Wednesday, March 23, 2011

30 Teams In 30 Minutes

Spring Training is almost over and Opening Day is literally around the corner.  If I was forced to pick a favorite sport, it would be baseball.  Hockey is a close second, but it's still second.  I just love the history and spectacle of the sport.  Plus, it's all about numbers and I'm a nerd and love numbers.  I'll make my predictions for each team in the league, give or take 5 if I say 80 wins, it's really anywhere between 75-85.  Lots of leeway here.  MLB Network has done a series called 30 Teams In 30 Days, but here at For Lack Of A Better Title, have a much harder working staff than they do and can do the 30 Teams In 30 Minutes.  I'll paraphrase Henry Rollins when he saw The Ramones for the first time, "They played 30 songs in about 30 minutes and then did a 9 song encore."  (I always find a way to get music in every blog post).  "Take it Dee Dee.  1...2..3...4..."

American League


Boston - Went out and signed/traded for 2 of the best players in baseball in Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford.  Both of them are still young and should be productive for the foreseeable future.  On paper, they are the team to beat.  I'd take them in a fight over most teams too.  Jason Varitek is a beast and Jonathan Papelbon is plain nuts.  Outlook: 100 wins and win the East.

New York - In a rare move by the Yankees, they didn't really sign or go after anyone.  They got snubbed by Cliff Lee and then didn't seem to have a "back up plan."  It's Jennifer Lopez' fault for making such a horrible movie.  (I didn't see it, but it's J-Lo...not Liz Taylor - R.I.P.)  Lots of turmoil going on in the Bronx.  The team isn't getting any younger, to remedy that, they could try to sign Roy Hobbs...just a thought.  Outlook: 95 wins and take the Wild Card.

Tampa Bay - So what happens when a team is on the brink of being a consistent challenger to the two top teams of it's division?  It cuts payroll.  I almost put the Rays in the fourth position, but just can't convince myself that Baltimore can finish third.  The Rays still have plenty of talent, but just not as much as it did.  They took a step backwards, but time will determine how big of a step.  Outlook: 89 wins

Baltimore - This team is filled with young talent, but also signed some inexpensive veterans in the off season.  They finally have a real manager in Buck Showalter.  He had an immediate impact on the team when he came on the scene late last season.  They could make a jump to challenge for third place in the division or stay status quo.  I think they'll put a scare into the division, but ultimately finish where they usually do.  Outlook: 84 wins

Toronto - John Farrell, former pitching coach for Boston, is the new manager and he's in for a long season.  They have a few good players, but not enough to really compete on a steady basis.  Forget it when the injuries happen.  No team stays healthy all season.  Outlook: 76 wins


Minnesota - I still feel like they are the team to beat in the Central.  Although, they could easily finish as low as third in this crazy division.  Ron Gardenhire is the best manager in the division and I think that's the advantage for them.  I mean what else do Minnesotans have to look forward to sports-wise.  They need the Twins to be good or it's just really depressing.  Outlook: 95 wins and win the Central

Detroit - They have the talent, but injuries always seem to plague them.  I wonder if Miguel Cabrera will play the games with a flask in his back pocket?  Asking the opposing players when they get down to first base if they want a rip.  It makes you run faster, he'll say...No?  Okay, more for me.  Sorry, got off on a tangent.  They'll be right there...they are too good not to be.  Outlook: 94 wins

Chicago - Like all the teams in the top three, they could finish first.  Ozzie Guillen is the reason they won't.  He'll blow a gasket or seven and fight the GM, announcers, ex-players (Bobby Jenks) and various others during the season both verbally and physically.  He's too hot blooded for his own good and also according to Lou Gramm.  Outlook: 92 wins

Kansas City - This team should win.  They have been drafting near the top of the draft forever.  They have good young talent, but often trade away their players a year or two before they make an impact.  They don't want to pay anyone.  Why own a team?  Outlook: Depressing...I mean, 77 wins

Cleveland - I'm going to assume you've seen the movie, Major League.  I believe Groundskeeper #1 sums it up nicely, "They're shitty."  That is a direct quote from the movie.  Outlook: 68 wins


Texas - They were the American League representative in the World Series last year.  I don't see anyone in their division beating them.  Anything can happen, but it would be an awfully hard thing to convince me of.  Provided nobody important gets hurt for a long period of time, *cough* Josh Hamilton *cough.*  Everything should run smoothly for them.  Outlook: 93 wins and the West title

Oakland - They are the one team that could challenge the Rangers for the division.  They certainly have the pitching to do it.  The hitting is the problem.  They play in a large ballpark.  Awesome for pitching, but not for hitting.  Plus, there's this...Quick, name 5 Oakland Athletics...times up sorry.  They don't have players that roll right off the tongue, but that's how GM Billy Beane operates.  Outlook: 87 wins

Los Angeles or Anahiem - Whatever they are called these days.  They are trying to bring in younger talent and stay competitive.  Easier said then done.  It's hard to try to absorb the growing pains of youth and mesh it with experience of veterans.  They are basically treading water.  Outlook: 79 wins

Seattle - They have two bona fide superstars in Ichiro and King Felix, but other than that...nothing much.  The ballpark they play in doesn't do much for the offense.  Outlook: 66 wins

National League


Philadelphia - They have the best starting pitching staff in baseball on paper and Joe Blanton.  They've already had some injury problems, but when you have four guys that could literally win 20 each...too hard not to pick them first.  Outlook: 97 wins and the East title

Atlanta - They have just enough to hold off the third place team.  There's not much left here.  Bobby Cox finally retired and the last holdover from the great teams of the 90's and 00's is being held together with duct tape.  Chipper Jones will probably retire at the end of this season.  Outlook: 85 wins

Washington - Yes, that says Washington and no it's not a typo.  I think they will really come into their own in 2013 when Bryce Harper is ready, but they will show flashes this year.  Oh wait, the world is supposed to cease to exist in much for that prediction.  Outlook: 83 wins

Florida - Which team wanted it more?  Florida wanted to finish out of the basement more than the Mets.  It's scary down there.  You remember having to go change the laundry when you were a kid...hoping no one got you while you were down there.  That's why your Mom sent you, she was scared too.  It's enough motivation for the Marlins to claw their way ahead of New York.  Outlook: 77 wins

New York - They have accepted their fate.  They are in the basement with the rest of the broken toys, the Boogeyman and whatever else goes bump in the night.  I think they could lose 100 games, but will err on the side of positivity.  Outlook: 63 wins


Cincinnati - They have all the talent in the world and a nice balance between youngsters and veterans.  They have a sneaky good pitching staff to go along with a very potent lineup.  They are the cream of the crop in the Central.  Outlook: 95 wins and the Central title.

Milwaukee - The Wild Card is coming out of Milwaukee, you heard it or rather read it here first.  They could even challenge for the division, but let's not get too ahead of ourselves.  An improved pitching staff will take them far.  Outlook: 94 wins - Wild Card

St. Louis - What could have been?  If Adam Wainwright didn't go down with a major injury, they could be higher in the standings.  They win with smoke and mirrors.  They appear to have a good lineup and pitching staff, but do they really?  Outlook: 82 wins

Chicago - I don't know what to do with this team.  They spend so much money and are still crappy.  I think that's the most frustrating thing about them.  They try to win, but never get there.  Another misery filled season for the loyal fans of the Cubs.  Outlook: 80 wins

Houston - I've always loved the Astros, they are the National team I would root for.  At least when Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio and Roy Oswalt were playing there, but those days are long over.  They hang in there, but their best bet is too upset the Cubs for fourth place.  Outlook: 76 wins

Pittsburgh - It's Pittsburgh...the last time they had a winning record I was finishing high school.  Outlook: 64 wins


San Francisco - Brian Wilson's beard will win this division all by itself.  It's that powerful.  They will hit just enough to win.  The pitching staff is still dominating, even with Barry Zito.  Outlook: 93 wins and the West title.

Colorado - They will challenge for the division, but will come up just short.  This could be the newest rivalry in baseball.  The stars of the respective teams are young and could go at it for awhile.  Outlook: 91 wins

Los Angeles - They have some great players, but I don't believe it's enough to overtake either of the top two teams.  The ownership situation could/will limit their ability to be active around the trade deadline.  That's just a mess.  Outlook: 86 wins

Arizona - I almost put Arizona ahead of Los Angeles, but just couldn't do it.  I believe they are building a good team, but they aren't there yet.  Outlook: 80 wins

San Diego - They traded away their best player and more could leave at the trade deadline.  Are they rebuilding?  I don't know what the plan is for them.  Outlook: 70 wins

World Series I'd Like To See: Boston vs Milwaukee
World Series We'll Probably See: Boston vs Philadelphia

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