Thursday, March 13, 2008

Sllaacs Baseball - 2008

The smell of the grass and the wet infield dirt. The sound of a ball slapping into a mitt. The calls of "Attaboy", "Cut Two!", and "Play Ball!" echoing around the field. This is spring training baseball, an almost magical prologue that happens only prior to the baseball season. Every team is a contender in the spring with the same surprises always around the corner: The kid that's going to hit .600 this spring and then get sent down anyway; the has-been's and never-was's making another try at getting a spot in the Show; the starting pitcher who dominates like he's Cy Young in March and then gets lit up like he's Willie Lump-Lump in April - and vice-versa, of course. How about the O.G's - the dudes like Frank Thomas and Alex Rodriguez - who will hit something like .143 and say something like: "Well, I'm just working on bat speed", or "I'm just trying to see the ball," and then the season starts and it's; "Hall of Fame Bound" being mentioned before, during and after each at-bat they have? Baseball is incomparable to any other sport. For one thing, baseball is harder than any of the big four sports, (Baseball, Basketball, Football, Hockey) and almost as frustrating as Soccer,(which is a very tough, athletic sport that very few Americans give a damn about, myself included.) Some of the most nonathletic looking "Athletes" have dominated baseball for stretches of time that makes an outsider think that anyone can play the game. Well, anyone who is physically able can play baseball, the question becomes more about playing the game with near-perfection - something you will only see consistently in the Major Leagues... Unless you are a Giants or A's fan. The Giants are what baseball aficionados call "Horseshit" as far as projected offense goes, and the A's are not much better. Both teams are actually going into the season touting their pitching staffs as a strength. These claims are only somewhat laughable in Giants case - they are bringing back some pretty good pitchers, (Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum) but they lost Noah Lowry to an arm injury, Barry Zito is getting smoked and their bullpen closer situation is at best unestablished, and at worst: Horseshit also. Now, Oakland's claim that pitching is their strength is laughable because; 1) the A's don't have any strengths - they traded them all away; B) The pitching probably will be the strength anyway; and III) Revenue sharing will still reward Bean for putting out a shit product. If you like young, raw and unproven talent to root for in your favorite teams' colors - and pretend that your squad will duplicate the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks successes of last year - then you are going to be excited and a-rarin' ta go, cuz' that's what Brian Sabean and Billy Bean are presenting us with in the Bay Area this year. The Giants new motto "All out, All the Time", is not only a swipe at Barry Bonds, but absolutely is the only formula that will allow them to compete for the post season in the National League West. The A's... Well, maybe next year.

Sllaacs 2008 Predicted order of Finish for the S.F. Giants and Oakland Athletics respective Divisions:

American League West: W-L

California Angels 104-58
Seattle Mariners 85-77
Texas Rangers 83-79
Oakland Athletics 76-86

National League West: W-L

Arizona Diamondbacks 92 - 70
Colorado Rockies 90 - 72
San Diego Padres 88 - 74
San Francisco Giants 71-91


Dan Hauenstein said...

As long as Kruk and Kuip are back with the move to NBC, I'll watch. Although they will stop preempting Seinfeld...

So, where will the Dodgers finish?

John Sousa said...

If we're talking Giants, I'm a Jon Miller guy. He's the best baseball announcer not named Vin Scully.