Category — Jason Heyward
It is so easy. Too easy.
All 1 has to do is pick the Phillies to win the National League and the Red Sox the American and let them go at it in the World Series. Ah, but sports is never that easy to predict.
Don’t believe me? Check out your NCAA tournament bracket. I haven’t seen that much red on a sheet of paper since my last math test in high school.
While Boston and Philadelphia loaded up in the offseason and look on paper to be the best, games are played on the field. And more often than not, injuries play a big part in the outcome of pennant runs.
We already have the biggest upset in history taking place and the season hasn’t even started. Nobody ever would have believed that in all the 4 major professional team sports in America, baseball has the most solid labor relations between the union and owners. That alone is reason for hope this spring.
There are givens heading into this season. First, or most obvious, we know the Royals and Pirates have no chance. Pittsburgh hasn’t had a good team since Barry Bonds left for San Francisco’s riches and BALCO juices.
Kansas City’s summers of discontent go back even further, to when George Brett was playing 3rd base, Ronald Reagan was the president and lap dances were still more popular than laptops. That’s 1985 for those scoring at home.
This summer will be no different. Both teams claim to have good, young talent. However, if the past is our guide, those young studs are really just about to hit the open market as the 2 clubs continue to be training grounds for big-market clubs.
We also know that Derek Jeter is closing in on 3,000 hits. It should come by mid-June even if he isn’t as good as he used to be. But the Yankee captain is not a happy camper, even if he might now be the most overpaid player in baseball.
The team most fun to watch could be the Tampa Bay Rays. At least they will be must-see TV on the days when Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez are starting in the outfield, which brings us right back to Boston.
The Red Sox did everything right in the offseason. They signed the best free agent, Carl Crawford, got the best 1st baseman available in Adrian Gonzalez and filled in all the other pieces nicely. They watched while the Yankees foolishly refused to fill their holes at starting pitching. Remember when this rivalry was the other way around?
With all the spending Boston has done over the years to catch the Yanks, you have to wonder which 1 of those franchises really is the Evil Empire.
But the Red Sox are set to make a run at it all. I just don’t think they will get there. Something always goes wrong. Boston will win its division, but the World Series will be left to others.
The Phillies are loaded with mounds of talent. They have 4 aces and could run away with the National League East, but they won’t. Too many injuries, especially at the start of this season, look to slow them down. They will win the East, but the Braves will chase them all the way to the playoffs.
The NL Central is the division really up for grabs, or maybe it’s a case of who cares. The Cardinals will be lost without Adam Wainwright, and the Albert Pujols contract discussion will keep them from the postseason.
The Milwaukee Brewers will win the division thanks to their power and just enough pitching. For you punk-ass Cubs fans, just another year of frustration.
The West will crown the Colorado Rockies as champs, but most eyes will be on the divorce in Dodgertown that has kept the owners of this once-proud franchise bickering over the club like it was good china or the family dog.
And just who wins the National League? Watch for the Braves to win it from the wild card.
The American League is even more muddled. I don’t see 2 teams coming out of the AL East, just too many in-division losses. The schedule does in the Yankees, who miss the playoffs for the 2nd time in 4 years.
Boston does win the division, but not in a landslide, however comfortably.
The AL Central goes to the White Sox instead of the Twins, thanks in large part to barbequing Kansas City all summer. The Twins will earn a wild card. Nothing fancy about either team but with Cleveland and the Royals on your schedule, it does make things easier than in the East.
In the AL West, the Angles will rebound but not enough. The Athletics will improve, but not enough. The Mariners will stink. That leaves us with the defending champion Rangers to capture the division again.
While Boston seems to have it all, it will stumble and it will be the White Sox standing when it is all over.
The World Series will be the Braves in 6 games.
So there you have it, but what do I know. I had Notre Dame playing Ohio State for the national title in my bracket.
At least we know with the start of baseball, spring is here and summer is coming. That’s 1 thing we all can agree on.
March 29, 2011 No Comments
Jason Heyward, the Braves’ outstanding rookie outfielder, sent the fans in Atlanta into a frenzy yesterday, smacking a 3-run homer on his first swing in a Major League game. “I haven’t felt electricity like that in a long time,” Chipper Jones said.
April 6, 2010 No Comments