Ahhh .... the AL East. The AL East ... it is so very hard for Wayward O to write about the AL East. Wayward O spends most waking mO
ments looking for bunk reasons why Team will win and goes out of his way to make up bunk reasons why Yankees shall lose.
But this time of year -- every March -- Wayward O gives his UNVARNISHED baseball opinion of division Team calls home ....BALTIMORE ORIOLES:
Team has upgraded over last two years at every defensive position and has best defensive outfield in AL. In fact, Nick Markakis in RF is going to put up MVP-caliber numbers this year if he can control his Ks, which he
might. Team also will have little trouble scoring runs and has a stronger bullpen -- not to mention an extra closer which translates into trade leverage. But .... BUT .... the starting rotation is just completely untested and potentially lacks talent in the four, five holes. What's it all mean?
.500 is possible this year and likely next year. And if somehow the starting pitching exceeds expectations, well stranger things have happened...BOSTON RED SOX:
The Barston Red Sarwx are a fine squad and they could win division unless there is some cosmic anti-smugness force we don't know about that strikes them down for their aforementioned rampant smugness. It's more or less the same squad as late last year except no Manny. How on earth, I ask again, did the Pirates let Jason Bay end up in Boston?
Let's see if Hideki Okajima and Dice-K can keep up the torrid results in their sophomore campaigns. Dice-K probably will ... the Red Sox infield injury woes could additionally hurt the team but it's looking like Pedroia, Youkilis and Lugo will all be ready to go by early in the season.NEW YORK YANKEES:
The New York Yankees have 47 starting pitchers, 62 first basemen and 5 million bandwagon fans to compliment their 5 million true fans, who have begun to wonder just what the strategy in the Bronx is and whether the current leadership is ... sane. How will Brett Gardner do in CF this year?
Wayward O has a funny feeling the guy was born to play the position for the Pinstripes. It's easy to see this this team piling up the wins, with or without the dopey 3rd baseman they call A-Rod. Too many things would have to go wrong for this much free agent talent all to go bust at once.TAMPA BAY RAYS:
The world of baseball had trouble taking the Rays seriously last year. Wayward O still has that problem. But the Trop is a house of horrors for visiting teams. As long as they've got the swagger and the home court advantage, they have a shot at the winning seasons. Is Troy Percival still the elite closer he once was?
Nopes. But he and the rote are good enough. And they still have the bats + additional power in Pat Burrell.TORONTO BLUE JAYS:
They let A.J. Burnett go to an in-division competitor in the Yankees. Do they know something the Yankees don't?
Mayyybe. Shaun Marcum and Dustin McGowan also are out for foreseeable future and B.J. Ryan is arguably shredded wheat. That all translates to a significantly weaker pitching staff. The Blue Jays are probably better than Team but I'm picking them for last place anyway. Sue me.Predicted Order of Finish:
Red Sox *
* wild card contenderz
Labels: 2009 predictiOns