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  • Division by division outlook

    http://wilkernator.blogspot.com/2006...l-al-east.html


    The return of baseball: AL EAST

    Baseball is back, fans are buying tickets, the players are warming up and everyone is heading down to the ballpark. In today's issue, I will review the AL East's offseason, grade its teams and project next season final standings.

    AL East

    1. Toronto Blue Jays
    They have improved in almost every single position. Starting pitching rotation is now completed with star A.J. Burnett in the mix and all-star close B.J. Ryan closing out games. Troy Glaus, Lyle Overbay and Bengie Molina make this team my pick to win the AL East.
    Bottom Line: Expect a great season from the Jays, 85-95 wins is now a possibility with their revamped lineup.
    Grade: A-

    2. New York Yankees
    The Yanks didn't pull off as many moves as last offseason but the additions of Kyle Farnsworth behind Mariano Rivera and Johnny Damon making the switch from the Bean Town Sox to the Bronx Bombers will definetely propel this team...but nit enough. Age is a concern, and so is consistency.
    Not enough magic despite the biggest payroll in baseball.
    Bottom Line: The Yanks will contend, but they definetely won't have another 100-win season.
    They should set their sights on minimum 85 wins and possibly a wild card berth.
    Grade: B+

    3. Boston Red Sox
    They really dissapointed me this offseason, especially when Theo Epstein left. But now he's back and in charge. The losses of Bill Mueller, John Olerud, Kevin Millar and Johnny Damon will seriously damage this team's chances of contending. Curt Schilling will anchor and injury prone rotation with names like Josh Beckett, Matt Clement, David Wells and Tim Wakefield which were all injured last season.
    Mike Lowell and Coco Crisp will compensate for the losses of Damon and Mueller.
    Willy Mo Pena still needs developing.
    Bottom Line: The Red Sox need some more talent in their system. Besides Manny Ramirez, Coco Crisp and David Ortiz, who do they have? They don't have enough to win.
    Don't be surprised if they fall under .500
    Grade: B-

    4. Baltimore Orioles
    This mediocre squad will once more reign under the influence of Sam Perlozzo minus Rafael Palmeiro. Ramon Hernandez, Kevin Millar, Jeff Conine and Kris Benson were added, but it will not address this team's need of chemistry and passion.
    Bottom Line: This team is in serious need of a mood swing and a possible rebuiling stage.
    Miguel Tejada needs to step it up, so does Javy Lopez and Jay Gibbons.
    Cross them off your list, they'll be lucky if they reach 70-75 wins.
    Grade: C-

    5. Tampa Bay Devil Rays
    The Rays are a young team with many promising prospects and future superstar players.
    Scott Kazmir, Danys Baez, Jorge Cantu, Julio Lugo and Aubrey Huff had great seasons but that's basically the team.
    All the other players are inconsistent and inexperienced.
    Rocco Baldelli will be back after missing all of 2005 with an injury.
    Wait a few more years...
    Bottom Line: Inexperience, Inconsistency, horrendous pitching and no chemistry= last place.
    Expect a repeat of last season.
    Grade: D

    See tomorrow's edition for the NL East preview.
    Cristobal

  • #2
    Definitely overrating the Blue Jays a little there. The Blue Jays did make some nice acquisitions, but they are very weak in the corner OF positions and very weak at the middle IF positions. There overall IF defense will not be good either. Troy Glaus has had health problems his whole career. Vernon Wells has yet to really fulfill his potential. Lyle Overbay was a nice pickup, but is he really that much better than Shea Hillenbrand? AJ Burnett is already on the DL, plus there are a ton of questions about his makeup. And Ryan has only one year as a closer. How many times have we seen a closer have a good year only to get shelled the next?

    If all the Jays acquisitions pan out and the team gets some production from the middle IF and corner OF spots, as well as something resembling defense in the IF, I can see the Jays making a run for second in the east, but they're not ready to slay both heads of the two-headed dragon in the east. Sure, things can happen and the Jays could pass one, but my guess right now is 3rd for the Jays.

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    • #3
      3. Boston Red Sox
      They really dissapointed me this offseason, especially when Theo Epstein left. But now he's back and in charge. The losses of Bill Mueller, John Olerud, Kevin Millar and Johnny Damon will seriously damage this team's chances of contending. Curt Schilling will anchor and injury prone rotation with names like Josh Beckett, Matt Clement, David Wells and Tim Wakefield which were all injured last season.
      Mike Lowell and Coco Crisp will compensate for the losses of Damon and Mueller.
      Willy Mo Pena still needs developing.
      Bottom Line: The Red Sox need some more talent in their system. Besides Manny Ramirez, Coco Crisp and David Ortiz, who do they have? They don't have enough to win.
      Don't be surprised if they fall under .500
      Grade: B-

      This is just silly...but i am a little bias. "the losses of Mueller, Olerud, Millar and Damon will seriously damage this teams chances of contending". That is far from the truth. What did Mueller, Olerud and Millar do last year...not much. We replace Mueller with Lowell. I think Lowell is better, but i will say a wash. Lowell is a gold glove 3b. Olerud and Millar are replaced with Snow and Youk. Snow and Olerud are basically the same and Youk is way better than Millar with the glove and at the plate. So the Sox have a big advantage this year over last at first base. The only thing i agree with here is the loss of Damon. We got Crisp to replace him and i see that softening the blow quite a bit. Who else do they have in their system??? How about Paplebon in the pen. How about Lorretta at 2b (I believe he had the highest BA of all 2bs last year). I don't think you have enough expertise to be breaking down these teams. This division is still a two horse race and thoses two are Boston and NY...they will get 85 wins from just throwing their gloves on the field.

      edit: I do thank you for taking the time to breakdown the divisions...I don't think i made that clear in my post
      Last edited by Boston Boxer; 04-03-2006, 01:10 PM.

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      • #4
        NL EAST preview.

        http://wilkernator.blogspot.com/2006...l-nl-east.html
        Cristobal

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