Monday, January 02, 2006

20 questions

Mlb.com has an article on the top 20 questions for 2006. I'd like to share a few of them with you, with my thoughts:

"10. Will the Marlins shock the world again?
That phrase was last uttered while they were winning it all in 2003. This is a team that has been through a housecleaning before, and they have a whole new look in 2006. Gone are Juan Pierre, Mike Lowell, Luis Castillo, A.J. Burnett and Paul Lo Duca. Even Jack McKeon is gone in the dugout, replaced by manager Joe Girardi. Dontrelle Willis led the Majors with 22 wins in 2005 and he's back. Somehow, this franchise has seemed to thrive when others have completely written them off."

Who asked this one, a crack addict? Shock the world again? How, by losing 130 games? So, Dontrelle Willis is back and he led the majors in wins last year. I guess he's automatically good for 22 wins all by himself, since it isn't like he has a vastly different team behind him when he won all those games last year. Yeah, they rebounded from a housecleaning once, but it kind of took them about five years to do so.

"11. Will Seattle be the most improved team? Some people think Felix Hernandez could become the best pitcher in baseball, and he certainly made a huge splash as a 2005 call-up. In 12 starts after dominating on the farm, "King Felix" was 4-4 with a 2.67 ERA and 77 strikeouts/23 walks. Add Jarrod Washburn to the rotation, bring in prized catcher Kenji Johjima from Japan, get Adrian Beltre back to his 2004 self and add Carl Everett as the DH, and you definitely have an opportunity to improve markedly on 69 wins."

It doesn't take a whole lot to improve on 69 wins. Adding a Japanese catcher, a middle of the rotation starter, and a decent DH falls just a bit shy of most improved consideration in my book. And yeah, just go ahead and put Beltre down for 48 homers in '06, that sounds sane.

"15. Will the Blue Jays pass the Yankees and Sox in the AL East? Toronto was 80-82 last season and finished 15 games behind both of those clubs. But the Blue Jays landed the most-desired starting pitcher on the free agent market in A.J. Burnett, as well as one of the most-desired closers in B.J. Ryan."

No, no they won't. The Blue Jays are better; I don't think they're better enough. I like them as a pick to improve, but you're talking about needing a 15 game improvement to pass both the Yankees and the Red Sox. It might require a 20 game swing. That's steep. You know, I haven't really met anybody who's suggested that the Jays could win the AL East, I only see that thought being prompted by online polls and articles like this.

"18. Will Pat Gillick build another winner in Philly? The architect of those World Series champs in Toronto (1992-93) and a powerhouse in Seattle (116 wins in 2001), he has made some key moves (i.e. Rowand, Tom Gordon, Abraham Nunez, Julio Santana) for the Phillies since taking over as GM there. But there are still some challenges, namely finding a frontline starter and an established setup man."

You hear that Phillies fans? Abraham Nunez and Julio Santana are KEY moves for your ballclub. Ouch. I'm going to defend the Phillies here and say that they are good enough that Nunez and Santana are not key moves. Hell, I'll defend the Scranton-Wilkes Barre Red Barrons and say that Nunez and Santana wouldn't qualify as key moves for them either. Hey Philly, I think this author is insulting your team. Feel free to take a second in between your next E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES chant to boo this guy. (Man, I hate Philadelphia)

"20. Can 2006 top 2005? Again, the keyboard just takes over. This is an era where the impossible seems to happen each year, and each year somehow tops the one before it. MLB set a single-season attendance record of more than 73 million fans last year, and those fans saw dramatic playoff chases topped off by an historic World Series in which the White Sox ended their long drought while the Astros saw their first Fall Classic. How do you top that?"

This question is just so sappy. How did 2005 top 2004 exactly? The White Sox ended their long drought, yes. But didn't that happen in 2004 to some other team? And didn't the 2004 thing go down more dramatically, something about the 2004 version of the drought busters coming back from a 3-0 deficit in the ALCS? Wait, let me get out the baseball almanac here...yeah, that was pretty unusual. So this need to claim that 2005 was the best season in recent memory is just stupid. Will 2006 top 2005? Who gives a shit, it's gonna be what it's gonna be and no matter what happens somebody is going to say how it was a great season and if only 2007 will measure up. "Wow, who will ever forget the Cardinals' 4 games to 1 victory over the Angels in the World Series? Jason Marquis' 6 innings of 9 hit ball in game three will go down as a postseason gem." (note: that is not an early prediction for the 2006 WS, so don't hold me to that)


1 Comments:

Blogger Adam said...

I'm mailing in my comment. You should have it in a few days.

1:39 AM  

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