses rather than more wins.  And it's not because the Orioles got worse, it's just that the division got significantly better top-to-bottom.
Record: 75-87

5.  Boston Red Sox: It's sad to see, but this franchise is running itself into the ground.  There isn't much to be excited about in Boston, and when you look at how many things have to go right in order for this team to compete, the list is too long and too much of a longshot.  Felix Doubront has the fanbase excited, but unless he's the second coming of Roger Clemens, this rotation will still be lackluster at best. The lineup has not been intimidating since the days of Manny Ramirez and his PEDs (coincidence?  I think not).  This team simply isn't good enough.  And that makes for some great Facebook/Twitter status' from fans.  Can't wait!
Record: 70-92


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