Everyone grab your beat up glove, your homemade bat, and a brand-new pair of shoes because starting today I am going to begin my division-by-division preview of the upcoming MLB season. These are basically just going to be my gut reactions so don't expect any Peter Gammons in-depth analysis (until we get to the only division that matters, the AL East). Before we get to the preview please get in the baseball mood by enjoying the glory of John Fogerty's timeless classic "Centerfield":
(note: I'm probably going to post a different version of this video everyday, so get used to it)
1. Arizona Diamondbacks- I legitimately think Arizona has the best 1-2 punch in the Majors with Brandon Webb and Dan Haren. If the two of them stay healthy they could win a combined 45 games against the moribund competition in this league. Noted Jason Varitek-shover outfielder Eric Byrnes will come back to earth but phenom Justin Upton, brother of B.J., will be a spark for the offense.
2. Colorado Rockies- That run they went on to end the year was phenomenal. They were playing incredible baseball, still the disparity of the leagues was shown when the Red Sox absolutely crushed them in the World Series. I expect the Rockies to compete, and probably, win the wild card but I don't think they'll win a playoff series. Not with Orville Redenbaucher as their ace. I expect Troy Tulowitzki to plummet back to earth, Todd Helton to have a very strong year, and their bullpen to be exceptional.
3. Los Angeles Dodgers- Andruw Jones will bounce back and their lineup is pretty decent but a shaky rotation and poor management will have this team scuffling to win 75 games. This will be the year when everyone realizes Torre won those world series' because his team out spent everybody.
4. San Diego Padres- Jake Peavy is a stud, and will win 20 games but that lineup absolutely sucks. Seriously, I think they will only have one player hit over 25 home runs. Jim Edmonds is washed up, Tad Iguchi isn't good, etc... etc... Also, how much longer can Trevor Hoffman be Trevor Hoffman, dudes like 50-years-old.
5. San Francisco Giants- Well the Barry Bonds era in the Bay is over, however now Giants fans have a new problem. Bengie Molina (yes, THE Bengie Molina) is batting clean-up for a team that may not win 50 games. Things are going to be laughably bad for San Francisco. I'll probably end up watching 10-15 innings of this team throughout the course of the year and I will be absolutely shocked if I see them get a hit, other than a two-out groundball through the middle. It's going to be bad. Very bad.
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