Monday, April 03, 2006

We missed you friend

Baseball's back. Amazing. That's all I can say. Nothing like waking up on opening day knowing that you're going to the ballpark and it's going to count, and that for every day from now through September you've got a ballgame to watch. Love it!

Some opening day thoughts from around the league:

Anderson Hernandez made a spectacular play throwing from the hole in the first inning of the Mets game. He had a brain cramp in the third inning when he neglected to tag the runner coming from first to second on a fielder's choice, instead throwing for an out at first when the lead runner was easily taggable. But that first inning play showed some serious ability, and by virtue of not being named Kaz Matsui, Andy Hernandy's an improvement.

Tough day to be an ace. Well, it was a good day for some of them, but has any previous opening day been this rough for so many starters?

Why do the Yankees always open in Oakland now?

Today was exhibit A in the case against Chris Reitsma as Braves' closer. Worth watching.


We didn't finish predictions yet. So, finally, the NL East:

Braves 95-67
Mets 93-69
Phillies 87-75
Nationals 78-84
Marlins 61-101

I'm predicting the Braves there because that's where they always end up. You can analyze the roster all you want every year, but Bobby Cox gets his team to the top of the division. I'll keep picking Atlanta to win the division until after they've been deposed. I know that Mazzone's gone now, but I'm still not picking against the Braves to win the NL East.

I'm putting the Phillies where they are for the same logic. They just seem to know how to fall in that win range even if they should be better on paper. So I'm sticking with the trend.

I think I've balanced wishful thinking and objective projections for the Mets. This team can and should win over 90 games. Considering their pythagorian W-L was 89 wins last year, 93 shouldn't be a big stretch. I'm not picking them to do better because I'm afraid to.

The Nationals were a middle of the pack team last year, and I see no difference this year. I do think Soriano will have a better year (at least offensively) than many are predicting, but so what. He's just one player. I think they're a hitter and a pitcher short from joining the mix of wild card contenders.

I think the Marlins are fairly obvious.

So we've got a playoff picture as follows:

NL: Braves v. Dodgers, Astros v. Mets
AL: Yankees v. Angels, Indians v. A's

NLCS: Dodgers v. Mets
ALCS: Yankees v. A's

WS: A's v. Mets
A's win.

I'm not comfortable predicting the Mets to go this far. As a Mets fan I'm trained to think they won't really get this far. So it's a lukewarm prediction, because I need to play it safe. Don't want to tempt fate. But I ended up giving them one of the 4 best records in the league, so what can I do. And I think the Braves will make their customary first round exit (man, the way I've been predicting this stuff I would end up predicting rain tomorrow because it rained yesterday - very logical, but whatever.) I think the Mets can beat the Astros and Dodgers. So there you go. I don't truly believe it, because I can't. But trying to stay consistent under my system, that's what I have to do.

I just feel like the A's can really gel this year. I think their pitching can beat anybody in a short series. And I think it's that organization's time to get past the playoff disappointments and put it all together.

Eh. I don't know. Maybe. I don't know if I believe what I just said. But picking the A's to win it all makes me feel bold. So boldness it is.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Ander said...

Couple of thoughts of mine on Mets game:
Good:
1) in player introductions, the fans booed most of the Nationals, especially Soriano, Wetteland and Stanton. But they cheered Marlon Anderson and gave a standing ovation to Frank Robinson. Classy.
2) Julio Franco - how he still uses that stance at age 47, I have no idea. Was cheering when he came up, and then we he put that bat over his head
3) The Mets won!

Bad:
1) Good idea having Orosco throw the first pitch to Carter. But he couldn't make the pitch from the mound!?! He was just in the majors two years ago, Prez Bush makes his throws from the pitching rubber, why can't Orosco?
2) Can we please tone down the MVP chants everytime Wright moves a muscle?
3) It's great to have Wagner, but they can't play 'Enter Sandman' when he comes in, that's just pathetic. What's next, nameless uniforms?

All in all, a good opener, I'm pumped about the season, may go to the Pedro opener Thurs night

9:52 AM  
Anonymous JP said...

That rain prediction looks dead-on, so who knows...

11:14 AM  

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