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2009 Prediction: Champagne in the Bronx

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Apr 06, 2009 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

The season is upon us, so now seems seems like a good time to ask how you think the Yankees will do.

Vote in the poll over to the right.

Last year at this time, I predicted the Yankees would not make the playoffs. The lack of pitching depth and the transition to a new manager seemed like to much to overcome. Given all the injuries, it was remarkable they won as many games as they did.

This year? I like the Yankees getting to the World Series and beating the team they just played, the Chicago Cubs. Here is why:

Pitching: In CC Sabathia, Chien-Ming Wang, A.J. Burnett, Andy Pettitte and Joba Chaberlain, the Yankees can send a quality starter to the mound every day. Meanwhile Phil Hughes is waiting in Scranton along with the capable Alfredo Aceves.

Defense: Swapping Mark Teixeira for Jason Giambi and Xavier Nady for Bobby Abreu will make the right side of the diamond far less of a black hole than it was. Robinson Cano also appears to have overcome the lethargy he played with for much of last season. Having Brett Gardner in center also will improve the defense. The Yankees are far from a good defensive team, but they are much better than they were.

Offense: The Yankees will miss Giambi and Abreu here. But having a healthy Jorge Posada, a relatively healthy Hideki Matsui and Teixeira should overcome that. Nady and Johnny Damon will be motivated by their walk years. It’s hard to gauge what Alex Rodriguez will do given his injury, the drug questions and his turbulent personal life. But he could well have a huge year.

The manager: Joe Girardi first season was rocky, which was to be expected. He is far more relaxed this season and it helps that five key newcomers — Sabathia, Burnett, Teixeira, Gardner and Nick Swisher — have no ties to Joe Torre. The more the roster turns over, the easier it becomes for Girardi to put his imprint on it.

Depth: The Yankees had a variety of useless players on the bench last season. Now, instead of Morgan Ensberg, Wilson Betemit and the like, they’ll have Swisher, Meky Cabrera and an actual good glove in Ramiro Pena. Girardi has options now.

The schedule: The AL East is a bear. The Yankees, Red Sox and Rays are arguably the three best teams in the game. If the Yankees survive that, they’ll a tough out in the playoffs. The rest of the AL is not very imposing with the Angels a lesser team than in recent years and the AL Central a jumble.

Prediction: 98-64, first place in AL East.

As for the rest of baseball:

AL East
Yankees
Red Sox
Rays
Orioles
Jays

AL Central
Indians
Royals
Twins
White Sox
Tigers

AL West
Angels
Athletics
Rangers
Mariners

Division Series
Yankees over Indians
Red Sox over Angels

ALCS
Yankees over Red Sox

NL East
Phillies
Mets
Braves
Marlins
Nationals

NL Central
Cubs
Brewers
Cardinals
Reds
Astros
Pirates

NL West
Dodgers
Diamondbacks
Giants
Rockies
Padres

Division series
Phillies over Dodgers
Cubs over Mets

NLCS
Cubs over Phillies

World Series
Yankees over Cubs

Awards
AL MVP: Mark Teixeira, Yankees
AL Cy Young: Daisuke Matsuzaka, Red Sox
AL Rookie of the Year: Elvis Andrus, Rangers
AL Manager of the Year: Trey Hillman, Royals

NL MVP: Alfonso Soriano, Cubs
NL Cy Young: Brandon Webb, Diamondbacks
NL Rookie of the Year: Stephen Strasberg, Nationals
NL Manager of the Year: Lou Piniella Cubs

Comments

comments

 

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200 Responses to “2009 Prediction: Champagne in the Bronx”

  1. eric in queens April 6th, 2009 at 12:04 am

    Dice-K? Really?

  2. Mr. Max April 6th, 2009 at 12:04 am

    How will Strasburg be the ROY if he hasn’t been drafted yet?

  3. Garym(Yanks and More) April 6th, 2009 at 12:08 am

    Way to go Pete, thats right the Yankees are the best team, lets hope you right. Lets go Yankees, how is the weather looking down there??

  4. Thomas A. Anderson April 6th, 2009 at 12:09 am

    This AL East Race could end up being the best division race in the Wild Card Era. The Yankees, Red Sox, and Rays are all probably going to win 90 games, and one of them is GUARANTEED to miss the playoffs. Amazing.

    I will go on record to predict Arizona beating Tampa in the Series, but here’s to hoping I’m wrong.

    Two things though, I doubt Strausberg is going to win NL ROY when the Draft is in June.

    Second, Oakland is winning the West. I looked at the Angels roster the other day, and it is not very inspiring. They got a somwhat older, worse defensively, and not as good offensively, overnight.

  5. Sopnas April 6th, 2009 at 12:09 am

    Sorry Pete, I see us topping out at 91 wins. The division is tough and our unproven bullpen combined with an aging core of players means we will fight for the wild card all year.

    I do appreciate the boosterism, though and I think once in the playoffs (if we get there)this is the type of team that could do real damage in a short series. I just believe Tampa & Boston are a little better.

  6. Isaac Goldberg April 6th, 2009 at 12:11 am

    I like everything you said and I certainly want the yanks to win it all…but you haven’t proven to me how we are going to beat the Red Sox. They look like the most complete team right now.

  7. m April 6th, 2009 at 12:11 am

    Aww, Pete. You didn’t disappoint. No poll yet, though.

    I like your division picks. Daisuke will not win the Cy Young. Even if he repeats his Houdini act and sports a sparkling ERA, his WHIP should automatically disqualify him.

    Wieters will probably win, even if it’s by reputation only. Him or David Price.

    AL Manager of the Year? None other than Joe Girardi. 100+ wins should just about clinch it.

    NL MVP? Probably a Met. I think that bum Delgado’s going to have a good year. NL Cy Young? Johan Santana. Strasburg? I don’t think he comes up until September. NL Manager of the Year will be whomever’s managing the darkhorse team. Baker? Haha.

  8. JoeT 28 in 10 KEEP PHIL FRANCHISE AND CANO!! April 6th, 2009 at 12:12 am

    Your AL East prediction is what I called pre-spring training (yes pre spring training) last year with the Jays and O’s switched. Obviously no one will believe me but I said the Rays would finish 3rd and make the playoffs this year – they beat the heck out of that.

    I can go with everything else there except the NL ROT going to a SDSU player, but with how the writers voted last year he may get a few votes even before he’s signed!! lol

  9. Rick James April 6th, 2009 at 12:13 am

    I love it Pete!!!

    intresting pick with Tex…everyone seems to be going that way!

    Also love your Trey Hillman pick…love hillman!

  10. JoeT 28 in 10 KEEP PHIL FRANCHISE AND CANO!! April 6th, 2009 at 12:13 am

    ROY**

  11. Yankees 'N More April 6th, 2009 at 12:15 am

    So the Yankees are going rebound from a non-playoff year, win 98 games AND the World Series, and Joe Girardi will lose manager of the year to the guy with the Royals???

  12. JoeT 28 in 10 KEEP PHIL FRANCHISE AND CANO!! April 6th, 2009 at 12:15 am

    M – WHIP matters for nothing more then fantasy stats with Dice-K…. everyone knows he puts runners on base but they don’t score and that’s all that matters

  13. Mike A, April 6th, 2009 at 12:17 am

    Strasburg? Bold pick Pete.

    Realistically, he’ll get drafted, and MLB will delay the announcement of his eventual record breaking until the August 15th deadline because they’re afraid it’ll beef up signing bonuses across the board. If he signs on the 15th, moves right into the Nats rotation, he’ll get what, maybe ten starts? More than likely he’d need a little tuneup in the minors after not pitching since late May because SDSU isn’t going beyond the Regionals.

    At least you’re not boring like everyone else and picking top prospects.

  14. Phil April 6th, 2009 at 12:20 am

    The vastly improved rotation and defense are gonna be factorals that will shock people when the Yanks top 100 wins, in a division that was supposed to be tougher than it will be for the Yanks. The Yanks haven’t had a good rotation since 2003 and they’ve still averaged over 90 wins a year, and that’s been with egregiously bad D on top of weak rotations and terrible bp management during the Torre part of those years. Having reliable pitching will make the hitters stop pressing all the time, and they will pound teams like they did in `98. It’s not gonna be the horserace people think it’s gonna be, the Yanks have made a quantum leap.

  15. Bronx Jeers April 6th, 2009 at 12:21 am

    If that jet stream to RF holds up, Yanks are gonna hit a ton of fingers from the left side. I see Tex having a HUGE season.

  16. YankeeJosh April 6th, 2009 at 12:24 am

    Pete,

    Not bad picks. I agree with most. I take it you mean the Mariners finish last in the AL East not the White Sox.

    I can’t see Dice-K winning the Cy Young. He’s just too eratic and picky with hitters. He reminds me a lot of El Duque that way. He is battle tested and won’t break but also doesn’t dominate. He’s very good, but I expect Lester to win the Cy Young.

    I thinbk with the A-Rod injury, the Yanks take the wild card and beat the Phillies in the series.

  17. Buddy Biancalana April 6th, 2009 at 12:25 am

    Gotta go with Jordan Schafer for NL ROY.

  18. YankeeJosh April 6th, 2009 at 12:26 am

    Pete,

    Not bad picks. I agree with most. I take it you mean the Mariners finish last in the AL East not the White Sox.

    Check that, meant the AL West. Yeah, I’m bad at typos too!

  19. Run Gardner Run April 6th, 2009 at 12:27 am

    Giambi would have rocked the stadium with that jet stream.

    Anyways, the only thing I disagree with is Dice K. He lets too many people get on base to be a CY Young. Jon Lester I can see

  20. tampayank April 6th, 2009 at 12:29 am

    A Yanks-Sox ALCS, that would be awesome, hope the prediction comes through and the Yanks can get their 27th Championship; I agree w/ most but I don’t see the Cubs getting past either the Mets or Phillies in October

  21. Mike April 6th, 2009 at 12:30 am

    Peter might need to start reading more about sports. Stephen strausberg hasnt even been drafted, yet alone have a chance to win the nl rookie of the year award. What a special man

  22. Joeshi! April 6th, 2009 at 12:33 am

    guys, i think pete is joking with the NL rookie of the year pick, c’mon now

  23. mo April 6th, 2009 at 12:33 am

    I guess Pete does not work in ESPN.

  24. Brian M April 6th, 2009 at 12:34 am

    Only major disagreement I have is that I cant see the Brewers getting close to second in that division. Reds and Cards both finish above them I reckon. I’d have picked the Braves for the NL East but it is a hard division to call. Overall seems like some pretty good picks though.

  25. Brian M April 6th, 2009 at 12:36 am

    OK I take that back, I just paid some attention to your individual awards. Teixiera and Andrus I’ll give you, but I have a few issues with the rest. Team picks look solid though.

  26. seattleyankee April 6th, 2009 at 12:37 am

    They are forgettable, granted, but you left the Mariners off the AL West list…

    Otherwise, well done as usual.

  27. Brian M April 6th, 2009 at 12:37 am

    I thought it was decided we’d just give Sabathia the Cy Young now to save time later on?

  28. m April 6th, 2009 at 12:43 am

    JoeT,

    I was kidding about Dice-K. But reflecting back on it, the writers know that he gets a lot of help from his defense. It’ll be a tiny, tiny factor.

    The AL Cy Young is too tough to call. You never know who’s going to step up and who’s going to have run support? Who would’ve guessed that Cliff Lee would’ve won the Cy Young, especially after being demoted the season before?

  29. Run Gardner Run April 6th, 2009 at 12:45 am

    Jason Motte will win ROY

  30. Rebecca-Optimist Prime...Staying to Write the Story April 6th, 2009 at 12:53 am

    Interesting predictions, but I can’t see Dice K winning the Cy Young. he’s not even the best pitcher on his own team.

    While I hope the Yankees win it all, I’m superstitious so I won’t outright say it, but I do think they are one of the best teams in the league. For the other divisions

    Twins
    Indians
    Royals
    White Sox
    Tigers

    The Twins were pretty good last season and I’m unaware of any major losses. Mauer getting hurt won’t help their cause, but in a weak division I like them best.

    The Indians will be fine if Carmona shapes up and Hafner hits, but right now they look like big ifs.

    The Royals could make some noise if their pitching is even half of their potential. They’ve got some great young talent.

    The White Sox are really better than a fourth place team, but I’ve got nowhere else to put them.

    The Tigers…well…

    AL West

    Angels
    Rangers
    Athletics
    Mariners

    The Angels have some serious health concerns with their pitching, but I caught some of their Spring Training games on MLB Network, and you could probably take any baseball player, pluck him into the Angels’ system, and the Angels would still win 100 games.

    The Rangers need some pitching, but they probably have the best farm system in baseball-won’t be surprised to see them use it to get some help that’ll produce quickly, especially if the Angels falter.

    The A’s could challenge for the division, but I still like the Rangers better.

    The Mariners…yeah, they thought trading for Erik Bedard was a good idea, so yeah…

    It’s late. Someone else can do the NL.

  31. matt April 6th, 2009 at 12:55 am

    Jordan Zimmerman for nl roy, no way strasburg gets it after only 2 months. (aug,sept)

  32. dan l April 6th, 2009 at 12:56 am

    I pick the Marlins the kill the Mets dreams again!

  33. nettles April 6th, 2009 at 1:02 am

    Me likee your WS picks, Pete. And, beating the Sox in the alcs just would make it all the sweeter!

    I like Pablo Sandoval of the Jints for NL ROY. The guy can rake!

  34. Chris April 6th, 2009 at 1:04 am

    do you guys realize that most scouts are saying that strasburg is good enough to be slotted into a major league rotation right now? he’ll get drafted by the nationals in june, sign right away and get his huge contract, then have 3 months in the big league rotation, where he will utterly dominate. it’s not that far fetched that he wins rookie of the year

  35. Wangawa April 6th, 2009 at 1:11 am

    I like all of your picks, except for the Dice-K for Cy Young pick. I don’t know if I can see that happening.

    Our rotation is stacked this year. Now’s the time to actually play like a team with a 200 million dollar payroll.

  36. small schools April 6th, 2009 at 1:12 am

    Sleeper pick on the Royals, you could look very smart in six months.

  37. Sean Serritella April 6th, 2009 at 1:33 am

    I’m wondering how much the Yankees will miss A-Rod.

  38. adam April 6th, 2009 at 1:35 am

    pete i know its irrelevant but could you post a link to last year’s guesses?

  39. Corey April 6th, 2009 at 1:43 am

    baseball needs something special this year. Due to the steroid scandals, baseballs integrity has gone way down hill.

    If the Yankees play the Cubs in the World Series and the Cubs win I think baseball will take a major step forward in changing its current reputation. It will have a similar effect on what the Red Sox accomplished in 2004.

  40. Patrick Bateman April 6th, 2009 at 1:50 am

    No way Strasberg gets drafted and goes right to the majors.

    Its not like the Nationals are contending this year anyways, why push him to the highest level immediately?

  41. NYYanksFan April 6th, 2009 at 2:08 am

    Jose Canseco did a speaking engagement this weekend at USC in a 1200+ person auditorium and only 40 people showed up.

    He took his expected A-Rod shots (not telling all the truth and is a copycat of him) but in a new twist, he called out Manny saying he believes his “name is most likely, 90%,” on the list of the 103 that has yet to be made public.

  42. Tom B April 6th, 2009 at 2:42 am

    AL Cy Young: Daisuke Matsuzaka, Red Sox

    are you on drugs? rofl

  43. james April 6th, 2009 at 2:42 am

    The Yankees are the best right now and it is always tough to predict what will happen over the course of 162 games. This year even more so with the the high probability of fire sales all over baseball. Well I hope Pete’s 2 for 2.

  44. Nick in SF in Lake Tahoe April 6th, 2009 at 2:47 am

    It feels like the night before Christmas, if Christmas was a 6-month marathon.

    Cy Daisuke? Not seeing it, but it’s hard to be unbiased. I’ll take Roy Halladay.

    If you’re out there dennis, are you going to fade the Yanks every single game? I would do it if I had the stomach for it. It’s a proven moneymaker. Sigh.

  45. dennis-costanza(sox fan) April 6th, 2009 at 3:12 am

    NickSF.

    Hope you had a good weekend. I flew to Boston today for opening day tomorrow however looks like a wash due to rain. Looks like we have to wait until Wednesday.

    It is a proven winner even if the Yanks win 100 games. The odds as you well know more than make up for it. I do not have the guts to do it.

    AJ-CY. He is going to have a monster year IMO.

    -dennis

  46. Thomas A. Anderson April 6th, 2009 at 5:07 am

    …in a new twist, he called out Manny saying he believes his “name is most likely, 90%,” on the list of the 103 that has yet to be made public.

    ———-

    The plot thickens.

    I would be absolutely stunned if the 103 name list did not come out before the end of this calendar year. Once the dam of confidentiality has been breached, it’s just a matter of time before every player on that list goes down.

    There are a lot of college-educated professional researchers masquerading under the guise of reporter that will dig until he or she confirms the other names on that list.

    Ego drove many of those players to take PEDs. Similarly, ego, a desire to make a name for him/herself, will drive at least one reporter out there to find the identity other 103 players.

  47. Anthony Murillo April 6th, 2009 at 6:01 am

    Anybody know if it’s going to rain over there?

  48. EricNS April 6th, 2009 at 6:11 am

    Good picks but I would say Halladay – may you be prophet!

  49. Pel April 6th, 2009 at 6:36 am

    >Anybody know if it’s going to rain over there?

    All signs point to yes.

  50. Doreen April 6th, 2009 at 6:52 am

    I don’t like predictions – I don’t like to think I’m superstitious, but I do know with things like sports I don’t like to make definitive statements. So, I’ll say, I like that Pete’s picking the Yankees, and I hope he proves as prescient this season as he was last. I’ll also say I’m hoping the Rays finish ahead of the Red Sox. I can’t take the drama of having to go through Boston!!!!!!!!

    Also, I don’t want to get too ahead of myself. I want to really enjoy the season. The Yankees have the most reliable pitching they’ve had in years and I’m looking forward to watching these guys work.

    They’ve got something to build on coming out of a very solid spring training.

    Go Yankees!!!

  51. Doreen April 6th, 2009 at 6:57 am

    I just checked the online weather report. As long as the field is in decent condition, it looks like they might be able to play. There is actually a window of clear skies and sunshine from about 4 p.m. to about 8 p.m. My fingers are crossed!

  52. Pel April 6th, 2009 at 7:25 am

    Chances of precipitation @ 4PM:

    Weather.com 20%
    AccuWeather 62%
    Weather.gov 51%
    Wunderground 70%

    Chances of precipitation @ 6PM:

    Weather.com 20%
    AccuWeather 44%
    Weather.gov 24%
    Wunderground 70%

  53. Pel April 6th, 2009 at 7:27 am

    Well, I had tab spacing in between the percentages so it looked neat.

    But, alas, horrible comment section syntax strikes again!

  54. Nate April 6th, 2009 at 7:45 am

    Strasburg as ROY?? I know he’s “Syd Finch” but will they (presumably the Nationals) move him that quick to get enough innings?

  55. Fran April 6th, 2009 at 7:54 am

    I hope the weather holds out so the game can be played today. I am so ready for Opening Day.

  56. Doreen April 6th, 2009 at 7:56 am

    Pel -

    They’re legible. Thanks. Now, which of those services has the best track record for accuracy????? :) (I’m rooting for weather.com, of course!)

  57. JOJO April 6th, 2009 at 8:08 am

    Camden Yards is known for it’s exceptional drainage system. Long as it’s not pouring down come game time I think they’ll get it in.

  58. RussW210 April 6th, 2009 at 8:09 am

    Dice-K will be the first Cy Young to walk 15/game

  59. S.A.--Let's go Yankees!! April 6th, 2009 at 8:11 am

    Morning everyone! Happy first day of the NY Yankees 2009 season(weather permitting)

    What a yucky day it is in the tri-state area. Blech!

  60. ellen April 6th, 2009 at 8:24 am

    Hope they can get the game in.

  61. Betsy April 6th, 2009 at 8:25 am

    I just find it ironic that these experts keep saying how disappointing and catastrophic it would be if the Yankees didn’t make the playoffs, yet they don’t think think they are even good enough to do so.

  62. k April 6th, 2009 at 8:27 am

    The road to October officially begins today. It is snowing outside of Toronto – but its ok – the 2009 World Series Champions open the redeem season today.

    We should all go out and buy a bottle of champagne and store it someplace until its time to celebrate.

    As much as I detest Dice-K I have to agree with that pick.

  63. Betsy April 6th, 2009 at 8:28 am

    This is from Ken Davidoff:

    Anthony Rieber discusses Joe Girardi’s future. I’m really amazed that the Yankees, after functioning like such a rational franchise from 2006 through 2008, have put themselves back in this ultra-intense, “Win or else!!!” place. It might all work. But it’s not healthy to long-term viability, no matter the Yankees’ financial advantages.

    **Am I missing something? I know Davidoff likes to take his potshots at the Yankees ALl the time, but I don’t get this one. The Yankees always want to win. They spend $$$ (but no prospects) on free agents and now they are being run irrationally?*

  64. Lorin Duckman April 6th, 2009 at 8:30 am

    Wished you opened the lens. Backlit.

    Here is a list of those whom I don’t want to see: George, Reggie, Thurman, Del Webb,or A-Rod. Frankly, it is either a sybolic fan or Babe Ruth. The “Babe” remains the biggest star baseball has ever produced. Without him, there would be no baseball.

  65. John in Ohio April 6th, 2009 at 8:31 am

    Gardner is a significant upgrade defensively. He made some remarkable plays at the end of last year. Melky’s got the arm, but Gardner has the speed, glove, and reckless abandon to be an Edmonds-type defensive centerfielder.

  66. ANT1.MUSSINA April 6th, 2009 at 8:34 am

    YEAH GAME DAY! PLAY BALL!

  67. Thomas Robust April 6th, 2009 at 8:34 am

    So no one has Brett Gardner as rookie of the year? I sure hope he puts up good numbers. .280 average, 10 HRs 30 doubles, 5 triples, 40 steals, if he does all that he might win it. Do you agree? (added by Mobile using Mippin)

  68. John in Ohio April 6th, 2009 at 8:37 am

    Thomas – agreed.

  69. RussW210 April 6th, 2009 at 8:39 am

    I agree Thomas. I loved Gardner even when he came up terrible last season. In his minor league career he has shown he can adjust and be a force.

  70. ANT1.MUSSINA April 6th, 2009 at 8:42 am

    he has a chance but there are other players with more complete skills who have higher chance of winning it. Ex. C. Maybin!

  71. jennifer April 6th, 2009 at 8:44 am

    Sopnas

    In case you missed it last year the Yankees won 89 games with a garbage rotation outside of Mussina. And with no Jorge, Wang, Matsui. We will def surpass that.

  72. NYYanksFan April 6th, 2009 at 8:46 am

    Opening Day. NY Post has 4 Yankee stories and 2 of them are about A-Rod who is a few thousand miles away from Baltimore. Writers say he’s the distraction but proof shows he’s a cash cow.

  73. Rick April 6th, 2009 at 8:47 am

    Pete is mostly correct. The exceptions are C.C. or a Rays starter over Matsuzaka as Cy Young winner. Alfonso Soriano will need a career year to even be in the top 5 vote getters for NL M.V.P. The K.C. Royals can’t be ignored as the AL sleeper pick.

  74. feefoo April 6th, 2009 at 8:55 am

    WILL THERE BE A GAME? C’MON PLAY BALL!

  75. SJ44 April 6th, 2009 at 8:59 am

    I don’t like predictions for the simple reason that when folks like Pete make them, they get grief from folks because it doesn’t match THEIR predictions.

    Fact is, they play the game for a reason. We’ve read and heard all spring from many “experts” that every Red Sox injury question (of which there are many) will be answered in the affirmative. While every Yankee injury question mark will be answered in the negative. Often, I think that’s just done for effect because nobody can actually believe some of the stuff that’s written or said when it comes to the Yankees and Red Sox.

    For example, somebody (I believe it was Joel Sherman) even said that John Smoltz, “Would be the most dominating pitcher in baseball” when he comes back in June.

    Now, don’t get me wrong. I like John Smoltz. Played golf with him a number of times and he is an all around great guy.

    However, anybody who is 42, coming off 6 six elbow surgeries and is currently rehabbing after major shoulder surgery, isn’t going to be the most dominating pitcher in baseball for one week, let alone 4 months.

    Its these kind of nonsensical predictions that take away from some of these folks credibility and make them worthless reads or listens.

    Fortunately, Opening Day is upon us and we can let the games, and not the words, decide outcomes.

  76. Tom in NJ April 6th, 2009 at 9:03 am

    Is Gardner still considered a rookie? Isn’t there some rule that a player can’t have more then 130 or so at bats in the bigs to be considered for the ROY?

  77. Patrick April 6th, 2009 at 9:04 am

    Here are my picks and some thoughts.. Kind of long and probably nobody cares but I wanted to write something..

    AL East:
    Same as Pete

    Obviously I’m picking the Yankees. I think their pitching (starting and bullpen) is the best in the division with tons of depth to back it up. Their lineup is better than the Rays and hopefully on par with the Sox. The Blue Jays really suck and the Orioles lineup is looking better than in recent years.

    AL Central:
    Indians
    Twins
    Tigers
    Royals
    White Sox

    The Tigers have had a rough few weeks but they are underrated. The Royals are NOT this year’s Tampa Bay. If Hafner has a good season the Indians will win the division.

    AL West:
    A’s
    Angels
    Rangers
    Mariners

    The A’s are improved and the Angels are worse. The Angels played above their heads for most of last year, I doubt they will win more than 89 games this year.

    NL East:
    Same as Pete

    The Phillies are still the superior team in this division. The Mets will find that even with Putz and K-rod, their bullpen has some holes. Sheffield is done. The Marlins starting rotation is not as good as a lot of people think. The Braves are solid but not a playoff team.

    NL Central:
    Cubs
    Cardinals
    Reds
    Brewers
    Pirates
    Astros

    I don’t have a lot to say for this division.

    NL West:
    Diamondbacks
    Dodgers
    Giants
    Rockies
    Padres

    If some of the young guys on the D-backs step up they will win the division. The Dodgers need more pitching. The Giants need more offense. The Padres are going to be the worst team in baseball this year.

    NL MVP: Ryan Braun
    NL CY: Johan Santana
    NL ROY: No idea

    AL MVP: Grady Sizemore
    AL CY: A.J. Burnett
    AL ROY: Matt Weiters

  78. S.A.--Let's go Yankees!! April 6th, 2009 at 9:08 am

    My predictions: I have no idea what will happen this 2009 season.
    All I hope is that the Yankees are pouring champagne on each other in celebration come late October with a parade down the canyon of heroes soon to follow. :)

  79. dave April 6th, 2009 at 9:09 am

    Doubt this game will get played today. Expect a doubleheader tuesday…

  80. Free Booze April 6th, 2009 at 9:09 am

    No game on Tuesday as of yet.

  81. Free Booze April 6th, 2009 at 9:13 am

    Jose Canseco trying to stir the pot again. Quotes from him on SI.com saying he is 90% sure Manny is one of the 103 steroid players not leaked.

  82. Ed H. April 6th, 2009 at 9:13 am

    Baltimore is currently 53 degrees and mostly cloudy, with 80% humidity. The forecast:

    Today: Rain and a few thunderstorms during the morning, followed by occasional showers this afternoon. A few storms may be severe. High 62F. Winds SW at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 70%. Rainfall possibly over one inch.
    Tonight: Partly to mostly cloudy and windy. Low 37F. Winds W at 20 to 30 mph.

    Sounds like, worst5 case scenario, they can wait out the rain and play tonight, if need be.

  83. pat April 6th, 2009 at 9:15 am

    I’m not big of predictions so I’ll give my Opening Day resolution instead:

    I am going to make a conscious effort this year to watch each game only in the context of “today” to avoid getting caught up in the hype of the season and miss enjoying the moments happening now.

  84. bodhisattva April 6th, 2009 at 9:16 am

    John in Ohio
    April 6th, 2009 at 8:31 am
    … but Gardner has the speed, glove, and reckless abandon to be an Edmonds-type defensive centerfielder.
    =================================

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

  85. Sox Fan April 6th, 2009 at 9:26 am

    I think the key to the season for the Sox and the Yanks (other than the obvious, health) comes down to two players…..Robinson Cano and Jacoby Ellsbury.

    Think about how much more potent the Yankees lineup is if he starts swinging like we know he’s capable.

    Ellsbury had a really disappointing year last year. If he can rebound and get on-base at a .375-.390 clip then the Sox lineup will be deadlier than ever.

    I will make a prediction that AJ has a better season than CC, again, if healthy.

  86. Ed H. April 6th, 2009 at 9:26 am

    Predictions are nothing more than a parlor game, as there are so many variables at play over an extended period of time. Looking at today, I like our Yankees team a lot. If the majority of factors break in the team’s favor, this can be a championship caliber club.

  87. Benny ( it's Game time) Blanco April 6th, 2009 at 9:27 am

    lets get it started. lets get it started in here.

  88. Clay Buchholz Loves Laptops - Latest Blog Entry: My Interview With Bill Gallo April 6th, 2009 at 9:27 am

    I’m pretty pumped. We had our Yankee-blogger fantasy draft last night and I got both This Purist Bleeds Pinstripes AND Was Watching. I really lucked out when the guy right before me (in the 2nd round) went all “halo-effect” and selected the Yankee Chick.

  89. BigBonesBilly April 6th, 2009 at 9:28 am

    Pete,
    For those of us going today, any updates on BP, is it canceled?

  90. BronxBomber61 April 6th, 2009 at 9:29 am

    Dice-K was the luckiest pitcher in baseball last season and Francona treated him like Mickey protected Rocky in Rocky III. When he faces a lineup like the Yankees you’ll see what a fraud he is. You can’t keep walking the bases loaded and get out of it.

  91. Trevor April 6th, 2009 at 9:30 am

    Canseco been right more times then not.

  92. kavon April 6th, 2009 at 9:31 am

    there is no poll to vote in

  93. miggs April 6th, 2009 at 9:32 am

    You’re right Patrick nobody cares.

    I bet your boss would though.

  94. Lori April 6th, 2009 at 9:34 am

    From your lips to god’s ears, Pete. :D

    So darn excited for baseball. Hope the rain lets up and we can play tonight. (Actually, is it raining like this in Baltimore?)

  95. Chris from NJ April 6th, 2009 at 9:37 am

    AL East, I don’t think the Rays will take 1st this year, the yankees and sox are too deep, but it will be close. I’m picking Sox 1st, Yankees wildcard. Though I wouldn’t complain if it went the other way.

    AL Central, I don’t think the Tigers are last place bad, the White Sox are the only team in the division with pitching and I think they end up on top, and I’m not a believer in Cleveland. Cliff Lee and Carmona are both flukes. I can see the Royals competing.

    AL West, all of the teams stink, I like Oakland here to win unless the Angel’s entire rotation comes off the DL in good shape.

    NL East, Mets are overrated and their rotation after Johan is pretty rough, the Phillies have no starting rotation either after Hammels, and he’s hurt. I’m picking the Marlins to win the East, no defense, but they can score runs and pitch.

    NL Central, It’s the Cubbies race to lose, but I can see Cincy getting hot and making a run at the wildcard. I don’t think the Cubs are a lock for the World Series though.

    NL West, I like the Giants. Next to the Yankees and Sox, they have the next best rotation in baseball. They signed a couple of folks, so they should score a couple more runs this year. Dodgers have no pitching, and I can’t see Manny standing on his head this year batting .400 to save them again.

  96. Patrick April 6th, 2009 at 9:37 am

    miggs can you cool it with the constant trolling? It’s really getting old. I’m asking nicely here.

  97. 86w183 April 6th, 2009 at 9:38 am

    I also find it hard to believe Matsuzaka can continue to walk that tightrope and leave so many men on base… it’s bound to catch up with him, isn’t it?

    I disagree that the Yankees are still far from a good defensive team. They are certainly better at three positions and Damon, Jeter and Alex make the every day plays without careless lapses younger players have. They aren’t as good as Tampa and could use better arms in the outfield and range on the left side of the infield but I’d say they are good… which beats the hell out of bad.

    Rays caught every break last year and many players had career years and several pitchers threw career high innings. They will not match last year’s win total.

  98. John in Ohio April 6th, 2009 at 9:42 am

    Bod -

    Funny. But, Edmonds was a heck of a centerfielder. Eight Gold Gloves and plenty of spectacular catches. Gardner’s speed and that huge Yankee Stadium outfield will make him a regular in ESPN’s Top Ten.

  99. Benny ( it's Game time) Blanco April 6th, 2009 at 9:44 am

    Yankees have to win this series. Bmore is a pain in the butt. thank G they dont have millar..he’s a yankee killer.

  100. Doreen April 6th, 2009 at 9:44 am

    I’m beginning to think that Dice-K’s “magic act,” is not going to catch up with him. I think he is truly skilled at pitching out of “situations.” Saw him do it against the Mets just this weekend (I saw one inning of the game at a restaurant) – in true Dice-K fashion, he loaded the bases and walked away unscathed.

    You would hope the law of averages catches up with him, but he seems to be adept at this – he certainly does not become unhinged. It would seem it’s going to be up to hitters to try and decipher how he pitches in those situations, or jump on any mistake. I wonder if hitters just think he’s lost his control and have the mindset of walking? I don’t know, of course, but it seems to me that waiting for Dice-K to crumble is not the way to go.

  101. Bronx Baseball Daily April 6th, 2009 at 9:48 am

    Bold predictions sir. A lot of things would have to go right and no teams would have breakout seasons.

  102. kidjock April 6th, 2009 at 9:50 am

    I love opening day.
    Predictions:
    Yanks, Minn, Ana, Tamp wc
    Mets, ChC, La, Ariz wc
    Yanks over Mets in subway series.
    Let the games begin.

  103. JohnC April 6th, 2009 at 9:52 am

    Play Ball!!!!!!!!!!! I’m ready to get the season started. Great tuneup over thw weekend seeing them kick the Cubs butts. Didn’t have to listen to any big mouth Cubs fans talking smack. My only sadness this weekend was seeing PLaxico Burress released by the Giants. I know he was one big headache, but on the field, he was their most dynamic offensive weapon. Will miss ya Plax!

  104. RussW210 April 6th, 2009 at 9:55 am

    The Yankee lineup is better than the Sox. Sox cannot match up versus Tex and ARod.

  105. Brad April 6th, 2009 at 9:56 am

    RHP Tanyon Sturtze and LHP Eric Milton will start the season at Albuquerque, the Dodgers AAA affiliate.
    Torre clinging onto the old Yankee vets.

  106. TKinDC April 6th, 2009 at 10:00 am

    Crappy weather in the Nation’s Capital this morning – I think today is going to be a wash-out.

    :(

  107. Brent April 6th, 2009 at 10:01 am

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    You pick one player from any team playing that day to get a hit. If he gets a hit, your streak continues. If he doesn’t get a hit, your streak goes back to 0 and you try again. If the player doesn’t get an official at-bat that day, your streak stays the same. First person to beat Joltin’ Joe’s 56-game Hit-Streak wins 1,000,000.

    Now, obviously it’s not easy (the best record was 49 games), but it makes for a fun season and it’s an easy game to play.

    If you want to get started, you have to sign up and start playing at…

    http://www.mlb.com/mlb/fantasy/bts/y2009/

  108. pat April 6th, 2009 at 10:02 am

    Rays/Boston game postponed according to First Take.

  109. Hokiehill April 6th, 2009 at 10:02 am

    For what it’s worth (not much) Mike & Mike both had the Sox missing the playoffs…Greeny picked us to win the division with the Rays getting the wild card and Golic picked the opposite…

    Good to see at least 2 guys on the four letter bucking the BoSox homer trend.

  110. Hokiehill April 6th, 2009 at 10:07 am

    Game forecast says 40% chance of showers and mid-60s for today’s game…I hope the showers pass and they get to play.

    http://www.weather.com/outlook.....038;epc=be

  111. Cal April 6th, 2009 at 10:14 am

    Excellent predictions Pete, it all comes down to the pitching, Tampa scored fewer runs than the Yankees last year, but gave up far fewer and won the division, just demonstrates that it is about the pitching and timely hitting. If you can put runs on the board its up to your arms to make it hold up.

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  113. GreenBeret7 April 6th, 2009 at 10:57 am

    dave
    April 6th, 2009 at 9:09 am
    Doubt this game will get played today. Expect a doubleheader tuesday…

    ————————————————————

    Think about that for a minute. Even if today’s game is rained out, they’ve got at least 2 more trips in to Baltimore. Tuesday is an open date. They’re not openining the season on Tuesday with a Double Header.

  114. GreenBeret7 April 6th, 2009 at 11:04 am

    Sox Fan
    April 6th, 2009 at 9:26 am
    I think the key to the season for the Sox and the Yanks (other than the obvious, health) comes down to two players…..Robinson Cano and Jacoby Ellsbury.

    Think about how much more potent the Yankees lineup is if he starts swinging like we know he’s capable.

    Ellsbury had a really disappointing year last year. If he can rebound and get on-base at a .375-.390 clip then the Sox lineup will be deadlier than ever.

    I will make a prediction that AJ has a better season than CC, again, if healthy.

    ————————————————————

    What is he going to rebound from, exactly? He was a rookie that hit .280 and stole over 50 bases? This isn’t some career .400 hitter that suddenly dropped to .300 and is suddenly considered to be in his down years.

  115. The Mad Prince in Pinstripes April 6th, 2009 at 11:21 am

    Wow, Strasburg as the NL Rookie of the Year? Imagine if he gets drafted and IMMEDIATELY steps into Washington as their ACE! Supposedly he is the real deal, but will Washington fork over the cash Borass demands for him?

    I am excited to see this guy throw, but I think the hype is unfair to him. I hope he doesn’t feel like he HAS TO meet the expectations because that would be rough.

    Oh, and Peter, did you expect many of us to not select the Yankees as Winning the World Series in your poll? :)

  116. Joekuh April 6th, 2009 at 11:50 am

    - Bod
    You can try crying laughing like I did @ that statement.

  117. trisha - I am panic proof. April 6th, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    Pete? As I have always said, the guy is absolutely brilliant! The one place I vary is in the 2nd place team in the AL East. I think the Rays will do it. Otherwise, right on.

    :) :) :) :) :)

    YAHOO!!!

  118. Vince Black April 6th, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    I really worry about missing Abreu’s bat.
    And I’m hoping X is really all he is cracked up to be.

  119. jeff April 6th, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    I like the pics. The AL Central is very interesting. Also, I don’t think the Nationals will be as bad as they were last year and will frustrate the rest of the NL East that the wild card will not come out of that division. I think the Tigers are a little better in the central, i don’t like the white sox at all. I agree that the rays are the odd-team out. Last year everything broke their way… that doesn’t happen every year. Red Sox could have a good back-end by the end of the season with Smoltz/Penny along with beckett and lester who are studs and Dice-K who just finds ways to win.

    As for the Series… it’s going to be the Yanks or the Red Sox.. but which one?

    Play Ball.

  120. Alas April 6th, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    I’m sorry, but the Blood Sox are the team to beat. Pedroia, Ortiz, Youkilis, Bay, Drew, Lowell. Not a gimme there.

    On the other hand, the heart of the Yankee order’s filled with easy outs.

    They’ll prove to have a better rotation, too. Burnett will burn out. And Wang will finally hook up with the regular-season disaster he’s flirted with since day one. Joba can’t throw 200 innings. Pettite was worse than league average last season, and he’s a year older and that much more beat up now. That leaves CC, who’s thrown like a million innings over the past two years. He’s not going to break down? Please.

    Yanks finish third or worse.

  121. The Monk April 6th, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    Whose this Alas troll?

    Pete, I hope you’re right on the WS winner, unfortunately doubt you will be, and I worry about that Yankee defense. As for awards: Dice-K is the third best pitcher on his own team if Beckett is healthy; Webb might be the #2 guy on the D’Backs, but at best he’s not going to get a sniff at the CYA with Santana, Lincecum, Hamels and Zambrano outpitching him this year.

  122. Alas April 8th, 2009 at 11:03 pm

    Who’s this The Monk idiot?

  123. sunny615 September 28th, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    These were my predictions from way back on 7 April:

    sunny615
    April 7th, 2009 at 11:34 am

    AL East: Yankees.
    AL Central: Indians.
    AL West: Angels.
    AL wild card: Tampa.

    NL East: Phillies.
    NL Central: Cubs.
    NL West: Dodgers.
    NL wild card: Mets.

    AL playoffs: Yankees over Angels, Tampa over Indians.
    NL playoffs: Mets over Cubs, Dodgers over Phillies .

    ALCS: Yankees over Tampa.
    NLCS: Dodgers over Mets.

    World Series: Yankees over Dodgers.

    Like Pete, I got a whole slew of stuff wrong, but the one important one right – the Yankees! Woo!

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