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6 days ago

Votes on this review: 0 Helpful / 3 Funny / 0 Agree / 0 Disagree

32 days ago

mays was great. but he did not have the talent that mantle had.

and i get a little tired of hearing about his defensive prowess. he made everything look harder than it was. he was a showboat, with all those basket style catches.

the best defensive center fielder that i have ever seen is someone that most of you have never heard of, unless you are a detroit tiger fan.

his name is mickey stanley. he was as good in center as kaline was in right.

no matter where the ball went, stanley caught it.

2 extremely important aspects for an outfielder is how quickly can one judge where the ball is going, and then the speed to get there.

stanley made everything look so easy, that he was not impressive when you just looked at what he was doing.

but you know, that is one of the best ways of judging how good someone is - how easy he makes it look.

i think we have all made the mistake of thinking something is easier than we thought, when we see someone good, doing it. that is, until we try it ourselves !!!!

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160 days ago

The Red Sox have done a decent job in clearing away malcontents like Josh Beckett and freeing up salary space with the unloading of said malcontents. They even got some solid prospects like Allen Webster in addition to the salary relief. Their minor league teams feature some good prospects, but their offseason acquisitions were a mixed bag overall. Their relief pitching is among the best in the league on paper, but questions abound in their shaky rotation, which isn't what it was about 5 years ago. Jon Lester and Clay Bucholz are likely to rebound, but the villified John Lackey is coming off of Tommy John surgery and has never been the same since he left The Angels. Ryan Dempster is durable, but he hasn't fared well against the AL, and he's rarely been better than average in his rather long career. Felix Doubront has a good strikeout ratio, but he came to camp out of shape after an up and down 2012 season. They need to add some experienced pitching depth in the minors in case of any injuries.

Offensively, the team is above the norm. Any team that has David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, and a healthy Jacoby Ellsbury will score runs, and young Wil Middlebrooks plays a sharp third base and has power. He doesn't walk much, but could hit 25 homers and evolve into a Dean Palmer type of player. Picking up David Ross was a wise move: he's arguably the best backup catcher in the game, and a far better fielder than Jarrod Saltalamacchia, whose only real plus is the ability to hit homers. Shane Victorino can field and run, but his bat has diminished and they simply overpaid for him. Jonny Gomes is really a platoon player: he murders lefties but is a dreadful fielder. Stephen Drew was once one of the better shortstops in the NL, but, like his brother, former Red Sox outfielder J.D., he is now battling frequent ailments. The bench looks pretty solid.

The best move the Red Sox made was getting rid of Bobby Valentine, the egotistical jerk who was miscast as their manager. They replaced him with John Farrell, their respected former pitching coach and Toronto skipper. This team has a faint chance at a playoff position, though in fairness the AL East looks wide open this year. Getting rid of the grousers like Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez, and Carl Crawford helps the clubhouse and their finances. They have an above average farm system that is churning out highly regarded prospects such as Xander Bogaerts and Matt Barnes. Since this is a big market club, they could rebound quickly with the prospects and the financial resources. It's doubtful that they will be more than a third place club...but it's equally doubtful that they'll win 69 games again.. or come in last place. Third or fourth with a record around .500 seems most likely.

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161 days ago

2.5 stars. While Chalky has a point in saying that you can't count these evildoers out, I think the chickens are finally coming home to roost. After I shoot myself in the foot for that detestable cliche, I will explain. This team is like The Celtics of the late 80's and early 90's, overrelying on names of the past. Injuries are piling up: the team will start the season with the declining Mark Teixeira on the disabled list. Teixeira has turned into a fine fielding version of the past his prime version of Jason Giambi the Yankees had. Curtis Granderson will also start on the DL, and aside from his home run power, he doesn't bring too much to the table as he whiffs a lot, is now a sub-.250 hitter, and isn't even the fielder he once was. Brett Gardner is returning from missing most of 2012: there's no telling how this previously underrated player will do. The hobbled and disgraced A-Rod is a shadow of his former self, and won't return until July, if at all. Derek Jeter is coming off of a serious injury. He turns 39 in June and is unlikely to repeat the fine numbers he had in 2012. His range at shortstop would be laughed at by boulders. The catching is currently in the hands of a couple of Triple A types. Kevin Youkilis was the only significant addition to the club and he's now 34 and likely to be hurt for at least part of the year. Only Robinson Cano is still in his prime. The bench is below the standards of Yankees clubs of the past and the team as a whole is creaky and ancient. The team was reduced to begging Derek Lee and Chipper Jones to come out of retirement. Begging!

The team has good pitching. That is fortunate for them, but closer Mariano Rivera is now 43. Andy Petttite will soon turn 42. Hiroki Kuroda had a fine year in 2012: he's their most underrated starter, but he's 38. C.C. Sabathia is a horse, but there is a lot of mileage from burgers and Twinkies on that frame. If even one of these pitchers were to be seriously injured, it could be devastating for this team of Brownshirts. Phil Hughes is overrated by Yankee afficionados and Ivan Nova was bad last year: his 2011 season was largely a result of the Yankees offensive support. The relief pitching is good beyond Rivera, though Joba Chamberlain has become something of a burden: he was fearsome at first, but now has a look on his face that suggests someone who looks like he's about to run off of the mound and hold up a drugstore for Oxycontin.

The Yankees have solid pitching for the most part. It is shocking how budget conscious they have become as they look to shed payroll to get under the tax. Their hitting would keep them competitive...but most of their key players are hurt and/or aging rapidly. They could win the division, but the division as a whole seems wide open this year. At any rate, they are no longer serious contenders to win the whole thing. It isn't impossible to imagine, but teams like The Tigers and Angels are definitely better than they are now. Their minor league system isn't as strong as it once was, and most of their prospects are in the lower minor league levels. It'll probably be a couple of years before they can be serious threats again. In the meantime, they can dwell in their overpriced , ugly park and be jeered by the collection of ruffians, scoundrels, dirtballs, frontrunners, sychophants, monsters,Orcs, troglodytes, and other unsavory, savage types who show up there for not winning the whole thing.


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162 days ago

Detroit, last year's runner up, features Justin Verlander, the best pitcher in the league, and the best all-around hitter in the league in Miguel Cabrera. Cabrera is surrounded by power hitter Prince Fielder, the fleet Austin Jackson, Torii Hunter, Jhonny Peralta, and Victor Martinez, who missed all of 2012. If catcher Alex Avila can return to the form of 2011 after a disappointing 2012, the Tigers will be even more formidable. Omar Infante is an ordinary second baseman, and left field looks like it will be patrolled by Andy Dirks and/or somebody like prospect Avisail Garcia. As it is, they have one of the best offenses in the game, though this is a below average team defensively. Only Jackson and Hunter, who is aging slowly, are really above average defenders.

The emergence of Max Scherzer to complement perennial Cy Young Award candidate Verlander was a big plus for the club last year. This is a team with guys who can strike out opposing batters. Anibal Sanchez, who pitched well down the stretch for Detroit, was a mediocre pitcher with The Marlins, but if healthy he could put up 15 wins or so with this far superior team. Doug Pfister pitched a lot better than his 2012 record would indicate. Detroit's bullpen is a weakness. As of this writing, the club has not settled on a closer. Some of their situational relievers are pretty good, but guys like Octavio Dotel and Joaquin Benoit are now old and could fall apart at any time. Relief is the Achilles' Heel of this team.

The Tigers are a strong club with a few weak spots: relief pitching, the bench, and defense come to, the middle infield tandem of Peralta and Infante is not that impressive, though Peralta could hit 20 homers as he has done in the past. However, the good starting pitching and scary lineup with mashers like Cabrera and Fielder should overcome that. The club should easily win the AL Central, and is one of the most likely teams to win The World Series in 2013.

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163 days ago

I wonder if these guys know the Washington Generals. Honestly, the Nats are an okay team, but I really don't seem them winning it all.

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163 days ago

Last year I pegged them as the kind of team that was improving but not ready to really threaten to win the whole thing. A team that would go 84-78 or something. I was wrong, they wound up winning more games than any team in baseball. They blew it in the playoffs but still had an amazing year. This year, they are more experienced and that is unlikely to happen again. Atlanta is a good club that should give them a challenge for the NL East, but I wouldn't be surprised if The Nationals won the division by 10 games, or even more. This team is a serious contender for the title: only a few teams are even in the discussion with them.

Washington is solid throughout. The bench is among the best in the game. The club has speed and good defense. The starting pitching is probably the best and deepest in the game, and they added Dan Haren to a strong front four of Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmerman, and Ross Detwiler. Stephen Strasburg and outfielder Bryce Harper are two of the best young players the sport has to offer. The team lacks a truly terrifying slugger, but features plenty of effective hitters, including some underrated ones like Adam LaRoche and Ian Desmond. Ryan Zimmerman is a very good third baseman when healthy, and the team added the leadoff hitter it was lacking in former Twins speedster Denard Span. They don't really wow you with any one dimension of the game but that's because they are rock solid at just about everything. Davey Johnson is one of the game's best managers and the team has the resources to get help during the year: the ownership has deep pockets. They added Rafael Soriano to an already deep bullpen. The team is at least competent at nearly every position, and arguably the deepest in the game.

Sure, like every team, there's holes on this club. Of course, health is the key for this, and every club. Second baseman Danny Espinosa has some power and speed, but he strikes out too much and may be looking over his shoulder at prospect Anthony Rendon. Jayson Werth played pretty well when healthy last year, but his huge contract was still a horrid decision by the team, as he is aging and, though a good player with The Phillies a few years back, he was never the kind of player who should've commanded such a big salary, . He may have some gas left in the tank . At 34 he's clearly past his peak though. There are questions at catcher, where Wilson Ramos-who missed most of last year- and Kurt Suzuki will battle for playing time. But these are minor problems compared to the issues that almost every other team faces.

It would be very disappointing if this club doesn't go far, as it is on the short list of likely champions this year.

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164 days ago

This team is a bit of a sleeper, and one that doesn't get the attention that it should because it is a small market team. The Cardinals will probably give them a fight, but I think the Reds are clearly the better of the two teams. Joey Votto needs to stay healthy because he is one of the best pure hitters in the game. He is by no means the only threat they have. The Reds also have guys like Jay Bruce, Shin-Soo Choo, Brandon Phillips, and Ryan Ludwick in the batting order. The bench is solid and the team is well above the norm defensively.

The pitching staff is very good, with dependable and durable starters. Johnny Cueto was one of the league's very best last year, and Mat Latos had a fine season as well. Bronson Arroyo was solid, and Homer Bailey finally began to meet his potential. Aroldis Chapman is moving to the rotation after a superb year in the bullpen. That may be a bit of a gamble, but The Reds have a pretty deep bullpen, one that features some underrated hurlers who are underrated in part because they don't pitch for one of the five or six marquee clubs like The Yankees, Dodgers, etc.

This is a deep team without a major weakness. I expect them to win the NL Central, and while they have to be considered to be something of a dark horse, it is conceivable that they could win it all. One danger they may face comes from within: Dusty Baker has enough of a track record to discount calling him a bad manager. However, he makes some really stupefying decisions and is not one of the sport's best strategists. It should be a good season in Cincinatti.

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166 days ago

Mike Trout, Josh Hamilton, and Albert Pujols make a fearsome trio: at present. Pujols is declining and Hamilton's amount of strikeouts last year was alarming, but both are still among the best the AL has to offer. Those two will of course still be productive this year, but their contracts will be burdens in a few years. Trout was amazing in 2012, but the rest of The Angels lineup is less than terrifying. Mark Trumbo has power, but is a pretty one dimensional player. Vernon Wells is now a fourth outfielder who is dragging one of the worst contracts of all-time with him. Peter Bourjos can run and is a great fielder, but can't hit. Howard Kendrick and Erick Aybar are pretty solid but unspectacular players. The rest of their offense is merely okay at best.

The pitching staff is quite a way down from the many fine rotations this team has had over the years. Jered Weaver is one of the best hurlers in the game, and C.J. Wilson is a good one. However, ex-Mariners pitcher Jason Vargas probably had a career year in 2012. Joe Blanton is less than a mediocrity, and how the fourth starter, Tommy Hanson, will do is anybody's guess at this point. Hanson has talent, but he has declined after a hot start with Atlanta, and throws with a type of motion that risks serious damage to his arm. Their relief pitching is not that great either. They need to upgrade in both the rotation and the bullpen Owner Arte Moreno is not afraid to spend money on this club, but this season may be a case in which he has to.

I think The Angels and Rangers will have a dogfight for the AL West. The Angels are a good- if somewhat overrated- club that could go far. No team has the three- headed monster that they do with their three big bats. On the other hand, the team could also crash if injuries become a factor as their pitching depth is not what it was in years past. It's pretty likely that they will either seize the division or at least make it in as a wildcard, but it's hardly something to take for granted. 3.5 stars.

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168 days ago

The Dodgers are flush with cash and have the resources to fill holes during the season. Last year, they took on tons of salary in acquring roughly 250 million dollars worth of contracts from Boston, plus they made some other big moves. The team is turning into The Yankees, financially speaking.

This isn't a great team, but it's a good one, and they are the consensus choice to win The NL West. They have starting pitching to spare, and will probably trade away Chris Capuano, Aaron Harang, or Ted Lilly. Clayton Kershaw is one of the elite pitchers in baseball. The team is concerned about Zack Greinke's health, as they just signed him to a big deal. Greinke is good but a a little overrated by some, but if healthy, he makes a very fine #2 starter. Josh Beckett is past his prime and he had a rotten attitude in Boston, but he could very well have a good year, as in recent years he seems to alternate good years with bad years. Chad Billingsley is rightfully viewed as something of an underachiever, but he may have a solid season and is pretty reliable and still fairly young. In terms of relief, the club is pretty ordinary overall.

Los Angeles has more offensive firepower than any team in their division. Hanley Ramirez doesn't hit for batting average and is a below average fielder at shortstop. He still hits for power and steals bases. Adrian Gonzalez is a slick fielder at first. He's a .300 hitter, but his decline in homers is disconcerting. The outfield of Carl Crawford, Matt Kemp, and Andre Ethier is a very good one: if all three can stay healthy. Crawford has certainly already peaked, and Ethier may very well have too.

The Dodgers are far from a perfect team. A.J. Ellis had a career year in 2012 and is essentially a journeyman backstop. Mark Ellis, the second baseman, is getting old. Third baseman Luis Cruz may have been a flash in the pan: he's a career minor leaguer who made an unexpected contribution last year. The bullpen, as stated before, is ordinary. The bench is nothing special.

The club has the financial might and aggressiveness to address some of these problems. They should be competitive at worst and have to be considered to be the favorite for the NL West. They are scary in that money apparently isn't an object with management, and scary not so much for what they are as what they could turn into. Despite all of their problems, the team certainly could find itself in The Series this year. 3.5 stars.

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