BES-BALL TALK #2

I kept meaning to post another one of these Bes-Ball Talks during spring training since Baseball to me is one of my bigger passions, like movies and comics. And since I tend to give those specially titled posts, I'm a stickler for regular features, I want Bes-Ball Talk to continue on. Will it? We shall see...

But anyhoo...here's a mega post to start the regular season.

So spring training is now over, but the regular season kicked off in momentarily in Japan with two games between the Red Sox and the A's, and then it was back to spring training. That was odd, really, I'm not sure why they could'nt have made those exhibition games as it doesn't matter to the Japanese fans at all. What ever. Tonight, the season really begins with Atlanta vs. Washington. Met fans will be watching with baited breathe at two of their division rivals surely hoping the Braves full roster will be injured in one swoop. I kid. As for my Yanks, they begin tomorrow afternoon against the Blue Jays, who some believe will give us a challenge for the second spot.

Before that, let's briefly look at whats gone down this spring with the Yanks. Joba went into the bullpen after the rest of the starters did better than him, and quite frankly this is the right move. DON'T MESS WITH A GOOD THING! He hasn't proved squat as a starter, but has as a reliever and I'm in the camp that this guy could be Mariano's replacement soon. Not every top pitcher has to be a starter, not every failed starter has to be a reliever. Maybe scouts and GMs and coaches and managers should be looking to get great relievers going earlier, but I guess they must at a point, huh? Next up, the whole Tampa Bay catcher barreling and brawl scenarios have created quite the possible rivalry here, as the HA! did last year with BJ's. I like what I saw in the Yankee response, it showed that this is a new team that Giradi is commanding. An exciting one, take no shit one! Well cool on that. Everything else seemed to go well...

Of course there was Jose Canseco saying that AROD did the juice. OK, this crap has got to stop, because even if he did introduce AROD to a juice man, there is no proof that he bought or used anything. If that even happened! I'm sure Jose needs this crap to continue for him keep making cash. ENOUGH ALREADY!

The Yanks set their 25 man roster today putting Pettitte and Jeff Karstens on the 15 day DL, neither are a big deal, and I like this because it gives the team a chance to look at Ross Ohlendorf, Brian Bruney, and Jonathan Albaladejo more. I like Bruney and Ohlendorf alot and hope they are part of the bullpen equation for years to come. Morgan Ensberg made the cut as an extra bat, which is excellent in my opinion. The guy is a good experienced hitter, and can play 3rd or 1st. The regulars are all ready without any injuries, the starters are an interesting mix of young and old, which will be interesting to watch, the bullpen has a lot of hard throwers and with Mariano and Joba feels strong, and the bench is about as good as it's been in quite awhile so I'm looking forward to seeing how everything comes together.

Of course with a new manager, young pitchers, and other questions, it seems popular for most of the baseball pundits out there to pick the Yankees not to make the post season this year. I disagree, of course, I mean what kind of fan do you think I am anyway?! But seriously, this team is better than last year's, with more pop, new moves, new attitude, fresh pitching, I mean what's not to like? So here are my picks for this year for every division:

AL EAST:
1-Yanks
2-Sox*
3-Tampa Bay
4-BJ's
5-Orioles

Analysis: I firmly believe the Yanks can top the division. IMO, the Red Sox have even more questions than the Yankees do, however the Wild Card is theirs for sure. I think TB is much improved and growing up, and Toronto seems to have injury problems, enough so that I can see TB overtaking them even if by a slight margin. My cousin's O's are hapless, sorry, bro!

AL CENTRAL:

1-Detroit
2-Indians
3-KC
4-White Sox
5-Minnesota

Analysis: I don't have confidence that the Indians can have a repeat performance, sorry, Clevelanders! Sure, Detroit's pitching has a ton of holes, however that is the sickest lineup in baseball. They most likely will eat up anyone. I like KC making a major improvement. I know I'm crazy, but they have made some small good moves, including new manager Trey Hillman. I don't care for how the ChiSox are made up, but I think they will be better than Minnesota, who will tank without their vaunted ace.

AL WEST:
1-Angels
2-Seattle
3-Texas
4-Oakland

Analysis: Until proven otherwise, the Angels are still the best here. They got some injuries, but the pickups of Jon Garland and more importantly Tori Hunter will help out. Sure Seattle is improved, alot even, but can they take the pressure? I'm saying no, maybe next year. Texas and Oakland I don't care for at all and can't see them making a push either way.

NL EAST:
1-Mets
2-Phillies*
3-Braves
4-Nats
5-Florida

Analysis: I like the Phillies makeup, I like their intestinal fortitude, but it's hard not to pick the Mets. They improved with Johan Santana, and enough said there. I think the Phillies have enough guts though to easily make wild card. The Braves will be an interesting factor, but no more than that towards the end. Could be wrong there. The Nats and FL, I don't have much faith in, but I'm looking forward to taking in a Nats game this year.

NL CENTRAL:
1-Cubs
2-Astros
3-Brewers
4-Reds
5-Pirates
6-St. Louis

Analysis: This is the Cubs' year, they have the 100 year karma thing happening. I believe in it more than baseball skills here. The Astros are better than people think. I could've easily swapped out the Brewers here though. Reds are in that same bracket. I think the Pirates will be better next year, and St. Louis has a badly assembled team.

NL WEST:
1-Dodgers
2-Arizona
3-Rockies
4-San Diego
5-San Francisco

Analysis: I am not betting against Joe Torre's team from making the playoffs, sorry. Call it loyalty, call it betting on his streak to continue, whatever, I'm just not doing it. Arizona though is sick, and I think they will give the Phillies the most worry for the wild card. The Rockies will be right behind. San Diego is good, but not amazing, and the Giants may be the worst team in baseball post Barry Bonds.

Playoffs:

AL: Yanks beat the Angels, finally. Boston tops Detroit, barely. Oh shit, Yanks-Boston again. It's time for revenge! Yanks take it in a bloodbath!

NL: Mets get eliminated by the destined Cubs. Torre makes it to Round 2 beating the Phillies. Cubs beat Torre's Dodgers though.

World Series: I'm sorry to say, I have to pick the Cubs to take it all, on destiny alone. I know it's a foolish pick, especially because I WANT and will be ROOTING FOR the Yanks to win, but if they have to lose I want it to be to the Cubbies, who rightfully deserve it.

So those are my picks, wacky as they may be. Let's play ball!