Monday, March 31, 2008

MY PREDICTIONS... granted 3 games in

Yeah yeah yeah... I know I'm supposed to do this before the season starts.

Yeah I know we've had the two A's/Red Sox games in Tokyo and last night's thriller in Washington.

But there are 30 teams with at least 160 games to play.
So I think these predictions have every bit of validity to be wrong as the other experts!

Last year I had the Giants and the Cardinals in the NLCS!

I had the White Sox, not the Red Sox in the post season.

I also said Barry Zito was going to win the Cy Young.
Um... Check Please.

But I also predicting the Diamondbacks would make the post season.
So even a broken clock is right twice a day.


I know you are thinking "A homer pick."
But truth be told I always pick the Yankees. Even last year. But this year I think there is too much talent.
Dice-K should have a better year, Beckett will be fine as will Buccholz (provided they don't treat him like a Fabrege Egg) and Lester & Wakefield will be as good a rotation in the league. Papelbon is king and the line up could actually be better.

Think about it... Papi had a bad knee, Manny had a sub par year, J. D. was garbage in the regular season as was Lugo.

If those guys plus Ellsbury give them a better year, they might actually score MORE runs. (Scary thought for Anaheim, Cleveland and Colorado.)

The Yankees will contend but there is too much pressure on Hughes, Kennedy and Joba to win it. Those bats plus Rivera and Joba closing out games will keep the win total in the 90s.

The Blue Jays have the arms and the bats to win 90 games. If the Red Sox or Yankees stumble, watch for them to win the division.

The Rays dropped "Devil" from their names, but it won't change the fact that following this team is a special level of hell.

The Orioles have blown up their team, which they should have done years ago. They won't win more than 65 games.


They blew it last year and they know it. Why didn't Joel Skinner send Lofton home? Oh well. They still can pitch and hit. They have super talent in the line up and Sabathia is a legit ace. Until further notice, this is the team to beat.

A lot of people are picking the Tigers based on their awesome line up and Verlander heading the rotation. Since when has stock piling hitters brought a team to the promise land? The Giambi/Matsui/A-Rod/Sheffield/Damon/Abreu era of Yankee baseball has produced fewer World Series titles than the Marlins. I don't trust Rogers, Robertson nor Bonderman and injuries have decimated their bullpen. Plus their second half collapse was bad for Leyland's lungs.

The Twins are in a rebuilding phase and kicking themselves for letting 2006, their best chance at a title, slip away. They'll be back.

The Royals will be interesting as they slowly put together some talent, especially Gordon, Bannister and Butler. Dayton Moore is building the team in the mold of the 1990s Braves... which were built on the mold of the 1980s Royals. It's the circle of life.

And yes, I'm picking the White Sox to be in the basement. What a fall from grace... looking like a potential repeat World Champ in August of 2006 to being an old and not very good team. Why didn't Kenny Williams trade Beuhrle, Dye et al for youth?


Yeah, I know they can't hit. I know that Richie Sexson looks awful and they will struggle to put runs on the board. Guess what? So did Arizona last year... and I think adding Bedard and Silva to this rotation will mean they can outpitch most. There are always bats available at the deadline (perhaps Junior?)... But arms like Bedard and King Felix are harder to find.

I was going to pick the Angels, but funny... when you lose your two best starters and some key relievers, it makes me think it might not be your year.

The A's are going to better than people think provided Rich Harden stays healthy. And keep in mind with this division... if the Angels collapse from injury and the Mariners just can't hit... who knows?

The Rangers stockpiled talent over the past few trade deadlines and have lots of young talent (pay attention, White Sox.) And ask the Orioles if they can score runs... like 30 in one game. Any rotation that is lead by Kevin Millwood, Vincente Padilla and Brandon McCarthy can safely book their family vacation time for early October.


There is too much firepower on this team and too many mediocre pitching staffs to beat up. Plus the new Joe will add a spark to the clubhouse. It won't be pretty, but A-Rod, Jeter and company should win 90-95 games and hold off the Blue Jays, Tigers and Angels


They are old... they are coming off a collapse that just gets worse the more you think of it... but adding Johan Santana reminds me of how the Red Sox dealt with the Aaron Boone aftermath. They knew they HAD to win, so they pushed all the chips to the center of the table and picked up Schilling and Foulke. The Mets know it is now or never...

The Phillies have the best lineup in the NL, but Brad Lidge couldn't even make it out of spring training in one piece. The Phillies played great in 2007, but their division title was as much the Mets' collapse as it was their victory. I don't trust their pitching and neither should you.

The Braves have the arms (and a Glavine and Smoltz reunion), the bats and the experienced manager. Remind me who is closing for this team? And if Mike Hampton starts 30 games, I will give $40,000 to Pat Robertson's ministry.

The Marlins are chocked full of talent thanks to raiding the Red Sox and Tigers farm systems. They may not win it this year, but they have a good bullpen, so they won't let winnable games slip away. And Hanley Ramirez is a franchise player. Watch him lead the Marlins to the 2009 World Series title and then be traded off to the Tigers.

Not exactly sure what the Nationals are doing. They have some young talent... and obviously the "character" question never comes up. Dmitri Young, Elijah Dukes and Lastings Millidge on the same team? They may lose 100 games (which I think they will) but it will be interesting!


It's been 100 years since a Cubs team has been crowned World Champs. This Cubs team has as good a chance as any to win their first pennant since 1945. They can hit, they can pitch (provided Zambrano keeps his post-beating the crap out of Michael Barrett stuff going) and I predict Kerry Wood will flourish as a closer. Plus won't it be fun hearing drunk Cub fans mispronounce Fukedome?

The Brewers are going to make it very interesting... they'll pitch hit and field well. They are also going to have Eric Gagne close. People who think closers are overrated are going to have a hard time explaining their position after seeing the bullpen torpedo Milwaukee's season.

Dusty Baker will make the Reds fun at least...
and with Harang and Arroyo heading the rotation, maybe this can be this year's Diamondbacks or Rockies. His son is now old enough to be a batboy. It's probably Griffey's last year in Cincy... it's now or never.

No Biggio? No Bagwell? These are the Astros? It's impossible to completely count out a team with these bats and Oswalt heading the rotation.

Pirate fans born the year Sid Bream slid across home to end the 1992 NLCS are now 16 years old. Seeing you don't really follow a team until you turn 7 or 8, there are 24 year old Pirate fans with no memory of their team being relevant. They are probably going to tie the Phillies of the 1930s and 1940s for most consecutive losing seasons. I'm not a big enough Jason Bay or Ian Snell fan to see things getting better.

Is it possible the Cardinals won the World Series as recently as 2006? This team is going to resemble the Orioles and Giants of the last few years... old, slumping and not fun to watch. Tony LaRussa is resigning after this year.


Having Joe Torre replace Grady Little is a seismic change that can not be marginalized. The Dodgers are loaded with talent and stable veterans. But under Little, it turned into a civil war in the clubhouse. Torre won't stand for it and they'll play hard for him. Their rotation is too good and they have too many solid bats.

The Diamondbacks can pitch with anyone and picking up Haren just makes them more deadly in a short series. But their bats still stink and everything (save for Randy Johnson's injury) broke right for them last year. Teams that get outscored probably won't win back to back pennants.

The Padres can pitch. Boy can they pitch. And boy they can't hit. Their arms will keep them in contention and if Gonzalez and company hit better than expected, they might actually clinch a playoff spot even with Trevor Hoffman pitching.

I personally found the Rockies story last October to be perfect... they came out of nowhere and stunned everyone by winning the NL Pennant and then got killed by my Red Sox. What was not to love? It was a nice story, but they will come back to earth (and the pack) this year.

I feel for my dad. His Giants could celebrate their 50th season in San Francisco by losing 110 games. They spent the last few seasons just ringing the cash register when Bonds played and surrounding Barry with nice but not effective veterans. Well remove Bonds from this team and you have Ray Durham, Randy Winn and Bengie Molina being asked to carry the offensive load. The other Barry needs to show his contract wasn't one of the worst free agent signings ever. The stud arms of Lincecum and Cain will be the only things worth watching.


I can't pick against those arms. The Phillies, Padres and Brewers will all contend to the end... but Arizona will shut down too many lineups.


Division Series


League Championship Series



World Series


Yeah that's right.
I'm picking the Red Sox to win it all. I've never done that before. Even in 2004, I picked the Astros. But let's just say I feel good about this team.

And yes, I am predicting yet another heartbreak for the Cubs.

Let's finish up... the season is starting:

AMERICAN LEAGUE MVP - Alex Rodriguez, Yankees
Really sticking my neck out with that one.

NATIONAL LEAGUE MVP - David Wright, Mets
He'll be on a mission

AMERICAN LEAGUE CY YOUNG - Roy Halladay, Blue Jays
Slowly putting together a Hall of Fame resume.
Should join Perry, Unit, Rocket and Pedro as the only Cy Young winners in both leagues.

But Eva is still sexier.
If he flourishes, the Reds might contend.

God forbid he ever get any credit.
Relax Joe, it's LA.

OK, enough predicting. Let's play ball

Friday, March 28, 2008


Well, the net is filled with forecasts and predictions for 2008.
I'll make mine, but let's face it... you can't possibly predict what happens over a 162 game season.

Oh, I guess you saw the Tigers and Mets collapsing, the Red Sox nearly going wire to wire and the Diamondbacks and Rockies being the two best teams in the NL!

So we here at Sully Baseball do things a little differently.

Instead of forecasting how the teams will do, I try to figure out what a championship will affect the team and its players.

Let's get started

Arizona Diamondbacks

Team's Last Title:

10 season+ veterans without a ring:
None. This is a young team folks

Whose Hall of Fame resume needs a ring:
Brandon Webb is putting together a nice career. It's early but some World Series glory now will go a long way.

Randy Johnson. His resume is already overwhelming, but how could another ring hurt?

Who will be let off the hook by winning a World Series:
Manager Bob Melvin, who let Jose Valverde throw 4,291 pitches in game 2 of last year's NLCS, blowing the D'Backs best chance to make it a series.

Fan base's last title:
The 2001 World Series.

Who could root AGAINST them:
Fans of a team formed before 1998 who want a single title.

Despite having the best record in the NL and homefield in the NLCS, the D'Backs couldn't sell out their home games. Dibble and Kennedy said "The fans haven't warmed up to the team yet." If you can't embrace a team in the playoffs, then maybe you can live through another year without a title. Besides, this city would probably trade another D'Back title for a Suns NBA Championship.

Atlanta Braves

Team's Last Title:

10 season+ veterans without a ring:
Mike Hampton
Mark Kotsay

Whose Hall of Fame resume needs a ring:
Tim Hudson if he is the ace.
Chipper Jones and John Smoltz... nothing like padding the ole resume
Bobby Cox... who will have the words "He only won it once" removed from his resume.

Who will be let off the hook by winning a World Series:
Alejandro Pena, Jeff Reardon, Kerry Lightenberg, Mark Wohlers, John Rocker, Kyle Farnsworth, Joey Devine and every other reliever who blew games for the Braves during their playoff run.

Fan base's last title:

Who could root AGAINST them:
People who root for teams where the fans actually show up to playoff games.
Native Americans.
People who are sick of Ted Turner

It's hard to feel bad for a fanbase who couldn't sell out their own playoff games. Who knows if they would get excited for a title in 2008? I'm sure Jimmy Carter will be happy.

Baltimore Orioles

Team's Last Title:

10 season+ veterans without a ring:
Chad Bradford
Jay Payton

Whose Hall of Fame resume needs a ring:
If there is a Hall of Famer on this roster, he's a rookie or a second year player. So let me bold and say:
Adam Jones

Who will be let off the hook by winning a World Series:
Peter Angelos, who has run one of the proudest franchises in the game into the ground and made one of the most loyal fanbases in baseball stay home.

Fan base's last title:
Baltimore Ravens winning the 2001 Super Bowl.

Who could root AGAINST them:
Anyone who has a pathological hatred of Peter Angelos... which right now is everyone in the city of Baltimore

Orioles fans are dying for their team to be relevant again and when they contend, they will sell out every game. But it will take nothing less than a title to have anything resembling good will towards Angelos.

Boston Red Sox... oh I'm sorry... The Defending World Champion Boston Red Sox

Team's Last Title:
1918... oh wait I'm sorry. 2004.... oh wait I'm sorry 2007

10 season+ veterans without a ring:
Sean Casey...
That's a hell of a rallying cry. Win one for Sean Casey

Whose Hall of Fame resume needs a ring:
Having 3 rings will go a long way for David Ortiz's Hall of Fame campaign.
Same will go for Josh Beckett.
It's early but piling up rings early can only help for Dustin Pedroia and Jonathan Papelbon.
Manny Ramirez will have to commit a felony to be out of the World Series.

Who will be let off the hook by winning a World Series:
Daisuke Matsusaka. He had an OK first season and won 2 post season games including ALCS Game 7, but he still has the stigma of being overpaid. A second ring will silence any critics.

Fan base's last title:
Thanks to the New York Giants, it remains the 2007 World Series. But don't count out the Celtics!

Who could root AGAINST them:

The Steinbrenner family.
Everyone who hates Red Sox fans, which seems to be everyone these days.

I'm the wrong guy to ask... but another Sox title will mean this team is a dynasty. You think we're obnoxious NOW? Just wait! We went from wanting just one title in our lifetime to doing the math in our head to see how long it would get to title #26.

California Angels (which is what they should be called)

Team's Last Title:
2002 (don't remind my dad)

10 season+ veterans without a ring:
Kelvim Escobar... but he might be gone for the year
Darren Oliver
Justin Speier
Vlad Guerrero
Torii Hunter

Whose Hall of Fame resume needs a ring:
Vladimir Guerrero
Francisco Rodriguez could use a second one.

Who will be let off the hook by winning a World Series:

Francisco Rodriguez after coughing up Manny's walk off last year.
Josh Paul for walking off the field after AJ Pierzynski's 9th inning strike out allowing him to reach first and start a game winning rally. (Yeah, I remember this stuff)

Fan base's last title:
The Anaheim Mighty Ducks won the Stanley Cup last year. Yeah, I count hockey

Who could root AGAINST them:
Oakland A's fans... San Francisco Giants fans... LA Dodgers fans...
People who HATE Gene Autry songs.

Angel fans have come out in droves for a perennial contender... but last year with the Halos down 2-0 to the Red Sox, fans had signs that read "Thanks For The Great Season." That doesn't strike me as the hungriest fan base in the country.

Chicago Cubs

Team's Last Title: 1908. Yup, it's been 100 years

10 season+ veterans without a ring:
Ryan Dempster
Scott Eyre
Bobby Howry
Jon Leiber
Kerry Wood
Henry Blanco
Mark DeRosa
Daryle Ward

Whose Hall of Fame resume needs a ring:
Alfonso Soriano was a September call up for the 1999 and 2000 Yankees, but he needs to earn this ring.
A ring would go a long way for Carlos Zambrano

Who will be let off the hook by winning a World Series:
Where to start?

That guy with the Billy Goat.
Leo the Lip for the 1969 collapse.
Lee Smith and Leon Durham for the 1984 collapse
Don Zimmer and Mitch Williams for the 1989 collapse.
And Steve Bartman could get some peace.

Fan base's last title:
I'm guessing that not a lot of Cubs fans saw the White Sox win in 2005 and thought "We Won!" So let's go back to the 1998 Bulls.

Who could root AGAINST them:
Cardinal fans
White Sox fans who want to rub it into Cubs fans faces a little more
People want to see little children cry and baby ducklings die.

The "we're happy even when the Cubs lose" happy go lucky attitude that North Side fans had for so long is fading fast. Cubs fans seem a lot angrier these days... waiting 100 years for a title will do that to you. And since the collapse of 2003, they have seen their American League counterpart in breaking hearts, the Red Sox, have two parades... their mean cousin from the South Side, the White Sox celebrate... their rival Cardinals win a title... the tandem of Wood and Prior explode from injury... Sammy Sosa went from all time beloved Cub to persona non grata and the Cubs were swept so fast from last years playoffs that Dane Cook couldn't even do a crappy promo for them. It's been a Century and Cubs fans don't need a hug nor a beer... they need a parade. And they need it soon!

Chicago White Sox

Team's Last Title: 2005

10 season+ veterans without a ring:
Javier Vasquez
Jim Thome

Whose Hall of Fame resume needs a ring:
Jim Thome needs to not only win but be a big part of a title team
Ozzie Guillen. He might be a pain, but winning twice in Chicago would be quite a feat.

Who will be let off the hook by winning a World Series:
Ozzie Guillen. His style was beloved when they won the World Series but now has him on the hot seat.

Fan base's last title:
2005. The team video is still available at Borders

Who could root AGAINST them:
Cub fans who can't stand the sight of ANOTHER parade in Chicago.
People who hate Journey

White Sox fans looked like they were going to be experiencing a potential repeat title before a late season swoon in 2006. While Sox fans will be into the season, if their team stinks there will be a sensation of just wanting the Cubs to not make the playoffs. It must be fun to have that title to rub in their faces.

Cincinnati Reds

Team's Last Title:

10 season+ veterans without a ring:
Javier Valentin
Juan Castro
Scott Hatteberg
Ken Griffey Jr.

Whose Hall of Fame resume needs a ring:
Ken Griffey Jr, not that he needs it

Who will be let off the hook by winning a World Series:
Former GM Dan O'Brien who just couldn't do anything right and took a team that nearly made the 1999 playoffs into a dreadful club this whole decade.

Fan base's last title:
The 1990 World Series.

Who could root AGAINST them:
People who think their name is pro Communist
People who want to keep harping about how small market teams can't compete.
People who don't like WKRP in Cincinnati


Reds fans, like Orioles fans, are drooling to have a team to embrace. They have a great new park and Griffey Jr, who is one of the few superstars that hasn't received as much as a suspicious whisper in the steroid scandal. If the Reds put a winner on the field, The Great American Ballpark will be filled every night.

Cleveland Indians

Team's Last Title:

10 season+ veterans without a ring:

Joe Borowski
Paul Byrd

Whose Hall of Fame resume needs a ring:
If any of their stars, such as C. C. Sabathia, Grady Sizemore, Victor Martinez and Ryan Garko, want to get in, winning a ring in Cleveland will go a long way

Who will be let off the hook by winning a World Series:
A few...
Vic Wertz
Jose Mesa
Third base coach Joel Skinner
Everyone who has worn a Cleveland uniform in anysport since 1964... including LeBron James.

Fan base's last title:
1964 Browns winning the NFL title

Who could root AGAINST them:
Sensitive native Americans
Depressed people who want to be able to say "Hey, at least I'm not a Cleveland Sports Fan!"

More than any city in the country, Cleveland needs a title. NOW! 44 year old Clevelanders can say "No team of mine has won in my lifetime." That's insane. That puts Bambino Curses and Billy Goats to shame. Seriously, I think Cleveland is almost numb to the losing. Enough is enough.

Colorado Rockies

Team's Last Title:
Never won a World Series

10 season+ veterans without a ring:

Todd Helton

Whose Hall of Fame resume needs a ring:

Todd Helton
And yeah it's early, but it would behoove Troy Tulowitski to get that ring early

Who will be let off the hook by winning a World Series:
The 2007 Rockies pitching staff and their 7.68 World Series ERA

Fan base's last title:
2001 Stanley Cup Champion Colorado Avalanche

Who could root AGAINST them:
People who think that purple does not belong on a baseball uniform
People who hate John Denver

Denver is an underrated sports town, but I know some people who grew up in Denver. I bet they'd take a perfect pre season for the Broncos than a World Series title.

Detroit Tigers

Team's Last Title:

10 season+ veterans without a ring:
Todd Jones
Carlos Guillen
Placido Polanco
Magglio Ordonez

Whose Hall of Fame resume needs a ring:
Another would help Gary Sheffield, although being connected to BALCO doesn't help.
Another for Pudge Rodriguez would be nice padding of the resume.
Magglio Ordonez could use it.
Miguel Cabrera could use a second ring
It's early in Justin Verlander's case, but never to early to get that ring out of the way.
And Jim Leyland is a lock if he wins in both leagues.

Who will be let off the hook by winning a World Series:
The 2006 Tigers pitching staff, whose Bad News Bears-esque fielding basically cost them the World Series

Fan base's last title:
2004 Pistons... but look out for this year's Pistons and Red Wings

Who could root AGAINST them:
Marlins fans who hate to see former World Series heroes Sheffield, Renteria, Willis, Cabrera and manager Leyland in another uniform.
Boston fans who might come to the realization that Detroit is actually the city of champions this decade.

GM Dombrowski has pushed the chips all in this year and the fans of Detroit have embraced the team. Watching the dormant Tiger fans is great for baseball and they would go nuts for a Tiger title. Let's face it, the city needs all the good news it can get!

Florida Marlins

Team's Last Title:

10 season+ veterans without a ring:
This is one young team.

Whose Hall of Fame resume needs a ring:
It's early for Hanley Ramirez but it would behoove him to get a ring before leaving Florida (presumably to Detroit)
Luis Gonzalez is already a World Series hero... do it again and maybe the Hall will call.

Who will be let off the hook by winning a World Series:
Marlins management for dismantling another World Champion.

Fan base's last title:
2006 Miami Heat... also dismantled. Why don't people like to stay in Miami?

Who could root AGAINST them:
Cub, Indian and Giant fans who all saw their title dreams blow up to a team with no fan base, no stadium and no following.
People who hate the color teal.

The Marlins are the strangest franchise in any of the 4 major sports in that they are a symbol of futility, except when they are winning multiple World Series. The fans won't care nor will they show up until the World Series. Remember when everyone thought Miami was going to be a great baseball city?

Houston Astros

Team's Last Title:
Never won a World Series

10 season+ veterans without a ring:
Doug Brocail
Woody Williams
Mark Loretta
Miguel Tejada

Whose Hall of Fame resume needs a ring:

Roy Oswalt is putting together a hell of a resume. A ring would help.

Who will be let off the hook by winning a World Series:
Brad Lidge. It's one thing to let up a huge homer to Albert Pujols. But to then let up a walk off to Scott Podsednik, who had as many homers as me that regular season... and then 2 games later cough up the World Series winning hit? Folks, THAT is a hook.

Fan base's last title:
The back to back titles for the Rockets in 1994 and 1995

Who could root AGAINST them:
Still bitter Enron shareholders
People who really love the Orange rainbow uniforms

Let's face it, Houston is not a baseball town and they'd probably trade an Astros World Series win for a Houston Texans Super Bowl. But since the Astros have been in town the longest and have the deepest roots (lest we forget the franchise is 46 years old) a championship would be most welcome deep in the heart of Texas (clap clap clap clap).

Kansas City Royals

Team's Last Title:

10 season+ veterans without a ring:
Ron Mahay
Brett Tomko
Mark Grudzielanek
Jose Guillen

Whose Hall of Fame resume needs a ring:
Hall of Famers? On the Royals? Maybe Alex Gordon will be the next Mike Schmidt...
If so, get that ring!

Who will be let off the hook by winning a World Series:
Anyone involved in Royals management after Ewing Kaufmann's death. The Royals were one of the marquee powerhouse teams of my youth. Now they are synonymous with futility.

Fan base's last title:
1985 World Series

Who could root AGAINST them:
Cardinal fans still angry about Don Denkinger

Like Cincinnati and Baltimore, Kansas City is a great baseball town dying to have a team to root for. When they contended in 2003, they had an electric following. A revived Kansas City fanbase is good for baseball.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Team's Last Title:

10 season+ veterans without a ring:
Esteban Loaiza
Jason Schmidt
Nomar Garciaparra
Jeff Kent
Mark Sweeney
Andruw Jones

Whose Hall of Fame resume needs a ring:
If Andruw Jones ever wants to get in, he'll need a big series.
Same goes for Jeff Kent
Young stars like Russell Martin and Andre Ethier would get a boost from an early ring

Who will be let off the hook by winning a World Series:
Every manager they've had since Tommy Lasorda. The Dodgers have played in 3 post seasons since he retired and they've won a grand total of 1 playoff game.

Fan base's last title:
2002 Los Angeles Lakers (no, I am not counting the Mighty Ducks for Los Angeles.)

Who could root AGAINST them:
Giants fans who have been waiting 50 years for 1 title in San Francisco.
Anyone in Brooklyn who hasn't forgiven them after 50 years.
The Steinbrenner family who don't want to look bad for letting Torre go

Remember the clip of the Kirk Gibson home run? When you see the ball sailing over Canseco's head into the stands, you can also see there are people already in the parking lot leaving. You really think that fan base gives a damn?

Milwaukee Brewers

Team's Last Title:
Never won a World Series

10 season+ veterans without a ring:
Solomon Torres
Jason Kendall
Mike Cameron

Whose Hall of Fame resume needs a ring:
Prince Fielder needs a World Series ring to rub into his dad's face.
Young stars like Ben Sheets, J. J. Hardy and Rickie Weeks should get that ring out of the way

Who will be let off the hook by winning a World Series:
Bud Selig for being a colluding creep when the Brewers actually had a contender.

Fan base's last title:
1997 Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers.

Who could root AGAINST them:
Lovers of fine wine.
People who hate Bob Ueker

Milwaukee should be a great baseball town and they should form a great rivalry with the Cubs. My friend the great Rob Paravonian once told me "Women in Wisconsin are only interested in Brett Favre and the only reason they talk to you is because Brett Favre isn't in the room." Well Brett is gone... no better time for the fan base to fall in love with baseball

Minnesota Twins

Team's Last Title:

10 season+ veterans without a ring:
Dennys Reyes

Whose Hall of Fame resume needs a ring:
Young stats like Delmon Young, Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau are off to good starts. Nothing like an early ring to make their case even better.
Joe Nathan needs to be on the mound for a World Series win to be in any conversation

Who will be let off the hook by winning a World Series:
Johan Santana, Eddie Guardado, Torii Hunter and everyone else who couldn't get it done with the most recent group of Twins

Carl Pohlad for threatening to contract the team

Fan base's last title:
1991 World Series

Who could root AGAINST them:
People who hate twins...

Twin fans have been burned by free agency and economics, but a title this year would make them the only team to win a World Series in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. Not even the Yankees can say that. Wouldn't it be nice to see the once retractable Twins rub it in the big market teams?

New York Mets

Team's Last Title:

10 season+ veterans without a ring:
Billy Wagner
Carlos DelGado
Damion Easley
Marlon Anderson
Carlos Beltran

Whose Hall of Fame resume needs a ring:
Pedro Martinez is already in, but how could another ring hurt?
Johan Santana already has an amazing case at this point in his career. Winning titles in New York tend to give you a boost.
El Duque Hernandez doesn't have the resume, but this would be his fifth ring!
Veterans like Carlos BEltran and Carlos DelGado need a ring to be in the conversation.
As for Jose Reyes and David Wright, winning a title early in New York can only add to their legend. (Yes, legend.)

Who will be let off the hook by winning a World Series:
Carlos Beltran for looking at called third in 2006
The entire 2007 Mets for a collapse that only gets more incredible the more you think of it

Fan base's last title:
For Met fans who are also Giants fans... this last Super Bowl
For Met fans who are also Devils fans... 2003 Stanley Cup
For Met fans who are also Rangers fans... 1994 Stanley Cup
For Met fans who are also Knicks and Jets fans... pray for them

Who could root AGAINST them:
Yankee fans who are already getting it from Red Sox fans
Phillies fans who want someone to pick on

There's a little bit of pushing all the chips to the center of the table with this Mets team and Met fans know it. They can be a bitter angry group and want to rub it in both Yankee fans and Phillie fans faces. Man, they sound the way we Red Sox fans used to be

New York Yankees

Team's Last Title:
2000 (clap clap clap-clap-clap)

10 season+ veterans without a ring:
LaTroy Hawkins
Mike Mussina
Alex Rodriguez
Bobby Abreu
Jason Giambi

Whose Hall of Fame resume needs a ring:
Alex Rodriguez belongs in right now obviously. But winning a ring would be the difference in reputation between say John Elway and Dan Marino.
It's easy to forget that Mike Mussina, Jason Giambi and Hideki Matsui are still ringless.
With exaggerated praise for champions in New York, a ring would look good on the fingers of Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes and Robinson Cano.
A fifth ring wouldn't hurt for Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter and a fourth for Jorge Posada.
And winning a title as a manager after already winning a manager of the year gets Joe Girardi off to a good start.

Who will be let off the hook by winning a World Series:
Did someone say A-Rod?

Fan base's last title:
See The Mets

Who could root AGAINST them:
Did you see the musical "Damn Yankees"? Hating the Yankees isn't a new thing.

It's starting to sink into Yankee fans that maybe winning the World Series every year ISN'T their birthright. There is some long term hope for the Girardi era and right now the Yankee Universe is saying things like "Take a step back to take two forward." We'll see how well that sits with the new Steinbrenner regime come the trade deadline.

Oakland Athletics

Team's Last Title:

10 season+ veterans without a ring:
Eric Chavez
Mike Sweeney
Emil Brown

Whose Hall of Fame resume needs a ring:
GM Billy Beane.
If Bobby Crosby and Rich Harden could stay healthy... God Forbid.

Who will be let off the hook by winning a World Series:
Billy Beane, who has volumes written about what a genius he is, yet his teams have yet to win a post season game past the first round.
Huston Street for coughing up the Magglio Ordonez shot

Fan base's last title:
1989 World Series

Who could root AGAINST them:
Giants fans who just want one of their own.
People sick of Billy Beane.

I've seen up close how passionate Oakland can be for their team. I've also seen empty seats at playoff games. I was in the Bay Area when the A's made it to the 2006 ALCS and there was zero buzz for it.

I'm sure A's fans want their team to win... but I am also sure they'd like to get an extra fortune cookie in the bag when they order Chinese. No pressure this year.

Philadelphia Phillies

Team's Last Title:

10 season+ veterans without a ring:
Tom Gordon
Jamie Moyer
Wes Helms
Geoff Jenkins

Whose Hall of Fame resume needs a ring:
Take a look at Jamie Moyer's career. A World Series title might really put him in the conversation.
The Phillies have 3 of the biggest young superstars in the game. If Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley win a ring early, in Philadelphia no less, all they would have to do is pile up the stats to get in.

Who will be let off the hook by winning a World Series:
Mitch Williams.
Also every other Philly star since 1983 including Barkley, Iverson, Lindros and McNabb.

Fan base's last title:
1983 NBA Champion 76ers... they've made 3 Rocky films since then

Who could root AGAINST them:
Mets fans who don't want to hear it
Cleveland and Cubs fans who want company

Philadelphia has replaced Boston as the sports city near New York that is on the verge of a nervous breakdown. It's not just that they've lost title chances. They've blown titles with great stars on their team. This city needs a sports pick me up and one bigger than a Mark Wahlberg Eagles movie. This is Philly... if one of their teams doesn't win soon, someone might get whacked.

Pittsburgh Pirates

Team's Last Title:

10 season+ veterans without a ring:
Matt Morris
Chris Gomez

Whose Hall of Fame resume needs a ring:
Jason Bay and Freddie Sanchez are the best candidates here.

Who will be let off the hook by winning a World Series:
Sid Bream for scoring from second.

Fan base's last title:
2006 Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers

Who could root AGAINST them:
People attacked by actual pirates.

Look, Pittsburgh fans would like to see a World Series win. But I'm guessing the topic of conversation at the World Series would be the Steelers. The Steelers won a few years ago and the Penguins are good now. Don't worry Pirates you are out of the spotlight... why not take another 15 years to put a winning team on the field.

San Diego Padres

Team's Last Title
: Never won a World Series

10 season+ veterans without a ring:
Trevor Hoffman
Glendon Rusch
Michael Barrett
Tony Clark
Brian Giles

Whose Hall of Fame resume needs a ring:
Anything less than a ring means Trevor Hoffman shouldn't be in
Greg Maddux doesn't need it, but it would look nice
An early ring for Jake Peavy would look nice with that Cy Young

Who will be let off the hook by winning a World Series:
Trevor Hoffman for the Brosius homer... and almost single handedly keeping the Padres out of the playoffs last year

Fan base's last title:
Never had one

Who could root AGAINST them:
People who thought brown and yellow was an unforgivable combination

You'd think San Diego would be like Cleveland... a city starved for a sports title. But seriously look at that sentence again. In what way is San Diego like Cleveland? Where would YOU rather suffer as a sports fan?

San Francisco Giants

Team's Last Title
: 1954... as the New York Giants... don't remind my dad

10 season+ veterans without a ring:
Steve Kline
Rich Aurillia
Ray Durham
Omar Vizquel
Randy Winn

Whose Hall of Fame resume needs a ring:
Barry Zito will need to win a ring to start earning that paycheck

Who will be let off the hook by winning a World Series:
Willie McCovey for lining out to Richardson
Candy Maldonado for losing that ball in the lights in 1987
The San Andreas Fault for screwing up the 1989 World Series
Don Baylor for not playing his regulars at the end of 1993
Roberto Hernandez for screwing up the first two games of the 1997 Division Series
Robb Nen and the entire bullpen who blew a 7-0 lead on the last day that would have clinched a playoff spot.
Aaron Fultz for letting up a walk off shot to Benny Agbayani in the 2000 Division Series
Dusty Baker for handing the game ball to Russ Ortiz in the 2002 World Series
JT Snow for being thrown out at the plate in the 2003 Division Series
Steve Finley for hitting that division clinching grandslam in 2004.

Man, that's a big hook!

Fan base's last title:
1995 Super Bowl Champion 49ers

Who could root AGAINST them:
Dodger fans who care (both of them.)
Self righteous people who hate Bonds and don't realize he's no longer on the team

My dad's team is the most underrated suffering fan base in all of baseball. Since arriving in the Bay Area 50 years ago they have found ways to lose that even impress this Red Sox fan. San Francisco fans have seen 49er Super Bowls... but this place will go nuts for a Giants World Championship.

Seattle Mariners

Team's Last Title:
Never won a World Series

10 season+ veterans without a ring:
Adrian Beltre
Miguel Cairo
Richie Sexson
Raul Ibanez
Jose Vidro

Whose Hall of Fame resume needs a ring:
Ichiro Suzuki might be in the Hall already, but wouldn't a ring lock it up?

Who will be let off the hook by winning a World Series:
Lou Piniella, who couldn't win a pennant despite having A-Rod, Griffey Jr, Edgar Martinez, Randy Johnson, Jay Buhner and Jamie Moyer in their primes

Fan base's last title:
1979 NBA Champion SuperSonics.

Who could root AGAINST them:
People angry about the cost of Starbucks coffee.

Like Giants fans, Seattle fans are long suffering and never get the press for it. Maybe it's because they are way up in Seattle. Only Cleveland has waited longer for a title of any kind for a city with 3 or more teams. It's been nearly 3 decades since this city has had a parade. That's not right.

St. Louis Cardinals

Team's Last Title:
2006 (bet you forgot that)

10 season+ veterans without a ring:
Russ Springer

Whose Hall of Fame resume needs a ring:
Albert Pujols doesn't need another ring, but how could it hurt?
Tony LaRussa also doesn't need one but I am sure wants one.

Who will be let off the hook by winning a World Series:
Tony LaRussa, who hasn't had a happy moment since winning the 2006 World Series

Fan base's last title:
2006 World Series... yes that happened

Who could root AGAINST them:
Cubs fans who are just sick of everything

Cardinal fans got their World Series win and lots of playoff appearances from LaRussa. That should satisfy them during what will be some rebuilding years. Cardinal fans are great fans, but so are Reds and Orioles fans. Don't stink for too long! They might not always show up!

Tampa Bay Rays

Team's Last Title:
Um... the team has yet to reach the 71 win mark in a season

10 season+ veterans without a ring:
Trever Miller
Al Reyes

Whose Hall of Fame resume needs a ring:
Carl Crawford might put together a Hall of Fame career somewhere else.
Troy Percival has had an underrated career. Maybe not Hall of Fame, but another ring with be nice

Who will be let off the hook by winning a World Series:
Whoever thought it was a good idea to put a team in Tampa Bay

Fan base's last title:
2004 Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning... like they cared.

Who could root AGAINST them:
Yankees and Red Sox fans who look forward to playing the Rays like kids look forward to Christmas morning.

Who knows? Can you believe it has been 10 years since the Devil Rays were vomitted onto the field and they have yet to win 71 games in a season. Who knows what their fan base is like or if they actually have one.

Texas Rangers

Team's Last Title:
Never won a World Series

10 season+ veterans without a ring:
Eddie Guardado
Kevin Millwood
Frank Catalanotto

Whose Hall of Fame resume needs a ring:
Michael Young has had a nice career so far.
So has Hank Blalock
Everyone else on the team is 6 years old.

Who will be let off the hook by winning a World Series:
George W. Bush... but don't get cocky. It doesn't get you off the hook for EVERYTHING

Fan base's last title:
1999 Stanley Cup Champion Dallas Stars
But who am I kidding, nobody cares about the Stars.... so let's just say 1996 Super Bowl Champion Dallas Cowboys

Who could root AGAINST them:

This is Dallas... it's Cowboy country. I think the euphoria for a Rangers World Series title might last until the next Sunday.

Toronto Blue Jays

Team's Last Title:

10 season+ veterans without a ring:
Roy Halladay
Matt Sairs

Whose Hall of Fame resume needs a ring:
Frank Thomas could actually play in a World Series.
Vernon Wells and Roy Halladay could use one.

Who will be let off the hook by winning a World Series:
Whomever designed those god awful new uniforms

Fan base's last title:
1993 World Series

Who could root AGAINST them:

It wasn't that long ago that the Blue Jays had one of the most rabid fan bases in all of baseball. I wonder if that was a novelty or a great team will capture the nation of Canada again. They would need either the Red Sox or the Yankees to collapse. This is as good a year as any to see.

Washington Nationals

Team's Last Title:
Never won a World Series

10 season+ veterans without a ring:
Odalis Perez
Paul LoDuca
Aaron Boone
Dmitri Young

Whose Hall of Fame resume needs a ring:
Paul LoDuca, Dmitri Young and Elijah Dukes could create a felon wing of the Hall.

Who will be let off the hook by winning a World Series:
The owners of the first Senators and the second Senators

Fan base's last title:
1988 Super Bowl won by the Redskins

Who could root AGAINST them:
Expos fans who still hate Rick Monday
Peter Angelos.

The only Washington World Series title was in 1923... with a new park, a new owner and a lousy league who knows what will happen this year. The fanbase is still too green right now for it to be real euphoria, but I bet there are some old Senator fans who will go nuts.

So there you have it.
Each team examined, each fanbase condescended to.

Let's get this season started already!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Ah well... it's only spring training

Oh wait. These games count.


So we begin the 5th annual "This could be the year Rich Harden gets it all together" season and today Emil Brown gets the big hit and somehow remembered to touch all the bases.

It doesn't seem right to be shut down the last few innings by old friends Keith Foulke and Alan Embree. Can't they let us off the hook? For old time's sake.

Well, at least this Japanese nonsense is over. And I am no longer fighting with my children for the TV.

I want the Red Sox and my kids want Max and Ruby.

Now the defending World Champs are heading back home, magic number still at 162.
But before they leave the Orient, let's enjoy the trailer for the single greatest Godzilla epic EVER...

Destroy All Monsters


I heard a Jim Rome-esque sports talk show host today blathering on about how Manny Ramirez is bad for his team and used his styling during his 10th inning double.

You going to trash a guy when he won a game in the 10th inning with a double into the gap?
You are going to trash a guy when he drove in 4 runs on the first day of the season?

Some of you just won't get it...
He is hilarious.
Please enjoy him and quit yet bitching.
Every team in baseball would drool to have Manny.

Ah, I'm just repeating myself!

Who will retire Clemens' number?

If he makes the Hall of Fame (who would have guessed there would be an if to that question) he'd meet the Red Sox "10 Years and a Hall of Famer" rule.
Besides, nobody has worn his #21 since he left town for Toronto.

The Blue Jays could retire it.
The Yankees I'm sure thought they were when Clemens made his triumphant return in the sky box last spring.

Wouldn't it be odd if one of the great pitchers of all time retires and doesn't have his number retired anywhere?

Don't worry... the Astros will do it.
They retired Jose Cruz's number for God's sake.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Hey Red Sox... retire Jim Rice's number!

The Boston Red Sox have a policy about retiring their players numbers.

It goes as follows:
• Election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame
• At least 10 years played with the Red Sox

Now there is something to be said about that...
It makes sure that only legitmately great players get their jersey retired.
(I guess Rich "El Guapo" Garces won't have a ceremony any time soon.)

And it also prevents players who only had a cup of coffee with the Red Sox to be honored.
(No retiring #41 for Tom Seaver I guess.)

And nobody can argue the numbers retired for Red Sox players represent some of their greatest players.

Bobby Doerr. Joe Cronin. Carl Yastrzemski. Ted Williams. Carlton Fisk.

But it is also excessive.
And if the Hall of Fame is too stupid to keep Jim Rice out, then the Sox should do the right thing and retire his number anyway.

He was the captain, a consistent MVP candidate and maintained the tradition of terrifying hitters in left field.

Put the policy to bed and hang #14 up there.
Nobody has worn #14 besides Jim Ed Rice since 1975 anyway, so why not make it official?

I suppose with one more year of eligibility they are hoping Rice gets elected and he finally gets his due at Fenway.

But I say "Why wait?"

If the Reds can retire Ted Kluszewski's number, then I think the Red Sox can honor Rice.

Have you looked at the Astros retired numbers?

(I am guessing the answer to that question will be no)

No offense but Jimmy Wynn?
Jose Cruz?
Jim Umbricht?
Mike Scott?
Don Wilson?
Larry Dierker?

Why not Bob Watson?

Retiring numbers is an emotional ceremony and it should be used to honor the players who honored their team.

No doubt the Yankees will retire Joe Torre, Derek Jeter and Marion Rivera's numbers.

I know some people think the Yankees retire too many numbers but I think it is cool...
Obviously you retire Gehrig, Ruth, DiMaggio, Berra, Mantle, Ford and Stengel

But why not also honor Howard, Munson, Maris, Jackson, Rizzuto, Martin, Mattingly and Guidry?

Which one of those players didn't honor the Yankees?

The Hall of Fame rule should be reviewed.

Chances are Big Papi won't be a Hall of Famer (he won't have enough MVP caliber seasons) and probably won't play 5 more seasons and meet the 10 year minimum.

But shouldn't he have his #34 retired?

Or take a sure fire Hall of Famer, Pedro Martinez.
He only played 7 years for the Red Sox but gave the Sox one of their most dynamic aces in their history (and was a big member of the 2004 World Champs.)

How could you not retire his #45?

And besides, with the 10 year hall of fame rule, the Red Sox should have retired #26 for Wade Boggs. But they didn't

I guess because his number was retired in Tampa for his storied career as a Devil Ray.

Loosen up Red Sox...
Jim has earned it.
Retire his number

Thank YOU, Emil Brown

I never thought I would love a guy who smacks a 10th inning RBI double off of Jonathan Papelbon... but it takes a special kind of stupid to get yourself in a run down and turn a "tying run in scoring position with 1 out in the 10th" to "2 outs, nobody on, one out from losing."

But you did it.
And yeah, you don't know if Papelbon would have pitched differently, ergo you can't say "He would have scored on one of the next two singles."

But Papelbon wasn't sharp and Brown took him off the hook.
They should change the scoring rules for one day... give the save to Emil Brown



Yeah I know it is early...
And yeah I am assuming the Yankees and not the Blue Jays will be the second place team...

But I'm cocky.
And let me enjoy my win at 3 AM PDT

Monday, March 24, 2008

I'm going to bed

The Red Sox and A's are playing at 3AM my time.

When I wake up, the Red Sox will have probably finished their first game in defense of their World Championship...

I hope they made enough money on this trip to sign Papelbon for the rest of his career, because everything else about this trip sucks.

good night

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Let's not forget the suffering fans of Washington DC

Since the Red Sox are now the evil empire and the White Sox shook off their own 88 year drought... focus is squarely on the Cubs and their fans for longest suffering.

And this being the 100th anniversary of a Cubs World Championship, they deserve the spotlight.

But let's not forget the fans of Washington DC.

They haven't had a World Series winner since 1924.
They haven't seen a World Series since 1933 and since the 2005 team finished at .500, they haven't had a winning team since 1969 when Ted Williams scared Frank Howard and the Senators to an 86-76 finish.

Now wait you might be saying...
Washington didn't even have a team from 1972 to 2004.
That's true, in my lifetime there was no Washington team until the Nationals started playing in 2005.

Well shouldn't that factor into the suffering?
The Senators leave town to become the Twins starting in 1961 and they win 2 World Series, another pennant and seven more division titles.

A new Senators team takes their place and they move off to Texas.
What other city has had a team leave them TWICE?
And they'd still be teamless if the situation in Montreal was straightened out.
If an owner was found in Quebec, fans in Washington would have to go to Baltimore... which you should NEVER do.

So let's hope a new era begins in Washington...
They've been waiting 84 years for a title!

What better place to open the season?

The Red Sox begin their defense of the 2007 World Championship on Tuesday...
They play the Oakland A's, whose home park is a mere 40 miles from my house.

So what better place to play than in Tokyo!

A quick glance in the American Heritage Dictionary shows the definition of "retarded" as followed:

1. Often Offensive Affected with mental retardation.
2. Occurring or developing later than desired or expected; delayed.

I would add

3. The starting of the regular season in Japan only to fly back and play more exhibition games.

As stupid as these trips are, rest assured I will be up at 3 AM PDT watching them.

And as a rabid Godzilla fan from my youth, I guess this gives me as good an excuse as any to show the Japanese trailer of one of my favorite Godzilla films, Godzilla vs Gigan (or as it was called on the Creature Double Feature on Channel 56 in Boston, Godzilla on Monster Island).

For my fellow Godzilla fans, it was the one with the hippie, the cartoonists and the cockroaches disguised as humans using an amusement park as the control center of world domination.

It's worth a rent.