Posted on: August 5, 2011 6:49 am
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The Races So Far In Baseball

Hi Everybody (Apologies to Mel Allen),

This is only my third blog this year as I have been VERY busy getting married and planning for a family etc.  Not to mention I have a daily column for the China Daily Journal, 5 classes to teach at Jimei University, 3 classes to teach for the speaking part of the IELTS exam in Xiaman, plus I have to keep my 28 year old wife happy.  Oh Yeah, I have to maintain my web site at easternstudiesdatabase.cn and contruibute movie reviews for Factoidz.com (vote them up for me - shameless self-promotion).  That was a hell of a long apology.  Anyway, here is how I see the season so far and how it might play out for the rest of the year.

AL EAST

Let me see.....I am a life-long Yankee fan so......I will pick the Yankees to make their usual August move on the Red Sox.  The Red Sox have failed more times in August than summer school students on crack.  Maybe they will hold on this year if Bedard comes up big for them, but if he overexerts himself (like pitching more than three innings), then he may hurt more than help.  If Nova, Hughes, Colon and Garcia hold up for the Yanks, they should be able to take the division.  The Yankee hitting is better, but it would sure be nice to have a player like Ellsbury.  He is the MVP of the Sox in my opinion.  Tampa is too thin in pitching to challenge.  Baltimore improved this year, but now they are short on hitting.  Toronto is still a second tier team.


AL CENTRAL

Everybody has counted out the Twins, but don't be fooled.  They are eight games out with sixty to go and they have consistently played well down the stretch for the last couple of decades.  The bumbling Tigers, Indians and White Sox would fall in a second if the Twins put together another hot streak like they had about a month ago.  If the Twins don't make it all the way back, I  see the Tigers holding on to meet a first round defeat in the playoffs.


AL WEST

The biggest disappointment in the American League would have to be the A's.  They have legitimate frontline pitching, but I have seen AA teams with better hitting.  The Angels' pitching should overcome the Rangers' hitting, but the difference here is that the Rangers have some good pitching as well because Ryan knows how to build a good team.  Seattle and Oakland are dead in the water.  I am going to pick the Rangers if Orgando can continue to hold his present form. 



NL EAST

I always root for the Mets, but I know better never to pick them to win anything.  The Philles will romp through this division for the rest of the year with their great pitching.  Florida is too cheap to buy any support for its decent pitching and Washington is still a year or two away from seriously challenging Philly.  Atlanta could make a run at Philly, but if even one pitcher goes down in their entire bullpen and rotation, they will fall like a rock.



NL CENTRAL

The Cubs will win forty games in row and win the pennant by one game.  Only kidding.  The Pirates are the feel-good story of the year, but it is just a fantasy to think they will seriously challenge the Cardinals.  Cincy seems to be in a funk this year and Milwaukee really has the best pitching and should put the Cardinals to rest.  The Astros should just get tickets for the Rockets Games and relax.  I will pick Milwaukee to go all the way to the Series because I love the  tandem of Marcum and Grienike.


NL WEST

Kudos to the Diamondbacks and Kirk Gibson, the easy pick for Manager of the Year.  However, I do not think they will hold off the pitching of the Giants, who have a much better rotation and bullpen.  Colorado is back to trying to win games 10-9 and that is not the best way to make the playoffs.  I was disappointed for Don Mattingly and the Dodgers-he might get the axe  for the miserable  season they are having, but the Dodgers look terrible.  The Padres always seem to have good pitching and a great bullpen, but their hitting is almost as bad as Oakland.  I thought the PCL was a hitter's league?  Where are they?  Giants to win a close one.


Well that's it.  I will pick Milwaukee to meet the Yankees in a rubber of the 1957 and 1958 pairings of these cities (actually it was the Braves then, but they moved to Atlanta).  Of course I am bound to pick the Yankees to win it all.  How else could I live with myself?
Category: MLB
Posted on: February 26, 2011 10:48 pm
 

First Blog of the Spring Ahhhh. Liriano

The Yankees should pick up Liriano as soon as they can for whatever the Twins want.  Throw money at them, throw prospects at them; whatever it takes.  Try to keep Montero because Posada is no longer able to handle plate duites and the other guy can't hit like Posada, but Montero can.  Hate to give up Gardner, but I am sure that is what the Twins would want; at least that is what I would want if I were them.  In fantasy baseball Liriano and Gardner are just about at the same level of desirability.  So a trade for these two makes the most sense because the Yanks are heavy in the outfiled and the Twins always seem to keep coming up with those great pitchers from their farms.  The Yanks STILL need a fifth starter, even if they get Liriano, but I think Nova can handle the fifth spot, despite what some other knucklehead scouts think.  He will have a year's experience under his belt, the confidence that the Yankee lineup will provide him with between five and six runs a game and the need to show what he can do or he is gone.  If that is not enough motivation, then the Yanks will need another fifth guy.  But first, they have to land Liriano, which is not a done deal, yet.  Hopefully, Liriano will completely recover from his Tommy, but you never know with those things.  Sometimes they do, and sometimes they don't.  I would draft him in the middle rounds, just like I would draft Gardner in the middle rounds.  There are very few sure things in fantasy or real baseball.  After all, Granderson showed he can do the job after a shaky start last year and he has a lot more pop than Gardner.  What do you thnk boys?
Posted on: February 10, 2011 7:29 am
 

Pujols + Cuban = Future For Mets OR Yankees?

Posted on: February 10, 2011 6:50 amScore: 122 

Mets Best Fit, Yankees Best $$ - Cuban/Pujols?

This looks like someone wants to get on the big stage to me.  That would be New York, folks.  Sorry to say that's where the big stage is, but I think we all know that's true to a certain extent.  When kids dream about playing ball, unless they grew up in Saint Louis, they are not dreaming about playing ball for the Cardinals.  Half the population of Latin America dreams about playing for either the Yankees or Mets.  I would have to think that Albert is no different.  Deep down there, somewhere, is the urge to be on the BIG stage.  To live out the REAL dream, just likd AROD did, and countless other players who started with teams outside of New York, but then were dragged there by their own secret desires.  I truly believe that this is the case with Albert.  It's not really about the money, but the money can easily be used as a rationale to leave.  The Mets are the best fit for him, because as Lou Costello would often say "Who's on First?"  Not too many people in or out of baseball can answer that question for the Mets.  But they are in financial turmoil with the Madoff catastrophe, and the only way that Albert goes to the Mets is if Mark Cuban takes over the ownership there.  That in itself is an intriguing possibility.  Who could turn that franchise around faster than Albert Pujols?  And who could afford him more than Mark Cuban?
The Yankees.  The dreaded, hated Evil Empire could afford him more than three Mark Cubans, but he is really not a great fit there because either he or Mark Texieria, (we don't have to ask Who's on First?" for this team) would have to become the DH.  Mark is not a kid anymore and neither is Albert for that matter.  So who gets to field?  Who gets to DH?  Would they share the load?  Who knows?  As fearsome  as the Yankee lineup is already (and if you ask any pitcher in the AL which lineup they do not want to pitch against, it is this one), could you imagine the lineup with Pujols added?  Texieria from the left side and Pujols from the right side would make any pitching matchup virtually meaningless.  Add Cano to the left side and AROD to the right side and you have two killers from each side.  I wouldn't want to pitch against that, would you?  So in the final analysis, if a marriage between Mark Cuban and Pujols could be arranged secretly in advance (like that never happens), then the Mets could return to the spotlight in baseball.  If the Yankees get him, they will still need a four and five pitcher, but that is a lot easier to fill than getting Albert Pujols.
Arthur TaferoBaseball Knucklehead From China
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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com