Category Archives: Baseball

NL Preview

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If you thought yesterday was exciting, get ready for an NL preview filled with cluelessness and guess work.

NL East
1. Nationals
They finally live up to the hype. Their rotation is solid, their lineup is supposed to be legit. Perhaps this is the year they finally piece it all together.
2. Marlins
I’m using the same logic here as the Nationals. A team packed with young talent lives up to the potential. Same as the AL East, I don’t think it’s Wild Card potential, but potential all the same.
3. Mets
After the trades the Braves made this off season, I think they took themselves right out of the mix. And the Phillies are trying to hit that 100 loss mark so I’m getting the Mets out of the basement.
4. Phillies
Yup, they may be trying to hit that 100 loss mark, but the Braves are trying harder so I give them the nod for the cellar spot over the Phillies.
5. Braves
Yup, you trade away half your team for prospects, I predict you finish in last.

NL Central
1. Pirates
Because I love the Pirates. I’ve done zero research to see if they’re a viable candidate this year, but I’m taking them all the same.
2. Cardinals
The Cardinals will likely win the central, but you know the rules; my blog = my rules. So I’ll let the Cardinals hang out in the hunt most of the year but end up losing out to the Cardinals. They’ll get one of the Wild Card spots only because the guys out west will beat each other senseless.
3. Cubs
Really the other three teams I think are a crap shoot. Sure the Cubs spent money, but they’re the Cubs. I’ll give them the nod with the increased payroll, but they won’t make the post season.
4. Brewers
Just because I don’t want them in the cellar (where they’re likely headed).
5. Reds
I debated flip flopping them and the Cubs. I’m sticking with my guns though. Reds in the basement.

NL West
1. Dodgers
I think this is the best division in baseball. You have the Dodgers and their $300+ million payroll. The division is as tough as ever but I think they still come out on top.
2. Padres
They had one of the best off seasons of any team on paper. Whether or not that will translate to wins remains to be seen. But based on their moves, I’m going to give them the nod as the second Wild Card team.
3. Giants
I debated them as the second Wild Card team, but I really can’t leave the Cardinals out in the cold. Let’s say they’re going to be in it until the very end, but they’ll be eliminated in the final week of the season.
4. Rockies
It’s going to be a very long season for both the Rockies and the Diamondbacks. Both teams are going to be the whipping boys for the other three teams in their division (not to mention all the other divisions).
5. Diamondbacks
From the playoffs in 2011 to the basement in 2014, two games shy of 100 losses. I don’t think they’re improving much this year when the rest of the division got better.

So playoffs.

Cardinals beat the Padres in the play in game. Dodgers lose to the Cardinals and the Nationals beat the Pirates. Pirates go seven but also lose to the Cardinals.

Detroit against the Cardinals in the World Series. Cards win it all.

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AL Preview

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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…

AL EAST
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.
3. Yankees
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.
4. Orioles
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.
5. Rays
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.

AL Central
1. Tigers
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.
2. Indians
First Wild Card team here. I think they continue to get better with Francona at the helm and push Detroit for the division.
3. Royals
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.
5. Twins
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.

AL West
1. Mariners
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.
2. Angels
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.
3. Rangers
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.
4. Athletics
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.
5. Astros
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.

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Dreading It

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Listening to sports radio as I’m prone to do, I heard a very scary realization.

Should the Celtics and the Bruins miss the playoffs, all we’re going to have to talk about starting around mid-April is going to be the Red Sox.

I’m being 100% honest, they aren’t even on my periphery at this point. I don’t really pay attention when they talk about the Red Sox during the updates. I know a bunch of the roster, but don’t know how anyone has really done this spring.

Oh this is going to suck. With no deep playoff run by either of the Garden teams, it’s going to be a ton of baseball and not much else.

This is going to suck.

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Wrong, Try Again

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First off, kudos to whoever got that shot of Uncle Larry. In the running for best photo ever, right behind the Larry Lucchino pirate picture and Jason Aldean picture.

I know it’s two days in a row and will seem like I’m piling on, but I couldn’t let this one pass.

“We operate differently. They run their franchise. We run ours. … There are going to be times we may look like we do some of the same things. But the pattern, the practice, the history are all very different.”

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Just because you happen to let Jacoby Ellsbury walk, and lost out to the Yankees on other free agents, you’re still doing the same stuff.

You still have a farm system that’s rumored to be great but couldn’t produce you an outfielder so you had to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to fix it. You still haven’t developed a shortstop since Nomar and the last “ace” you developed was Lester.

So how do you fix these problems? Spend, spend, spend. To the tune of $300 million.

So really, when there are teams like the Twins that get to drop a whole $40 million in free agency, and you and the Yankees are spending in the hundreds (plural). Yup, you’re the same.

Not that the spending is a bad thing. With the highest ticket prices in baseball, I expect the hometown team to put a decent product on the field. In fact, I’m still waiting on a Cole Hammels trade.

But keep spending. There’s no true cap, and it’s not my money. They’re printing it at Fenway, best they spend it too. I just wish it was on a new park but that’s a column for another day.

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Lucchino Gone?



I could write another part of the slow obituary that is the Bruins season but I decided to give it a break for a day.

Instead I’ll talk about Boston’s favorite sports executive, Uncle Larry Lucchino.

The latest news has Uncle Larry heading up a group that purchased the Pawtucket Red Sox. While doing so they informed the Pawtucket mayor that they won’t be purchasing the park, and are prepared to move the team out of Pawtucket to more of a destination park.

In Providence.

Well, you started building some good momentum (none of us North Shore people like to venture south of town). I was hoping they would do something like the Philadelphia Phamtoms did for years; just play down the street from the Flyers.

Money isn’t an issue so we can take that off the table. But really, why not build this destination park somewhere else in Boston that’s accessible by the MBTA (insert joke here).

I said this about the possibility of a National League team coming to town years ago. The town can support two teams. Especially if you build the new team a state of the art. beautiful stadium. You’d attract a fan base simply based on the destination.

I digress.

Where I was going with this is, Uncle Larry is the head of the group buying the Paw-Sox. If he’s the head like George McFly John Henry is the head of the Sox, he can hire someone else to run the day to day. And since he’ll be busy with that, they can let Larry out of his role with the Red Sox.

And take Dr Charles with you.

It’s all wishful thinking and won’t happen, but it was worth a shot.

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Truck Day

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The truck bringing all the Red Sox equipment down to Fort Myers is leaving today. This has become another event where Uncle Larry can make a few bucks. For just $19.95 plus shipping and handling you can have your own Truck Day replica truck.

This really is the stupidest thing. It was a winter rite of passage and we’d watch the news and see it was on the way to Florida. But now Uncle Larry has turned it into another way to make money at Fenway and sell a few more hats and t-shirts.

Enough already. Please just sell the team and clean house in the front office. Starting with Lucchino. Take Werner with you too.

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Sell Job

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We lost our ace in the off season because we low balled him in the spring. The fans have turned on us. We spent stupidly over the winter and didn’t really address needs. We made some trades but still don’t have an ace for our rotation. What can we do to win back the fans?

I got it! We’ll have a fan fest down in Connecticut where half the people are Yankee fans. We’ll get people to shell out $40 a day (or $75 for both) to come down to Foxwoods and meet the players. We’ll have the whole ownership crew there, plus John and Theo Ben.

We can broadcast a bunch of it on NESN like we did Christmas at Fenway and we’ll get people to buy in that we’re really not about just the bottom line. We’ll convince people that we care about the fans and putting a winning product on the field.

Color me not fooled Uncle Larry. You may have the die hard, you can do no wrong, fans eating out of the palm of your hand. But I’m not fooled. Controlling your own media with NESN may help in your head, but I’m still not close to fooled.

You played the off-season foolishly. Home runs may sell tickets, but pitching wins championships and you have a whole lot of question marks in your rotation. I’m sticking with my fourth place prediction, a game out of last. And as you’re limping into August, a “summer-fest” at Fenway won’t change that either.

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