I set the alarm clock for 6am this morning to sit down and watch the RedSox play the Oakland A's in Japan for MLB's Opening Day while having a big bowl of Apple Jacks. The alarm goes off and as I roll over to shut it off and get to the couch, my beautiful wife rolls over while still sleeping and puts her left arm over me. I instantly realize I would much rather lie in bed then get to the couch and watch the hated Boston Red Sox. So I hit snooze (for about an hour) then wake up at my normal hour and start getting ready for work.
I take a shower, get dressed (all pretty quickly) and realize I still have a half hour before I have to leave... which leaves me plenty of time to have a giant bowl of Apple Jacks and watch the mid to late innings of the Sox/A's game. I flick on Tiny (our gigantic 50" Samsung TV) and DirecTV while I settle in on the couch. As I flip to ESPN2 I'm met with a big DirecTV message saying they are having trouble with this channel, but also that I should not call them, they know there's a problem. So, lucky me, I didn't wake up early to watch a game I wouldn't have been able to see anyway.
It still got me heavily thinking about the upcoming baseball season, and realized I shouldn't miss the boat on making my predictions.
A.L. East-Boston RedSox... simply the most complete team in the A.L.
A.L. Central-Detroit Tigers... the potential to be scary good if the new additions gel
A.L. West-Seattle Mariners... just a hunch I'm having. I think they are young, play good defense and could go on a run
Wild Card-New York Yankees... as long as the kids come through on the mound they should be good.
N.L. East-New York Mets... the most complete team in the N.L.
N.L. Central-Chicago Cubs... this could be the year (plus my wife is a Cubs fan)
N.L. West-L.A. Dodgers... Torre + Veteran squad = playoffs
Wild Card-Arizona Diamondbacks... with strong contention from the Braves and Phillies
I think the RedSox (as much as it pains a Yankee fan to say) will beat the Cubs in the World Series.
A.L. MVP-Manny Ramirez... contract year + stacked lineup = motivated, protected Manny = huge year
N.L. MVP-David Wright... young star turns into superstar and is begun to be mentioned on the short list of best players in the game.
A.L. Cy Young-Justin Verlander... The offense and that park, as well as his great stuff should lend itself to a huge 20+ win year.
N.L. Cy Young-Cole Hamels... Another youngster I think makes a huge leap into super stardom.
A.L. R.O.Y.-Joba Chamberlain... Electric stuff over a full season. I expect big things from him, both in the pen and in the rotation.
N.L. R.O.Y.-Clayton Kershaw... Has looked great for the Dodgers this Spring. The only problem will be in how they deploy him.
Thats all I have for now... except for my preview on the Yanks. I'm expecting another really good 90-95 win season from the Yanks. I think Giambi will hit 30+ homers here in his contract year. Cano, Jeter, Rodriguez and Posada will all have All-Star seasons. With Cano and Jeter battling for the batting title. Jeter will continue his rise among the all-time hits list. After this season I think only Honus Wagner will have more all-time hits for a shortstop (it pisses me off when people say he's overrated... he's one of the most complete players in the game). Abreu and Matsui will have their typical 100 RBI steady seasons. I expect big things from Melky Cabrera. This will be his second full season as a starter. Time to turn it up. Not sure what to expect from Johnny Damon. At times he looked great last year... others he looked over the hill. The bench is solid as well. Duncan, Betamit, Ensberg and Molina give the Yanks more depth then they've had in years. I almost forgot ARod... he's still the best player in the A.L.
On the mound they have the makings a very imposing pitching staff... of course if the kids come through. Wang, Pettite, Hughes, Kennedy, Mussina (who I think may be done, luckily Chamberlain is waiting in the wings) give the Yanks a very impressive staff. Which unlike a lot of the league is 4/5ths home grown... completely homegrown when Chamberlain joins the staff. The bullpen also contains a series of lively arms and youth. Mariano Rivera, Kyle Farnsworth, Latroy Hawkins are the veterans in the backup of the bullpen, while youngsters Bruney, Edwar Ramirez, Kaarstens, Rasner, Henn and Chamberlain all will round out the rest of the pen.
All in all this is a pretty impressive team. Any season that didnt involve this years RedSox, I'd pencil them in as World Series favorites. I'll be happy with a 90-95 win team that makes the playoffs (for the 13th consecutive year) and hopefully makes it to the ALCS to face the Sox. That to me would be a great season.