Baseball is back!
Thank God. There’s only so much Arena Football a man can stand. During this busy offseason owners spent ridiculous amounts of money on bums (it’s as if Paramount gave Brian Ben-ben a four picture deal for $178,000,000) and pissed off 200,000 viewers by taking away the In Demand TV package just because there was more profit in it. (If you’d like to run the Yankees, by the way, my son Matt reminds me that Steinbrenner’s daughter is again single.)
But now it’s time to focus on what’s between the white lines and all the other glorious baseball clichés. And so, as Barry Bonds strives to break Henry Aaron’s all-time home run record with fans everywhere hoping he breaks his leg instead falling out of his baralounger, here are my picks for the upcoming season.
I have two in each division – the one who should win and the dark horse. There is such parity these days (i.e. every team has gaping holes) that any team other than Kansas City could sneak in. Even Tampa Bay has improved pitching and should put up a lot of runs. But I’m not picking them. I’m not insane.
National League West:
DODGERS – Best pitching. Should hit six home runs the entire season but they made the playoffs last year with Odalis Perez so they can only be better.
Dark Horse: PADRES – Good young players and David Wells & Greg Maddux (who can also play in the team’s Old Timer’s Game).
National League Central:
CARDINALS – They could win 72 games and somehow they’d still win the division.
Dark Horse: BREWERS – come on, ONE of these years they’ve got to win again. They also now have Jeff Suppan but I’m still going with the law of averages thing.
National League East:
METS -- Stars at nearly every position and Pedro will be back for three starts in September.
Dark Horse FLORIDA – It’s sure not the Phillies who signed rag arm, Adam Eaton (54-45 and injured most of the time) to a three year $24,000,000 contract.
MVP: Albert Pujols (I know, I’m really going out on a limb.)
American League West:
ANGELS – If Colon and Vlad-daddy are healthy, see ya in October.
Dark Horse: SEATTLE – Okay, I just love my Mariners.
American League Central:
DETROIT – Even without Kenny Rogers, the best rotation in the division and Carlos Guillan. Tiger fans must hope that team-cancer, Gary Sheffield doesn’t cause club to implode.
Dark Horse: INDIANS – Very talented and much improved. Perhaps a return to the glory minutes of the 90’s.
American League East:
RED SOX – Great rotation and Papelbon returning to closer role. Their big problem: filling those 120 games J.D. Drew misses due to scraped knee.
Dark Horse: BLUE JAYS – Despite that stupid team name. Getting better every year. No one in America knows because no one in America cares.
MVP: David Ortiz (finally!)
And if you don’t think I’m a master at baseball predictions, just look at my dark horse picks last year. I’m dangerous!
NLW – Giants
NLC -- Astros
NLE -- Phillies
ALW – Rangers
ALC – Indians
ALE – Blue Jays.