Tuesday, April 21, 2009


After two long, long days without any Cubs baseball, the Cubbies return to action tonight against the Cincinatti Reds at 7:05 CST. It feels like it has been forever. Hopefully the couple of days off will have helped the slight injuries that the team has suffered over the first two weeks. Also, the bullpen has certainly needed the rest as they have been getting a lot of work of late, although not doing a great job in the process.

Still, entering week three of the season, the Cubs are in first place in the division.

There is a long way to go, and I'm ready to make the journey.

Go, Cubs, Go.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Opening Week

Baseball is in full swing now, nearly two full weeks in the books. I went to four games opening week, Opening day and the second game of Cubs verses Astros in Houston and then was at Detroit at Toronto on Wednesday (although for only 1 and a half innings as my flight was massively delayed) and Thursday, so it was mucho beisbol for me last week. This week all of my baseball viewing has been on the television (or more likely on my computer screen via MLB.tv)

Here are some of the things I've noticed so far...

Carlos Marmol should be closing for the Cubbies and not Kevin Gregg. Marmol has been spectacular, while Gregg has blown 2 saves and been the culprit in a late inning loss when he came in with the game tied. In the two games Marmol has come in with a save opportunity, however, the Cubs have gotten the win without giving up so much as a run. In Gregg's only save, he nearly blew a three run lead. Time to make the switch, Lou.

It is amazing how unique things happen in baseball to this day. Rich Harden went only three innings in his last start, but struck out 8 of the 9 outs and the only out that wasn't a strike out was on a baserunning play. That means that 0 of the outs for Harden's three innings of work he didn't get a single out on a batted ball. No ground outs, fly outs, line outs, pop outs, or fly outs. That has never happened since at least 1954 for an outing of at least 3 innings. Ian Kinsler the other day hit for the cycle, which is rare in and of itself, but he did it in a game that he went 6 for 6 in. The last time someone had a perfect day with that many hits and hit for the cycle? 1894. Despite the fact that there are 30 teams that play this game at least 162 times a year, there are still things happening that are at the very least rare, and occasionally completely unique.

You really don't want to be my AL preseason World Series pick. Last year I picked the Tigers, they then started 0-7. This year I picked the Indians who promptly went 0-5 and lost 7 of their first 8.

Finally, I want to tell a little story about my return from Toronto. As my plane was arriving back into DFW, the cloud cover was 100%. You couldn't see anything but clouds. Then, as we began to descend towards them one little spot opened up perfectly framing a baseball field. It was awesome. After we emerged from the clouds, the first thing that caught my eye on the ground was another baseball field. The Baseball season is here and I am so glad.

The Houston Skyline from Minute Maid as the sun is going down.

Alfonso Soriano up to bat

New Cub Milton Bradley in the field

Rogers Center, home of the Toronto Blue Jays, from outside

Rogers Center, home of the Toronto Blue Jays after beating the Tigers 6-2

Monday, April 6, 2009


Happy Opening Day!!!!!!!!

I will be at the Cubs game today at the Juice Box in Houston to watch Carlos Zambrano and Roy Oswalt going head to head. Talk about a great matchup. It should be a great game.

Here are the earlier prediction posts

And now the NL CENTRAL

The Cubs have won the division each of the last two seasons, and this Cubs team is again favored by most everyone to do so again. The Cubs rotation is not only clearly the best in the Central but is arguably the best in the entire major leagues to go along with a great offense that is now even more balanced. The Brewers provided the most competition each of the last two seasons, but they no longer have CC Sabathia or Ben Sheets and their pitching is now a huge question mark. They still have a potent offense, but the pitching, both starting and relief will make them take a huge step back. St. Louis has somehow with spit and tape stayed competitive the last few seasons, but has been able to really compete at the end of the season. I don't expect much to change for them this year either. Houston seems to be two different teams each year. Among the leagues worst in the first half and a very competitive club in the second. If they hope to have any chance at anything this year, they need to come out of the gate much faster then they have in the last couple of years. Cincinnati looks to be a young and exciting team. They have great young pitching and very talented young position players. They could be this year's surprise contender. The Pirates are, as always, the Pirates.


Chicago 94-68
Cincinnati 84-78
Houston 83-79
St. Louis 82-80
Milwaukee 70-92
Pittsburgh 60-102


Tampa Bay Rays over Los Angeles Angels
Cleveland Indians over Boston Red Sox

Cleveland over Tampa Bay

Chicago Cubs over Atlanta Braves
New York Mets over Arizona Diamondbacks

Chicago over New York

Chicago over Cleveland

MVP-Josh Hamilton, Texas Rangers
CY YOUNG-Josh Beckett, Boston Red Sox
MANAGER-Eric Wedge, Cleveland Indians
ROY-Elvis Andrus, Texas Rangers

MVP-Milton Bradley, Chicago Cubs
CY YOUNG-Johann Santana, New York Mets
MANAGER-Bobby Cox, Atlanta Braves
ROY-Cameron Maybin, Florida Marlins


Friday, April 3, 2009


Monday we did AL West
Tuesday we did AL Central
Wednesday we did AL East
Thursday we did NL West

Today we move onto the NL East and we'll finish with our very own NL Central on Monday, aka Opening Day, along with our postseason predictions and our award predictions.

The last two seasons, the Mets have lost the division at the very end of the year. The Phillies have taken advantage of that situation each of the last two seasons. The Braves and Marlins have been hanging around for a majority of the season lately, while finding at the end of the season they don't quite have enough to keep up. And then there is the Nationals.

The Braves have probably done as much as anyone to make themselves better, adding the Dodgers Ace from last season, Derek Lowe, as well as one of the Angels best players from the last few seasons, Garrett Anderson.

The Nationals added Adam Dunn (who is one of the best and most patient hitters in the majors) at bargain prices, so while they probably won't contend they will be much better this year then they have been in the past.

The Phillies are coming off of winning the World Series and that means that they'll have a bit of a target on their back, plus I don't think that the Mets can screw up their amount of talent for a third consecutive season.


New York 90-72
Atlanta 87-75
Philadelphia 86-76
Washington 79-83
Florida 76-86

Remember Monday is Opening Day (although there is a game Sunday night on ESPN between the Phillies and Braves) and it will also feature our final Preview and Prediction Post where we'll finally give our predictions for the NL Central as well as postseason picks and award predictions.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


After the last three days have given us the AL, we move onto the NL.

Just as it has been in the last few seasons, I think that the NL West is going to be one of the lesser divisions in the majors. Any of the teams really have the potential to take this division, because it is totally up for grabs. The Rockies a couple of seasons ago made it to the World Series. The Padres were one of the worst teams in baseball last year, but when their rotation is healthy it is among the leagues best (and it doesn't hurt that they play in a primo pitching park called Petco), but their payroll has been decimated leaving them little for role players. And those are the two teams everyone expects to suck. Los Angeles won the division last year, but they've lost some of their pitching and other then Manny their line up doesn't scare me very much unless they're hot. Ultimately the Dodgers look to be a super streaky team, but that might be enough in this division. The Diamondbacks have a lot of young talent that took them far a couple of years ago, but disappeared down the stretch last season. I like them to contend all year again this season, but I'm still not sure how much they can be trusted when it counts. San Fransisco has been down for a number of years, but unquestionably they did the most to improve themselves this year.


Arizona 86-76
Los Angeles 84-78
San Fransisco 80-82
San Diego 79-83
Colorado 71-91

Tomorrow we'll move onto the NL EAST

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Yesterday was the AL Central, Monday was the AL West, today we look at the sure to be hotly contested AL East.

Last years two AL Championship game teams were both from the East, and this year the East is poised to be even better. In what was essentially a two team race last year (although the two teams were also the best the AL had to offer) the Red Sox and the Rays came down to the wire both in the regular season and the exciting ALCS. While the Yankees were forced to watch the playoffs from home precipitating the huge offseason spending spree. Most of the majors went into a cost cutting mode in response to the worsening economy, but not the Yankees. The biggest name pitcher and arguably the best available hitter (although you could definitely make a case for Manny being Manny) both signed with the Yankess as well as a few other big name acquisitions. All in the hopes that the Yankees wouldn't end up on the outside looking in again.

Sadly, for them, however, I think that ultimately they will end up, once again, on the outside looking in, despite having the third best record in the AL.


Tampa Bay 95-67
Boston 93-69
New York 90-72
Toronto 79-83
Baltimore 70-92

Tomorrow we move onto the NL West