Search This Blog

Monday, April 5, 2010

2010 Baseball Outlook and Predictions

Baseball is finally here. Five months ago today, the New York Yankees became champions of baseball for a record 27th time. Despite a valiant effort from the defending champs, the Philadelphia Phillies were no match for the Bronx Bombers. But this is a new year, a new season; a season filled with hope and optimism for 30 teams and their fans. As Yankees legend Derek Jeter said last week, “Last season is over. The time is now.” Throughout the off-season, clubs have worked to improve and continue progressing to achieve the ultimate goal, becoming a champion.

The Colorado Rockies are the sexy pick this season. Loaded with young talent and viable veterans, the Rockies are poised to continue their progression and return to the World Series. The most disappointing team of this off-season has been the Los Angeles Dodgers. Due to the pending divorce of owner Frank McCourt, the Dodgers were unable to use to the necessary finances to improve their team going forward. The Arizona Diamondbacks and San Francisco Giants will be competitive throughout the season, but will falter by mid-September, allowing Colorado to roll into October unscathed.

The St. Louis Cardinals are poised to recover from an October swoon, which saw them lose in the NLDS. This surprising loss prompted the organization to re-sign outfielder Matt Holiday to a long term contract. Now, the organization must focus their attention on resigning the best hitter in baseball, Albert Pujols. Regardless, St. Louis still has one of the best rotations in baseball with Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright leading the way to October redemption. The NL Central will be the least competitive division in baseball. The Milwaukee Brewers have a couple nice players, but will not be able to compete with the Cards and their pitching staff. Sorry Cub fans, maybe next year.

While the Phillies did obtain the best pitcher in baseball, Roy Halladay, for some reason that has yet to be determined, they traded pitcher Cliff Lee to the Seattle Mariners. Despite this moment insanity, the Phillies are the favorite to repeat as league champions. With an all-star lineup and the addition of Halladay, it’ll be tough for any team to compete with this potential dynasty in the making. But the resurgent Atlanta Braves might have something to say about that. This being Bobby Cox’s last season at the helm, the Atlanta is an exciting ball club who is sure to come out playing for their manager. The Washington Nationals have significantly improved from last season, but the key word is the future. With pitcher Stephen Strasburg marinating in the minors and all-world prospect Bryce Harper soon to be drafted number one overall, the future is bright in our nation’s capital. As for the New York Mets…no comment.

The Mariners overhauled their roster from last season, in an effort to contend in the “Wild West.” The additions of Chone Figgins and Milton Bradley will bolster their paltry offense from last season considerably. By signing Figgns away from the Anaheim Angels, the Angels consistent rule of the division could be in jeopardy. Ichiro is still one of the most dynamic players in the game, and although he’s now 40 years young, Ken Griffey Jr. still has some pop left in the sweetest swing in baseball. With pitchers Felix Hernandez and Lee atop their rotation, the Mariners will have a chance to win and make a run for a playoff spot. Although the Texas Rangers have made some nice moves this off-season, Hall of Famer and now owner Nolan Ryan won’t be pitching any time soon.

The AL Central is a toss up and will be determined in the last week of the season. Discard the Cleveland Indians and Kansas City Royals right now. They are as what we refer to as, “rebuilding.” The Chicago White Sox will be the surprise team of the year. They made their move for this season, last season, by trading for pitcher Jake Peavy at the trading deadline. From all reports, Peavy is finally healthy, as he looks to reclaim his CY Young form. The Minnesota Twins will not only be battling teams this season, but Mother Nature as well. The Twins will attempt to begin play in their new open-air stadium; good luck. The loss of their all-star closer Joe Nathan will be difficult to overcome, but the state of Minnesota can rest easy knowing that their native son, catcher Joe Mauer, will be a well paid Twin for the foreseeable future.

As defending champions, the Yankees are the class of baseball. By trading with the Tigers to acquire outfielder Curtis Granderson, in addition to having one of the top infields in baseball history, the Yankees can set the cruise control to October. In his second stint in New York, pitcher Javier Vasquez will thrive in his new role as the fourth starter/innings eater. The Tampa Bay Rays, not the Boston Red Sox, will be the Yankees toughest challenge throughout the season. Led by Manager Joe Madden, the Ray’s gifted rotation and electrifying lineup have tremendous potential, which will result in a wild card berth. Despite a string of runs to produce an opening night victory, Boston’s aging offense will eventually fail them again. Their starting pitching is overrated and will be hammered on a regular basis by both New York and Tampa. By seasons end, the “Nation,” will be finish in third place, once again bowing down to their superior supremacy, Yankees Universe.

No surprise here, Albert “The Machine” Pujols and Alex Rodriguez will each win their fourth MVP award. We are watching history each time these two men step in the batters box. Rodriguez will be pushed by Joe Mauer, but Rodriguez will have much more opportunity to boost his numbers with a better team around him and having the opportunity to play 81 games in Yankee Stadium. If able to stay healthy, Florida Marlins Josh Johnson and the before mentioned Peavy will each win the CY Young award for their respected leagues.

Come October, the St. Louis Cardinals will head to the Bronx and attempt to dethrone the New York Yankees in the 2010 World Series. Mayor Bloomberg can go ahead and plan a parade through the Canyon of Hero’s, as Yankees will become champions of baseball for the 28th time. Sorry Francisco Cervelli, you might want to start looking for a new uniform number now, because Girardi’s will be changing again.

The next eight months are sure to be absolutely remarkable. Opening Day is truly an American holiday. Today, no matter your allegiance, your team is in first place and everyone has a fresh start. Baseball is the greatest game there ever has been and ever will be. As Hall of Famer Wade Boggs said, “Baseball is America and apple pie, baby!”

Happy Opening Day!

2 comments:

  1. Best part of the whole blog:

    "As for the New York Mets…no comment."

    And yes Opening Day is definitely an American Holiday!

    ReplyDelete
  2. For the record, one of the best pitchers in baseball and my personal favorite, Tom Seaver,was a Met and also played for the Red Sox! His nickname was "Tom Terrific." He won 311 games in his career. His .603 lifetime winning percentage is the best of any 300-game winner of the last half-century. Won Game Four of the 1969 World Series 2-1 in ten innings. Pitched 61 career shutouts. For Tom...for humanity...for the old man...lets be nice to the Mets.

    ReplyDelete