One of my favorite columns to write every year. The thing is, it’s not as fun as it used to be and I don’t know why.
Baseball was king for me. It really was. I knew several players on every team in both the AL and NL. And not just from Sportscenter. I knew certain guys stats off the cuff. Now not so much.
It’s like the Sox won in 2004 and then in 2007 and all of a sudden I didn’t care as much. I went from knowing every guy on the Sox including their bullpen, to now knowing most of the position players, some of the rotation and next to no one in their pen.
Football has become king. Hockey has solidified a second place and I find myself strangely drawn to watch the Celtics more than the Red Sox.
Just needed to get that off my chest.
Here we go…
1. Red Sox
Um, why not? Really, they finished last place last year but the lineup is full of guys that can hit (well in video games anyways). Their questionable rotation can be fixed with a phone call to Philadelphia (which I predict does happen). The rest of the division is a huge question mark as well so why the heck not? Taking the home town team to win a very bad AL East.
2. Blue Jays
With no Wild Card coming out of this division I figure this is the year Toronto finally lives up to the hype. Or not. Really this division sucks so bad you could take all of the teams, put them in a raffle and your 1-5 could be decided.
I know all the Sox fans that still believe there’s a rivalry think that the Yankees are dead. I don’t think so. Sure they’re very old, but if they have a healthy rotation, I think they can be a formidable team in the division this year.
Nelson Cruz was a big part of their lineup last year and he’s in Seattle now (more on that later). I think they have a pretty hard decline after last year.
The Rays lose their manager and come plummeting back to the cellar. Their back to the team we knew in the late 90’s and early 2000’s.
It seams I write the same thing every year but they just seem stacked every year. Their rotation has a couple question marks that weren’t ever question marks, but I think they have nothing to worry about.
First Wild Card team here. I think they continue to get better with Francona at the helm and push Detroit for the division.
From World Series to missing the playoffs? Yup. Last year was the fluke.
4. White Sox
I mean only because the Twins are going to be awful do they get to not finish in the cellar.
100 losses, quite possibly. Bringing in Santana and then losing him for half the year is a big blow to a team that wasn’t destined fr much.
Why not here too? Cruz should give Cano the much needed help in the lineup he missed last year. King Felix is still their ace. I know it’s the trendy pick, but I’m going with it anyways.
Eventually this huge payroll will produce something right? This year it creates a Wild Card team that has to play Cleveland to get into the playoffs. Maybe Pujols starts acting like the player they invested in. Maybe.
Again, looking at the rest of their division, I’m comfortable giving them the third spot. Not enough to challenge for that second Wild Card but not bad enough to finish in the basement. A healthy Prince Fielder should help too.
Much like the Orioles, I think Oakland has a crash back to Earth. Not bad enough to lose out to Houston, but certainly bad enough to finish way out of the mix this year.
Yup, last place again.
From here I’ll take the Angels over Cleveland in the play in game. Detroit over Boston in the ALDS, and Seattle beating the Angels. Seattle loses to Detroit in the ALCS to face….tune in tomorrow to find out my NL Champions.