The beginning of the 2011 regular season is tomorrow, so I would like to take a moment to offer my predictions of how the regular season will play out.
1) Boston Red Sox
2) New York Yankees
3) Tampa Bay Rays
4) Baltimore Orioles
5) Toronto Blue Jays
I have the Rays slipping to third place after winning the division last year. I think the Red Sox have improved enough with the signings of Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford that they will win the division. The Yankees will be major players as usual, but I’m not sure how much I trust their starting rotation. I have the Orioles climbing out of the cellar thanks to their overhauled line up.
1) Chicago White Sox
2) Minnesota Twins
3) Detroit Tigers
4) Cleveland Indians
5) Kansas City Royals
The AL Central was really a toss up for me between the White Sox, Twins, and Tigers. I really feel that any of those teams could capture those divisions. The Royals and Indians will bring up the rear of the division, as usual.
1) Texas Rangers
2) Los Angeles Angels
3) Oakland Athletics
4) Seattle Mariners
The only difference I have between the 2010 standings and my predictions is that the Angels will take 2nd place instead of 3rd.
1) Philadelphia Phillies
2) Atlanta Braves
3) Florida Marlins
4) Washinton Nationals
5) New York Mets
How can anyone compete with the Phillies’ starting rotation? Losing Chase Utley for half of the year will hurt a bit, but not enough to cost the Phillies a division title. The Braves will be strong again and finish second. I also think this may be the year that the Nationals climb out of the basement of the division, overtaking the hapless Mets.
1) Milwaukee Brewers
2) Cincinnati Reds
3) St. Louis Cardinals
4) Pittsburgh Pirates
5) Chicago Cubs
6) Houston Astros
The Reds basically have the same team as last year, so I expect them duke it out with the Brewers for the top spot. I am sick of the Cardinals, and losing Adam Wainwright for the year should darken their playoff hopes – enough for third place. The Cubs are a mess as are the Astros. The Pirates finishing fourth? I’d like to think they can win 74-75 games this year. They were 40-41 at home, and I believe the offense will be improved from the get-go. No Andy LaRoche, Jeff Clement, Akinori Iwamura or Lastings Milledge in the lineup for the first 2-3 months of this year. They’ve been replaced by Pedro Alvarez, Lyle Overbay, Neil Walker, and Jose Tabata, all upgrades.
1) San Francisco Giants
2) Colorado Rockies
3) Los Angeles Dodgers
4) San Diego Padres
5) Arizona Diamondbacks
The Giants are for real. I think they’ll repeat. The Padres’ offense suffered in the offseason, so I think they’ll drop to 4th place. I like to Rockies’ chances with players like Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzski. The Diamondbacks will bring up the rear of the division.
AL pennant: Boston Red Sox
NL pennant: Philadelphia Phillies
World Series: Philadelphia Phillies win in six in a battle of two of my least favorite teams.
Agree or disagree? Your thoughts?
Happy New Years everyone!
I spent New Year’s Eve downtown, where I paused with the Bill Mazeroski statue after parking near PNC Park.
I then made my way down the Riverwalk where I used to snag a ball every now and then before the gates opened to PNC Park,
and snapped a picture of a Christmas Tree just inside PNC Park.
It was then off to dance and Arthur Murray, a dance studio that was giving free lessons. Despite having no prior ballroom dance experience, this was the highlight of the night for me, as I learned how to foxtrot. I had an unfair advantage as I was pre-taught everything by my dance partner who has had extensive ballroom dance training.
After that it was off to Le Courdon Bleu Culinary Institute,
where we enjoyed soup, hot chocolate and a cookie.
It was then time to wonder around until midnight where we saw fire dancers, fire twirlers, fire eaters,
had ice cream prepared for us,
listening to carolers and had our picture taken in a photo booth,
and watched some festivities downtown ,
and welcomed in 2011.
On the way back I snapped a final photo of PNC Park.
Also, the ultimate Easter Egg baseball is still in place, about 40 feet up in the framework of the Clemente Bridge.
It’s been there since July, when I threw a ball poorly and it weirdly rolled up the bridge framework and settled there. The ball was originally one from Nick Pelescak’s collection. It may well be there until the next time the bridge gets painted.
As for my New Year’s Resolutions, I’ve made some personal ones, but choose to keep them private, only one person knows them – you know who you are.
Snagging wise, I’ll reveal that this will be a down year for me, for a reason I can’t reveal, but I’d like to still snag 300 if its possible. I’d also like to visit a few new stadiums too. I’ve targeted some midwest stadiums such as Wrigley Field this year.
Happy New Year!