Guys, the season is starting in a few days and I still haven’t seen an
honest to god prediction out of you yet. What do you think? Is there
anyone who can keep the Yankees from repeating?
We haven’t made any predictions yet? Oh yeah, I guess predicting that the Detroit Tigers will suck this year isn’t really a prediction, it’s just a known fact. Considering that it is that time of year when everyone is making some sort of bold statement as to who is gonna win and who isn’t, I think you’re right, Lee. It is time for RSBS to jump into the prognostication pool (that sounds like something one would find in Vegas) and so we do as only we at RSBS (I, Jeff, not Al ‘cuz he’s a slacker) know how.
(subliminal messages start now)
Compared to its AL counterpart, this division isn’t quite the sexy beast it used to be. The team to beat is the Phillies; and while the Mets look to give a better effort than last year if healthy while the Braves and Marlins lurk behind with plenty of potential, I still don’t see how the Phillies can lose this division. Oh wait. Yes I can; his name is Brad Lidge.
Yet I think the Phils still win it. Ya can’t get much worse than Lidge was last year and they still won the league.
Come now, is there really any competition here? Yeah, sure the Brewers can bop with the best of them but have you seen their pitching staff? Exactly. The sCrUBS? Er…. no. The Astros? Stop playin’. The Pirates? The Pirates!?!? Ha! The only team in this division who might give the Cardinals a run is the Cincinnati Reds, and for that to happen Aroldis Chapman and Johnny Cueto have to both deliver the goods like seasoned professionals (they’re not) and Aaron Harang would have to keep his ERA under 10 (he won’t)… not to mention the fact that Dusty Baker would have to not destroy someone’s arm (he will).
Cardinals. No question.
Hmm. This is an interesting division. My heart says San Fransisco but my heart also says I should be able to drink a fifth of scotch and still be able to dance the merengue with some amount of poise. In other words, my heart is a goddamn liar. There are too many question marks in the Dodgers young pitching staff that I can’t put my money on them. So I turn towards the Rockies — a team with balance, a team with Tulo, a team with purple pinstripes.
San Francisco joins as the Wild Card.
Yankees, Red Sox, Yankees, Red Sox… bla bla bla. Not this year, folks. Yankees, Rays, Yankees, Rays… and Brian Matusz. The Yankees are the best in baseball. Hard to argue against that. The 2010 Red Sox are not the Red Sox we’re used to seeing. They made a major mistake by not bringing back Jason Bay and they’re gonna suffer for it. The Rays… this is the year for them. It’s now or never. And just for fun, let it be known that Brian Matusz of the Baltimore Orioles is one hell of a pitching phenom and a reason to tune into their games every once in a while.
Yankees win without even trying.
Rays take the Wild Card.
With so much money going towards roster scrubs and the recently anointed singles-machine, Magglio Ordonez, the Tigers of 2010 will look more like the Tigers of 2003. Okay, maybe not that bad, but still, they ain’t goin’ anywhere. The Twins will be in the race, but I suspect they will be playing a lot of doubleheaders this year due to that new open air stadium; and their team is still built for turf. I don’t see them catching the White Sox, who in my opinion have the best starting five of any other team in the Majors. If Peavy stays healthy and Floyd and Danks kick it up a notch, I don’t see how they could be beat. Keep your eye on Gordon Beckham too. He’s gonna be a superstar.
Like its National League version, this division causes me fits. The Rangers are right on the cusp of doing something great; but then I look at their pitching staff and see a bunch of crooked numbers on the board against them. The A’s? Uh… no offense, but if you rely on Kurt Suzuki to produce all your offense, I cannot take you seriously. The Mariners look like they should be much improved; but I’m not drinking that kool-aid yet ‘cuz as of now, they haven’t done jack. And how can I possibly bet against a proven winner, a team that gets it done year after year after year?
The Angels win the West. Why? ‘Cuz they do everything right.
And they have a rally monkey.
Now when you put all these pretty teams together, choosing one over the other is no easy task. They’re all
yummy winners. They’re all well-proportioned hot. They’re all doable talented.
So what is one to do?
Personally, I like to fantasize about a world where they’re all in the same room, having fun and going at it with uncompromising competitive bite. But understanding how unrealistic that is, I guess I have no choice but to choose one.
And again, my lying, cheating, pipe-dreaming heart tells me that the Cardinals are better than the Yankees. Yet, I’m smart enough to know that saying as much is not only unrealistic, it’s just plain fantasy.
Still, one can dream, right?
Hate me ‘cuz I get ya all flustered, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
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The Pittsburgh Pirates managed to lose a game the other day to a local
community college. Granted, it wasn’t their best players on the field
that day but they did still lose to a community college. Now, we’ve
spent a lot of time talking about the highlights we expect to see in
the upcoming season but what are some of the bloopers and sob stories
you are looking forward to as well?
The Pirates’ saving grace (after losing to a community college) is the fact that they themselves are a team better suited for the community college circuit. Boasting players most of us have never heard of like Nyjer Morgan, Brandon Moss and Ross Ohlendorf, is it any surprise that the perennial underachieving Buccos start the season picked to win a mind-blowing 65 games? I think not.
But as my sludge-dredging colleague, Mr. Krause, so coyly alludes to, this will be just one of the many “sob stories” we baseball fans are looking forward to in 2009. Now I am no soothsayer; nor am I blessed with magical powers allowing me to predict which gaffes and gripes will take centerstage this season; but let’s face it: some things are just a given. For example:
The Orioles and Blue Jays Will Simply Disappear
If they haven’t already, by the time we hit the month of May, I foresee that all relevance of baseball in Baltimore and Toronto will cease to exist. After a steady diet of Yankees, Red Sox and Rays is slammed down our throats, who will care that Brian Roberts is a shining star in a sea of apathy or that J.P. Ricciardi is single-handedly destroying what was once a proud baseball organization? No one. That’s who.
Cub Fans Will Be Whining About Something
They always do. They always will. They never stop. Whether it’s invoking the spirit of Cub castaway Steve Bartman, repeating ye ole circa 2003 mantra: “Prior and Wood, Prior and Wood, Prior and Wood” or just getting too drunk to know what’s actually going on during the game, Cub fans were born to lose. And in personifying their joyous moniker of “Lovable Losers”, they love to whine. Sure. They’ll win the division. How can they not? But they’ll find a way to blow it in the playoffs and we sane baseball folk will be subjected to yet another lengthy offseason of wouldas, couldas and shouldas — a century old Northside tradition.
Gary Sheffield Will Say Something Stupid
Happens every year, folks. He might even box someone too, that is, if he can find the strength to walk from homeplate all the way out to the mound. And if he plays in more than 114 games, there’s a good chance that he’ll add even more guts and gore to that Phillies/Mets rivalry we’ve all come to enjoy over the last few years. Sheff is certainly setup to give new meaning to the phrase “choke artist”. All Cole Hamels has to do is open his mouth.
Joba Chamberlain Will Try His Luck with Erin Andrews — Again — and Fail Miserably — Again
I know, I know. Ms. Andrews said it was nothing, but we saw the video (which has conveniently been erased from the entire interweb) and let’s face it: Joba struck out like Adam Dunn after an all-night bender. Having been in that situation myself, and being a guy, I think it’s safe to say Joba will go there again. Men are stupid. Ladies, am I right?
Yet looking into my crystal ball, dear readers, the one blooping gaffe that is bound to come up again and again this season is almost too easy to call:
Kyle Farnsworth Will Be the Laughingstock of Major League Baseball
They hated him in Chicago. They hated him in New York. They hated him in Detroit. If the Royals had any fans, they would hate him in Kansas City too. But at the end of the day, no one can deny that Farnsy has become the whipping boy of baseball sadists all across US America. When a kind-hearted She-Fan openly in love with her beloved Yankees rips the man to death in her best-selling book, it is safe to say that Kyle Farnsworth is and always will be fair game. He should’ve known better: “There’s no crying in baseball!”
Hate me ‘cuz I can be an ^ss, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
The five living US American presidents met earlier this week to discuss their hopes and dreams for the 2009 MLB season.
When asked who they thought would win it all this year, they responded with the following:
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
My only solace in the aftermath of being so, so wrong in my playoff predictions so far is that finally, dear readers, we have a World Series matchup — which doesn’t include the Yankees nor the New Yankees (aka Boston Red Sox) — that may actually drum up viewership across this great US America of ours (and perhaps even a handful in Canada).
Whilst the 2006 World Series will always stand out as one of the greatest moments of my lifetime to date, I am completely aware that I was one of very few people who actually gave a damn, considering both the Cardinals and the Tigers weren’t big market teams from either coast. The 2005 edition featuring the White Sox and Astros wasn’t much better in terms of mass viewership nationwide, though it was probably one of the most entertaining and heart-thumping series I’ve ever seen.
Such drama is lost on a nation that worships thwarting monopolizing bullies, NASCAR and blockbuster comedic films starring Ben Stiller as the same haphazard goofball character he plays in every Ben Stiller movie.
But folks, this could be the year for a new found enthusiasm for the greatest game on earth. I believe. For two underdogs with two very unique stories will face each other in the grand finale and though I have been searching my brain for the last 18 hours or so to find the one I want to see win the most, I truly cannot.
The Rays will have the ultimate story going in (working title: From Worst to First After Dropping the “Devil” from Our Name) and I’m positive that an entire band of bandwagoneers will join the drama just to say they were part of it; and in the end, why not? How can you not like this team? They’re young. They’re enthusiastic. They play with heart and passion and speed and pride. And their manager is probably the coolest looking dude in town with those gaudy personality glasses and his “9 = 8” psychomath sensibility.
Meanwhile, the Phillies — whom my colleague Mr. Krause picked to win it all — come in to the World Series playing superb baseball with their starting pitching and clutch hitting leading the Philadelphia way: hard-nosed, hard-pressed and hard-up for a title. Never mind their raucous, undeserved phreakazoid phans. The City of Brotherly Love is as thirsty for a sports championship as the Democrats are for winning an election. And this could be the year.
But if I have to come out and say it, I say this is the year of the Tampa Bay Rays.
Indeed, the Cinderella story will come to its ultimately heartwarming conclusion. And if that pisses you off, Phillies fans, don’t get too riled up; my prediction accuracy is about as on point as Rush Limbaugh is sane: not very.
And for those of you right-wing gun-totin’ liberal-hatin’ conservatives whom I have just offended by saying that, I think there’s at least one thing that we can agree on — no, two things:
1) This World Series is gonna be good.
2) This clip might very well be the best political spoof the planet has ever seen:
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Yes, the sky is falling. Pitcher Micah Owings pinch-hit a dramatic, game-tying homerun; Reverend Wright seems determined to ruin his own agenda and the agenda of Hope politicians en masse; Ronny Cedeno joined Ryan Dempster in predicting a World Series appearance for the sCrUBS; Hillary is still in the race; Roger Clemens can’t get away from his tainted past; Bill O’Reilly is still on the air; the Cardinals — winners of an NL best 10 World Series championships — have won more games in April (18) than they have in any season previous and the media still ignores them; I have watched An Inconvenient Truth five times this week; Albert Pujols has reached base in every game so far this season — every game; and my MLBlog partner Allen Krause — a future ambassador for US Americans to the world — wrote something that the most seasoned grammarian could not even begin to understand:
“The closest thing I could come up with is that the enemy of the enemy
of my friend is my friend. But, that’s a pretty tenuous connection.”
— The Enemy of the Enemy of My Friend? April 29, 2008
Tenuous? Maybe, if we could understand it. Enemy of the enemy of my friend? You were watching a Cubs/Nats game. There was only one enemy (Cubs) of your friend (Me). The enemy of the enemy of your friend would be the Cardinals? But they weren’t even playing. The enemy of the enemy of your friend is your friend? Is this the type of head-spinning verbal ping-pongy misspeak my taxes are paying to teach you? Just for that, they should give me a $600 refund every year.
So since you brought it up, Al (or at least it I think you did), let me talk about the Cubs for a second. Please know that my purpose is not to turn Red State Blue State into an all-out Cub-bashing forum. I am smart enough (see Fulbright Scholar for more info) to realize that the Cubs have put together a solid team this year. But for Sports Illustrated editors to plaster “It’s Gonna Happen” on the cover and a tag line that says: “Fukudome can end the 100-year wait”?
Excuse me while I go puke.
Fukudome can do it? Really? All by himself? He’s the key? Really? What about shoddy defense and crappy pitching? That’s what usually loses it for the Cubs. They’ve been fielding big bats for a long time. Lee, Ramirez, Soriano. How is Fukudome going to come in and save a bullpen infamous for choking late in the game? How is Fukudome going to stop some guy in the left field line seats from going for a foul-ball? How will he then stop the lynching by drunken crazies? Fukudome isn’t the answer and he never has been.
And oh yeah, we’re only at the end of April, and the Cubs aren’t the best team in baseball right now so let’s start talking about them winning a World Series already. Yeah, that’d be prudent. Put it on the front page of a sports authority magazine and PRINT IT!
Even more unbelievable is the fact that Chicago Tribune writer Rick Morrissey finally acknowledged that Cub fans might just be as obnoxious as everyone knows they are in this titillating article. My favorite part is where Morrissey says: “It’s not always the family atmosphere the organization says it seeks.”
Really? You mean cornering a guy wearing the opposing team’s jersey in the bathroom and bashing his head on a urinal isn’t what the organization seeks? You mean Cub fans jumping the wall to attack their own pitchers isn’t desirable? What about throwing beer bottles at right fielders? Is that conducive to a family environment? Thank the gods someone in Chicago (other than me — who can admittedly be a bit overbearing at times) recognizes the ridiculous frat party that Wrigleyville becomes during games. I mean, these are the same family-focussed folks who brought us the “Cuck the Fardinals” t-shirts that show a Cubby bear performing sodomy on a redbird as well as the more recent Fukudome shirts that present a slant eyed Cubby bear donning Haray Caray glasses shouting “Horry Kow“. Wow. What a nice way to welcome the man who you say is going to “end the 100-year wait”.
Yes. Nothing says ‘I love you’ like racism.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right. Especially on this one.
As the baseball buzz starts to stir again with the coming of Spring sotoo does my mind twist and turn, wandering into unknown realms. As
usual, the thoughts going through my head are poignantly provoking
while bordering on the absurd. But they’re my thoughts, dreams,
visions. I own them. This is the time of year when every team has a chance, every
fan has his hope, and every imagination can entertain thoughts of
high-fiving complete strangers and pounding shots of Jameson in
celebration of a World Series Championship (for those of you in
Pittsburgh, Kansas City and Tampa Bay, those thoughts will go away March 31st). Of
course, wary of judgment or perhaps even ridicule, most people keep
these visions to themselves.
I am not most people.
Behold, 10 very BOLD predictions for the 2008 season:
1. Mark Prior Wins 15 Games
New city, warm air, nice ocean breeze, nice pretty ladies in the
stands, nice sandy tan road jerseys. No pressure as the Ace, no
Tribune reporters breathing down his neck, no dummies in the stands
throwing Bud Lite bottles at him, no Bartman, no curse, no Cubs.
Things are going to work out just fine for Mark and he will shine in SoCal.
2. Bonds Will Be Courted by Yankees Brass
Yes, by late July, the Evil Empire
will be finding themselves playing second-fiddle to a superior Red Sox
team yet again. Having had enough, Lord Steinbrenner will sell his
soul (what’s left of it) to the Devil
and go after the tainted goods. Bonds considers the offer but won’t
talk to the press about it except for saying "You’ve ruined my life. My
children can’t sleep at night because of you."
3. Allen Krause Banned from Using the Phrase "Disparate Parts" on this Weblog
4. Johan Santana Wins 20 Games with an ERA Under 3.00
Okay, so this isn’t that bold, but I gotta put it out there. The guy’s
already a freak of nature and now he’ll be in a new league facing new
victims. The guy is deceptively creepy with mad scary stuff.
5. The Detroit Tigers Miss the Post-Season
I see the AL Central as a three team race. Yes. Three teams. The
White Sox’s revamped lineup will cause fits across the division while
Paulie and Thome actually earn their paychecks this year. I do see the
Indians and Tigers battling out for tops among the rest, but the Sox
will be right on their tails and all the in-house fighting will wear on
the Tigers who have yet to perform under pressure. That, and you have
to automatically assume the Tiger’s pitching staff will make at least one error a game, many of which will cost them wins. The wild card
won’t come out of the Central, which leaves the Tiggers going home early.
6. Evan Longoria and Eva Longoria Will Be Mistaken for One Another and Scandal Erupts:
They look a lot alike, so I can see how this mistake could be made.
7. Milwaukee Brewers Win the National League Championship Series
Yes, I said the Brewers. With all the hype in New York and Philly and L.A., I feel like the Brewers have been slipping under the radar. They have an immense amount of young talent and great things are bound to happen there sooner than later. With the Cardinals weakening and the Cubs forever cursed, they will ride those young sluggers and slingers all the way to the World Series.
8. Kerry Wood Goes on 60 Day Disabled List…Twice
Some things just never change…
9. The Cardinals Will Be Triumphant in Cards/Cubs Series
Despite the revamped Cubs lineup, Fukudome will fail, Lee will get hurt, Ramirez will get hurt, the Louisiana Connection will go stale and all those whiny Cub fans will be wishing they still had Jacque Jones.
10. This Year’s American Idol Winner Will Be Ramiele Malubay and She Will Sing the National Anthem at Fenway before a Brewers/Red Sox Showdown
Some things in life are just too beautiful…
Thank God baseball is one of them.