Thursday, July 10, 2008

Season 9 Preview AL & NL North

Lars the Greek - Cobb Times Herald

Last season Lars was proven wrong at every corner, and with the World Series Triumph of the New York Titans, his prognostical prowess was shattered. But Lars is back anyways for one more shot at predicting glory, and this time he has learned his lesson: Never pick against the Titans or the Pollocks.

NL North

Fargo Fug Nuts (121-41) 1st place
Question: Will Louie Mairena, O.T. Jarvis, & Dennis Ashby hit enough to offset the loss of Vernon Jones, Jim Green, & Hades Booker who were traded in the offseason?
Answer: The Fug Nuts are deep, and no amount of trades can change that.
Outlook: 105-57 - 1st place. The Fug Nuts have too much talent to finish anywhere other than 1st in the NL North. The real test will be if they can get homefield for the playoffs, and then make it past their opening round series.

New York Pick Pockets (73-89) 3rd Place
Question: Will Elvis Christman get any support in the Pick Pockets rotation, or will he be the only starter that can be counted on?
Answer: The Pick Pockets lineup will hit lots of home runs, with seven players boasting 87+ power ratings, and that doesn't include MVP candidate Stewart DiSarcina.
Outlook: 84-78 - 2nd place. The Pick Pockets lineup should be good enough to hit past their pitching issues and move into second place past the Corn Cleats in what should be an exciting race to finish behind the Fug Nuts.

Sioux Falls Corn Cleats (77-85) 2nd place
Question: Will the Corn Cleats anemic lineup recover from career lows by nearly everyone to once again be competetive?
Answer: Vance Weaver is always the answer in Cleatland, and with a little more run support should have won 20 games last season.
Outlook: 80-82 - 3rd place. The Corn Cleats are in a holding pattern until their pitching prospects arrive in season 10. This could be the year that they slide from their traditional second place finish.

Toledo Tsunamis (55-107) 4th place
Question: Will the Tsunamis break 60 wins?
Answer: Fans in Toledo should be looking at the minor league teams in Ashtabula, Perrysburg, and Upper Sandusky for the real players on the Tsunamis, as that's where the future of the team will be playing.
Outlook: 60-102 - 4th place. Toledo has some work to do, but it is building its farm system and looks to have a crop of prospects hit the bigs in a few seasons with hopes to challenge the rest of the NL North. This year however it looks like another trip to the cellar for Toledo.

AL North

Pawtucket G-Maniacs (108-54) 1st place
Question: How good will the G-Maniacs be after the mass exodus of Gold Gloves and Silver Sluggers in the off season?
Answer: Dean Hernandez will be in contention to win his second Cy Young.
Outlook: 98-64 - 1st place. The G's may have lost quite a bit of talent, but their roster was loaded to begin with. Add to the fact that none of that talent was from Pawtuckets brilliant pitching staff and you still have a team that is a force to be reckoned with.

Philadelphia Floppin' Phils (79-83) 2nd place
Question: Will the Phils offseason spending splurge result in a playoff spot?
Answer: The pitching staff still lacks a true #1 starter.
Outlook: 91-71 - 2nd place. The Phil's lineup will rake in the runs, but the average pitching staff will cost them some games. Still, Philly will compete for the wildcard for the first time in many seasons.

Chicago Sabercats (67-95) 3rd place
Question: Will Kip Zeile ever get any love from the Cobb Times Herald?
Answer: Ugueth Posada will be the teams best pitcher this season.
Outlook: 72-90 - 3rd place. The Sabercats have some good parts, but their talent level isn't equal to the Powerful P's of Philly and Pawtucket. This doesn't bode well for Zeile's MVP campaign as media attention may once again be lacking.

Toronto Blue Jays (59-103) 4th Place
Question: Will the large number of rookies in the lineup and rotation be able to better last years win total?
Answer: Bosco Simon has big time potential and should lead the young Blue Jays lineup.
Outlook: 60-102 - 4th place. Fans of the Jays will have a good time watching the rookies play, but need to be patient while they adjust to the big league game. Still, the future is brighter in Toronto than it was a few seasons ago.

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