I, for one, am a huge baseball fan; and I have a little spring fever with pitchers and catchers two weeks away I wanted to give you my teams to watch for in nine innings.
1st Inning: The Cleveland Indians, the biggest addition off the offseason had to be in the clubhouse Terry Francona brought not one but two World Series championships to the Boston Red Sox in his tenure. The intrigue in the Indians is can Terry Francona have the same success with a team which is pretty similar to that scrappy Boston team in 2004.
2nd Inning: The Oakland Athletics, yes Brad Pitt made the Athletics a team you want to root for, but the play of the Athletics last season makes them a team you can’t take your eyes off. When a team with no big names, small cap, and a will to win make the playoffs, I tend to pay close attention. Will they keep the success up? That is million dollar problem with the Oakland Athletics.
3rd Inning: The Cincinnati Reds, Brandon Phillips and company shocked the National League with their success turned into disaster after being up 2-0 The Reds lost 3-2 to the World Champion Giants. What I will be watching for is can they make it out of the first round and extend on the success they had in 2012?
4th Inning: The Detroit Tigers. Why so low on my list for the World Series Runner ups, you say? I feel we saw the best out of the Tigers last season, but for the sake of the Tigers having the Triple Crown (44 HR .330 BA and 139 RBI) Miguel Cabrera on their team you have to still feel they will be a playoff contender just not a World Series winner in the near future.
5th Inning: The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, After A disappointing 2012 and oh boy, it was disappointing, You still have to love the addition of Josh Hamilton to help out with the production of Albert Pujols and AL Rookie of the year Mike Trout this team is sure to be a lot better 2013 than that destructive 2012 season.
6th Inning: Baltimore Orioles, They do not wow you with stats just wins. Where some would say a loss to the Yankees in the ALDS would be a failure I say a team that most pegged to be at the bottom of the barrel of the AL east i would call it the starting point for success. Yes, the Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays, and Rays are all playoff contenders could the Baltimore Orioles send them to the back of the line? They just might.
7th Inning: The San Francisco Giants: In my opinion the best team in the National League, the Giants have little to prove NL MVP Buster Posey, stud pitcher Matt Cain, and the Kung Fu Panda, Pablo Sandoval, the Giants are threat to go back to back, with a slumping Tim Lincecum last season San Fran were the talk of the baseball world in the playoffs epic NLDS with the Reds, followed up with a great series with the Cardinals, the Giants capped off their season with a World Series victory what more can I say?
8th Inning: The New York Yankees, not for the skin of my teeth season they had, but mainly for this team has dominated for years now and can Joe Girardi get this team in gear, lose the off the field issues, defy the age of this team and go out and win the AL east? All signs point to no, but it makes an interesting watch.
9th Inning: The Toronto Blue Jays, The BIGGEST offseason moves possibly ever the Blue Jays woke up and said yup, it’s time to spend money. R.A. Dickey, Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Emilio Bonafacio, Mark Buhrele and Melkey Cabrera were all acquired by a Blue Jays team that already had talent such as Jose Bautista, Brandon Morrow, and Rickey Romero. Wow this is my number one team to watch for just for the fact they have an All Star team put together in Toronto, of all places. Will the Jays win it all we are couple months away from witnessing it all? Are you ready?
- Stephen Moul
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