Prediction? Yes, Prediction…PAIN
That was Clubber Lang’s response in Rocky 3 in regards to his upcoming bout with Rocky Balboa. Rocky defeated Clubber in a rematch knocking him out after being knocked out in the first match.
As I watched Braves-Mets on ESPN this afternoon it was refreshing to hear the voices of Joe Morgan and Jon Miller resonate through my television. They were talking about the competiveness of the NL East and I agree with them. It will be the most competitive division in baseball.
It will be a tight race between the Braves, Mets and Phillies.
As much as I want to pick the Braves I do think the Phillies will win the East. This is practically the same National League Champion team with the addition of a better third baseman (Placido Polanco) and the League’s best pitcher (Roy Halladay)
The NL Central will be a tough one to pick. Obviously the Pirates are
lightyears from making this division their own. In fact I’m not quite
sure if I will be alive when it does happen. (I take that back, it will happen sometime this decade). But the Cardinals are the class of the six-team federation. Every team has improved but Matt Holliday and Colby Rasmus will accompany Albert the Great with great seasons.
How the West was won. This season will tell the tale of the Dodgers. This team underachieved last year dipping out of the Playoffs early. If the starting lineup stays healthy and Manny Ramirez has his head on staright in his self-proclaimed last year in LA this team will win the World Series.
The Wild Card of the National League will either come from the East
or Central. Probably the Central because it will be competitive in spurts throughout the year. I give the nod to the Braves. Tommy Hanson will break out and be the real deal.
The American League will be strong as well.
The East if forever changing with the most powerful players landing on teams on the coast. The Yanks and Red Sox will still keep the monopoly on the Division, but the Orioles will make some noise that has not been heard in quite some time. The Red Sox will win the East thanks to their revamped pitching efforts. They degressed offensively but still remain strong.
The AL Central has always been my favorite division in baseball and not just because I dislike the Indians so much. It is always a battle and the Tigers/Twins have always been the two American League teams I follow the most. That being said the Twins will take the Central. Target Field will be rocking just as loud as the Metrodome. Even without Joe Nathan, John Rauch will take over nicely.
After years of domination by the Angels in the West, a new champion will emerge. The
Seattle Mariners. With a total overhaul with Chone Figgins and Milton Bradley in the field and Cliff Lee to pair with Felix Hernandez.
The American League Wild Card- New York Yankees. No way they do not miss the playoffs after winning the World Series.
photo credits: mgm.com, blogs.spectator.com, johnnygoodtimes.com, newsimg.bbc.com, bravesbaseballblog.blogspot.com, sportslogos.net, sacbunt.wordpress.com, tomseaoltz.wordpress.com, layoutsparks.com