Get your Cracker Jacks!!!

Blizzards in the Midwest, cold temperatures in the Northeast, many trees still barren around the rest of the country… it may not feel like spring, but it’s certainly the season. It also may seem like the World Series just ended; but whether it feels like it or not, it’s time for baseball in America once again.

I’ll take this time to brag just slightly, after my playoff predictions from last season were slightly successful, picking 3 out of 4 division series winners, and correctly putting the Phillies in the World Series. Even so, there is room for improvement. Here goes nothing…

Playoff Bound:

AL: Red Sox, Indians, Angels, Yankees (Wild Card)

NL: Mets, Cubs, D-Backs, Phillies (Wild Card)

Most Improved Team:

Atlanta Braves – with the addition of some big arms in the off season (Derek Lowe and Javier Vazquez) as well as some wily veterans in Garret Anderson and Omar Infante, the Braves look poised to contend in the NL East. If Chipper Jones and the rest of their solid lineup can remain healthy for most of the season, the Braves should be able to chop their way to the playoffs for the first time in 4 years.

Biggest Fall from Grace:

Brewers – with a wild card berth and magnificent run to the postseason last year, the Brew Crew relied on solid pitching from CC Sabathia and Gallardo to carry them to late season victories. While Milwaukee’s hitting might still be a threat, their lack of pitching will be a major cause for concern. Don’t look for a return to prominence this season.

Most Interesting Story:

Yankees – it may seem cliche, but all the buzz will be around the Yankees this year (again and for eternity). But with a payroll of over 200 million smackers, who’s surprised? (btw: that’s more than twice as much as 22 other teams in MLB for 2009) No doubt acquiring 2 studs on the mound, an mvp caliber first baseman, and a new stadium can do nothing but improve a team that failed to make the playoffs for the first time in 13 seasons last year. And we didn’t even mention A-Rod yet…

Players to Watch:

AL: Ken Griffey Jr… nah just kidding. Alexi Casilla of the Twins is the spark that Minnesota needs to make another playoff run. With Joe Mauer injured, the Twinkies will look to this youthful second baseman for a major performance in a promising season

NL: David Wright – could lead the Mets to the postseason for the first time since blowing it in September two years running. If he didn’t play in the same league as Albert Pujols, he’d be an MVP lock

World Series Predictions:

Red Sox because they have the most impressive rotation in baseball

Mets because… well who doesn’t feel sorry for the Mets? I’ll give them some lovin’

1986 here we go again! only I’d be crazy not to pick the Sawks in this one

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One Response to Get your Cracker Jacks!!!

  1. Funny that the Yankees have to spend so much money and get some new ‘studs’ for the mound, yet they need their outfielder to pitch for them during a game?! Talk about some bad investments on the pitching rotation but a great investment in the outfield….

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