I don’t follow baseball nearly as close as I used to. When I was younger, kid size, I’d pour over box scores every morning, making mental notes of who did what, line up changes, the standings and more. I could tell you without much hesitation who was the right fielder for the White Sox or the third baseman for the Padres or the catcher for the Mariners.
But times change and facts are facts- I don’t follow baseball nearly as close as I used to. And truth be told, I mainly only follow the Red Sox, with a slight dabbling in the adventures of the Phillies. That’s about it. I know the San Francisco Giants won the World Series last year but I have to stop and think about who they beat…the Royals. They beat the Royals. The Royals? Yeah, the Royals. When the Sox won the Series in 2013, part of the joy of the whole thing was intensely watching playoff baseball again. For a while there I had been spoiled- what with the Sox winning in 2007, my adopted team the Phillies winning in 2008 and then losing in the Series in 2009, followed by shortened post season runs in 2010 and 2011. I kind of feel like if asked who won the Series in the past couple years, I would shrug my shoulders and say it was probably either the Cardinals or the Giants. And I don’t think I’d be that wrong. But who did they beat? I’d be hard pressed to answer. Probably another baseball team.
With all that being said, I am excited for the start of a new baseball season and not just because the dawning of a baseball season means summer is on the horizon- although that is always part of it. But man, football has really made a mockery of the length of other sports’ seasons. Football knows what they are doing- with 16 games, every game counts. Baseball, basketball, hockey…they have so many games that you get lost in the weeds and it’s hard to care a lot about early season games in any of these sports, knowing that they have over a hundred left to play. Whatever though. Football is run by assholes. So screw football and let’s talk about baseball.
Who is going to win the World Series?
Uh…next question please. I’m not ready for this one.
Okay, let’s start with an easy one. Will the 2015 Red Sox be more like the 2013 Sox or the 2014 Sox?
Kind of seems like they’ll be more like the 2013 Sox thanks in large part to the upgraded offense. A team with Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez has to be better than a team without them. And count me among the faithful singing the praises of Mookie Betts. The Sox offense was a fighter with no pop last year. That should be different this year. The pitching is a concern, but I really feel the Sox in April will not be the same as the Sox in August and that will largely be reflected in the pitching staff.
So will the Sox win the Series?
They are probably one of a handful of teams that could.
Who are the others?
I feel like you always have to include the Cardinals. Other teams are probably the Dodgers, the Tigers, Mariners, maybe the Padres and I read somewhere that the Indians are supposed to be good this year. And the Nationals. The Nats pitching staff is nasty. This also could be a Bryce Harper breakout year too. Or he’ll run smack into a wall and have a lost year. There will be no in between.
Have you gotten over losing Jon Lester yet?
How weird is it seeing Jimmy Rollins in a Dodgers’ uniform?
It’s weird, but weird with a sadness tinge.
It happens all the time now in sports, but with some players, it hurts more than it does with others. But either way, Rollins will always be a Phillie.
Speaking of the Phillies, which one of these guys will still be on the Phillies come August- Cole Hamels, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley?
Utley. And maybe Big Ry, if only because I don’t know who would want to trade for him unless the Phillies traded him while agreeing to pay the majority of his salary. If they did that, I could totally see him being traded to an American League team that could use him as a part-time DH. And Cole Hamels? Cole’s going to look really good in a Red Sox uniform.
What are the chances the Royals make it back to the World Series?
I have absolutely no idea.
And the Giants?
Seems like they lost a lot of dudes. So probably not. Plus their division got better, so making the playoffs looks like tough business for them.
I don’t know. I’d say the chances that the majority of the Marlins’ roster gets traded this season are as good as them making the playoffs. Why anyone would sign with that team is beyond me. Their owner is a snake. He’s literally a snake. But money is a powerful memory eraser. I bet Giancarlo Stanton is on another team in three to five years.
Lightning round- division winners…go!
NL East: Nationals, AL East: Red Sox, NL Central: Cardinals, AL Central: Indians, NL West: Dodgers, AL West: Mariners.
Wild Card teams?
In the National League, Pirates & Marlins. In the American League, Tigers & Blue Jays.
The Blue Jays?
Why the hell not?
One thing that happens this season that everyone will be talking about?
How the games are too long and despite new rule changes about batters having to stay in the batter’s box, games are still too long.
Isn’t the gripe “It’s too long” applicable to a few of baseball’s issues?
Yes. Games feel too long and the season feels too long. As for games, keeping batters in the box is a start, but they should do something about pitchers and keeping them on a clock too. And if you’re a reliever coming in, you shouldn’t need warm up pitches. You were just in the bullpen warming up- you should be good. And meetings at the mound? Limited to two a game, three tops. And visits should have a time limit to them as well. Let’s hustle it up gentlemen. And as for the season, 162 games is a long, long, long time. But I don’t know if shortening the season to 150 games would really matter. I guess I would focus more on making games shorter. Get them two and a half games and you’re onto something. That’s why soccer is appealing- two hours and you’re good to go. Football a shade over three hours and that works too, but also because football has significantly more action than baseball. A two hour baseball game would be dope and infinitely more appealing.
As for ARod, what does his season look like?
Moderately ugly. It sounds like boos, very loud boos.
Isn’t it kind of fun that the Yankees look like they’ll be terrible?
Oh it’s wonderful.
So, World Series pick?
The Nationals. Their pitching is stacked.
Who will they beat?
Uh…either the Sox or the Mariners.
Did you see that the Red Sox just put their catcher Christian Vasquez on the 60 day DL?
Yes. Not worried though. As stated previously, 60 days isn’t even half of the season. The Sox will be fine. If anything it hampers their ability to get Hamels because the Sox might be reluctant to trade Blake Swihart, their catching prospect that would be a centerpiece of any deal for Hamels. But that’s a concern for July. The key to success in baseball is being competitive by the All Star Break- just being in the hunt, which the Sox will be, the Phillies won’t be and in the end, Hamels on the Red Sox makes sense for both teams. Really the only thing that might hold it up is Ruben Amaro, the Phillies’ GM, who seems to be the only person that believes the Phillies should blow the team up and rebuild.
Anymore thoughts on this upcoming season?
Jon Lester will win 20 games for the Cubs, the Angels will have a losing record and so will the Rays, prompting rumors of an Evan Longoria trade and either the Royals, Pirates or Orioles will make the playoffs- but not all three.
Go Red Sox.