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Thread: Baseball begins!

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  1. #1
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    Talking Baseball begins!

    Spring training has begun - so what do people think? How will it turn out? (And, no, we will not be stoning to death those who predict wrong! We are baseball fans, not prophets).

    AL East: Yankees. They have shored up their pitching, and if A-Rod is healthy, they should win easily. Cano at second, Granderson in center. If Jeter can repeat his 2nd half performance of last year, he should have another good season. Sad about losing Posada, and trading Montero was a surprise, but they have a lot of depth behind the plate.

    AL Central: Tigers. The addition of Prince Fielder into the great team they had in 2011. And, being in the AL, he has the chance to DH. Tigers easily.

    AL West: Angels. The addition of Pujols gives them a great edge over the Rangers. Not sure if Texas can get up after last year's loss in the World Series.

    NL East: Phillies. The rest just don't seem strong enough to compete. Of course, Howard has to get healthy.

    NL Central: Hard to say. The Brewers loss of Fielder, and the Cardinals loss of Pujols makes guessing hard. It could, like last year, come down to the wire.

    NL West: My heart wants to say the Dodgers (yes, I know, but I said "heart", not "head"), but IF they can get past their off field problems, and IF the new owner can bring them together - who knows. Too many "if's", so I will go with Arizona. I think that the Giants in 2010 was more "all good things coming together at once", and probably won't happen again. But, if Posey can come back healthy???

    AL Wild Cards: Red Sox (so long as they can get their act together). Last September surprised/shocked us all, even us Yankee fans. They can come back, but they have to get their heads straight. The second Wild Card will be a fight between the Rays and the Rangers. The Rays have the harder division, so I will go with the Rangers.

    NL Wild Cards: Either Cards or Brewers (depending on who doesn't win the division) and Atlanta - providing they don't implode again - see Red Sox, above.

  2. #2
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    I'm more a fan of specific teams than a fan of the sport. In other words, I don't keep track of every possible team/division, so I can't comment quite as thoroughly. I do think you're quite right on AL Central though. I find it hard to see the Tigers not wrapping up the central. All I can do is hope my Twins don't repeat last season's epic loss total. In the NL Central, I find it interesting you didn't even mention the Reds. I think their division is a pretty open one and although I'd like to see the Cards take it, I think just about everyone has a shot.
    Michael Hanel
    PhD candidate Classics Univ. of Cincinnati
    MDiv Concordia Seminary
    MA Classics Washington University
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Hanel View Post
    I find it interesting you didn't even mention the Reds. I think their division is a pretty open one and although I'd like to see the Cards take it, I think just about everyone has a shot.
    I believe that you are right. The loss of Fielder and Pujols - plus other team changes (for instance, the Cards losing LaRussa as manager) makes the NL Central a tough call.

    I had thought about the Reds. These last few years they seem to start well - but then fade out mid-summer. Lack of player depth. Lack of something. This is one of the reasons I did not consider them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimofbentley View Post
    I believe that you are right. The loss of Fielder and Pujols - plus other team changes (for instance, the Cards losing LaRussa as manager) makes the NL Central a tough call.

    I had thought about the Reds. These last few years they seem to start well - but then fade out mid-summer. Lack of player depth. Lack of something. This is one of the reasons I did not consider them.
    That is true, they do seem to have a lot of talent that somehow loses steam, but they have some really solid hitters (Joey Votto, Jay Bruce and the addition of Ludwick). Pitching is always their soft spot it seems. And injuries of course.

    The Cards could pick up steam if Wainwright is back in form after his lost year, but that's always an up and down thing. I think if Berkman and Holliday can stay healthy, they'll still have a decent hitting team. No team can lose a guy like Pujols and be the same, but if those two would stay healthy, they have the potential to at least soften the blow.

    I still don't think it's easy to count anyone out of the NL Central, and I won't be surprised (or unhappy) if it takes most of the season to get figured out. I enjoy parity much more than I enjoy dominance.
    Michael Hanel
    PhD candidate Classics Univ. of Cincinnati
    MDiv Concordia Seminary
    MA Classics Washington University
    Unofficial BibleWorks Blog
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Hanel View Post
    I still don't think it's easy to count anyone out of the NL Central, and I won't be surprised (or unhappy) if it takes most of the season to get figured out.
    I'm 100% with you on this one.

    Last year's wild card races - going down to the very last day. Fantastic!

    I remember well the 1967 AL race where any of three teams could have won on the last day. Truly exciting stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Hanel View Post
    I enjoy parity much more than I enjoy dominance.
    So do I. Just so long as the Yankees win it all in the end.


  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimofbentley View Post

    So do I. Just so long as the Yankees win it all in the end.

    That's a real good way to end a conversation, sir. I'm glad you didn't start with that

    Fortunately I play fantasy baseball to get out all that angst. I can still cheer for the Yankees as long as they score points for me in one way or the other
    Michael Hanel
    PhD candidate Classics Univ. of Cincinnati
    MDiv Concordia Seminary
    MA Classics Washington University
    Unofficial BibleWorks Blog
    LibraryThing!

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    So, we have just a couple of weeks to go, how am I doing? Well, in a word - poorly!

    AL East
    : Yankees. Yes, they are in first, but having blown a 10 game lead they are now in a daily battle with Baltimore!

    AL Central: Tigers. They are fighting hard, but still trail Chicago. They are way behind in the Wild Card stakes.

    AL West: Angels. They are falling further behind in the Wild Card, and lost all hope for a division title with the surging A's.

    NL East: Phillies. In last place earlier in the season, but are coming back now, ony 3 1/2 games back in the Wild Card, probably left their run to late - but who knows.

    NL Central: The Brewers or the Cardinals. I thought for sure Cincinnati would fade - but they have gone further ahead. St. Louis and Milwaukee are in a battle for the Wild Card.

    NL West: Here is what I said then: "Arizona. I think that the Giants in 2010 was more 'all good things coming together at once', and probably won't happen again." Here is what I say now: "Does anyone have some humble pie for me to eat !"

    AL Wild Cards: Red Sox - well, they might need to look to 2013 (and a new manager?) Rangers. They do have the division - but I never saw Oakland coming.

    NL Wild Cards: Either Cards or Brewers or Atlanta - At least in this I have it right. Atlanta and St Louis, with Milwaukee battling hard.

  8. #8
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    I really don't follow the NL very closely, but here are a couple quick shots about your AL comments:

    Quote Originally Posted by jimofbentley View Post

    AL East
    : Yankees. Yes, they are in first, but having blown a 10 game lead they are now in a daily battle with Baltimore!
    In fairness, the Yankees have probably been the best team in the AL since May. Are they going to be like Ohio--round at both ends and high in the middle? If Baltimore could take the East, it would be one of the feel-good Cinderella stories of the season. Maybe the feel-good Cinderella story of the season, since Pittsburgh has fallen off the radar. EDIT: I probably shouldn't forget the Orioles' neighbors over in Washington.


    Quote Originally Posted by jimofbentley View Post

    AL Central: Tigers. They are fighting hard, but still trail Chicago. They are way behind in the Wild Card stakes.
    The Sox are giving the Tigers every chance to take that division. Both teams are playing some stinkball to close out the season. The Sox losing 5 in a row? The Tigers losing 2 out of 3 against the Twins?!?


    Quote Originally Posted by jimofbentley View Post

    AL West: Angels. They are falling further behind in the Wild Card, and lost all hope for a division title with the surging A's.
    It seems every year, the Angels are overrated and the Rangers underrated. The A's have been a surprise. And the Rangers and A's begin a four-game series tonight--this could be absolutely huge.
    Last edited by Lee; 09-24-2012 at 03:03 PM.
    καὶ ὑπὲρ πάντων ἀπέθανεν ἵνα οἱ ζῶντες μηκέτι ἑαυτοῖς ζῶσιν, ἀλλὰ τῷ ὑπὲρ αὐτῶν ἀποθανόντι καὶ ἐγερθέντι.

  9. #9
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    And here we are on the last day of the season:

    In the last week, the WhiteSox can't hang on and the Tigers take the AL Central.

    The Rangers stumble out of first place, and the A's win their last six, including a three game sweep of the Rangers, to take the AL West.

    If (God forbid) the BoSox beat the Yankees and Baltimore wins, then there is a tie in the AL East (both only in the second inning as I write this).

    As Roy Hobbs said in The Natural, "I love this game"!

  10. #10
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    Top of 4th: Yankees 5 - Red Sox 1

    Bottom of 4th: Rays 2 - O's 0

    It all finished well:

    Yankees 14-2
    Rays 4-1
    Last edited by jimofbentley; 10-03-2012 at 11:29 PM.

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