Wednesday, April 05, 2023

Spring Springing (ie, Baseball)

 Hello world. I am still kicking around out here, though I am not kicking around here much anymore. The world has changed. But Baseball is back, and though I don't really have anythign profound to say about it - I am going to say something.

Things are different in the baseball world. The game keeps trying to upgrade itself, with - well, some kind of results. This year, the big noise is about pitch clocks - requiring pitchers and hitters to get in there and play, with consequences for time wasting. There may be some downsides to this - I don't know what they are likely to be. Sure, it would be nice of players got on with things unprodded, but they did not, so, prod away! I don't know if this will end up solving anything, but it seems to me to be abn altogether good thing.

Other rules? they have done something with shifts - I haven't paid too close attention to it, so I can't comment too much. I don't think I like it - I don't think I would like any restrictions on how you play defense. It bugs me. And bugs me that they are changing the rules to help players who aren't good enough or smart enough to go the other way once in a while. Why change the rules to help Joey Gallo? that makes no sense. That is my general take on it. In fact, I don't know if I would even notice. 

Good enough. The main damage with rules changes came a couple years ago when they started putting runners on base in extra innings. Disgraceful! I don't know what to say about crap like that.

So I won't say anything. Instead, the traditional uninformed guesses about who shall win what this year. Less informed than I used to be, for sure.

AL East:

1. Tampa - they are undefeated so far. I mean - it's early and all, but they were always going to be one of the main contenders. How they do it I don't know, but they do. Will they last? More likely than not.

2. NY Yankees - hateful as it is, I suppose they are going to be in the thick of things.

3. Toronto - off to a bad start, but they have too much talent to stay bad. They should be in the post season picture all year.

4. Baltimore - I don't know if I believe that they will stay ahead of the sox all year, but they did last year, and the red sox - yikes. Put the O's ahead and hope I am wrong.

5. Boston - yikes. They are hitting, at least they hit the first series. They are hard to gauge - bad as Sale and Kluber were the first time out, they could find their groove and be useful again. It happens. Look at late John Lackey; look at Verlander post elbow surgery. If it does happen, the sox could be a lot better than this. If it doesn't happen, the rest fo the staff is dire, and the offense is not one to carry them. So, lots of margin for error on any kind of pick. Though - bad is the most likely, unfortunately.

AL Central:

1. Cleveland - they seem to be still right there. 

2. Minnesota - off to a good start, and carrying some decent players. Joey Gallo, with the rules in his favor! And Carlos Correa, whose every attempt to escape the twin cities was thwarted. There's a guy with something to prove. So - yeah, they might be in it for the long haul.

3. Chicago - I think they missed their chance to be a contendere, but they should be decent I would think.

4. Detroit - you know; after thoughts. Which is better than being dogs.

5. KC - probably dogs. What do they have on this team? Oh my god! Jackie Bradley Jr.!

AL West:

1. Houston - obviously.

2. Seattle - solid last year, and should be right in the thick of things this year.

3. Angels - poor Mike Trout and Shohei Otani. Get some life around them! give thm a shot! They are doing okay so far - keep it up boys! keep it up!

4. Texas - they're passable so far, but I don't see much hope. They keep throwing money around, but it doesn't seem to work. They have Jacob de Grom, but he gave up more in his first start than in his entire major league career to date [that might be a slight exaggeration], and he is not young or healthy anymore. They also have Nathan Eovaldi to take up a DL slot. So - it would be nice to see them play well, but it's not likely.

5. Oakland - I don't see a lot of wins here.

NL East:

1. Atlanta - they seem to be carrying on as before.

2. NY Mets - they keep signing ancient but still viable pitchers, and should hang around. I don't know if they can live up to last year though.

3. Philly - off to a bad start, but they have a decent team, and should do all right.

4. Miami - they show up, right? 

5. Washington - do they show up? They'd be better off if they didn't.

NL Central:

1. St. Louis - they still have the core; they should be fine.

2. Milwaukee - they're usually respectable, and are playing well early - no reason to pick against them.

3. Chicago - I don't know fi they are any good, but - they have some ball players. Maybe they will amount top something.

4. Pittsburgh - they have been working over the hapless Red Sox this week. I hope they win some games - Pirates fans deserve a bit of success.

5. Reds - anything to see here? No idea, frankly. 

NL West:

1. LA Dodgers - see Houston above. They're already winning, unless the Astros.

2. San Diego - they have signed every shortstop in the western hemisphere and a few in the eastern. Sooner or later it should pay off. (Xander Bogaerts has three bombs!)

3. San Francisco - I suppose so. Who do they have these days? I am too lazy to click.

4. Arizona - there is no reason to pick them ahead of Colorado except they are off to a better start and I have a couple of them on a fantasy team. That's enough for me.

5. Colorado - vice versa. I do hope Daniel Bard comes back - he's always been a fascinating story, and a guy I want to see doing well.

Okay - that's that. That means the post season? 

AL: TB - Cleveland - Houston; wild cards = New York - Seattle - Toronto, in the end.

NL: Atlanta - SL - LA; wild cards: San Diego - New York - Milwaukee.

There you go. The default World Series I suppose is Houston and LA; NY or TB are quite capable... so are Atlanta, SD, SL I would think. No surprises, I suppose. For a good black horse? What the hell - Boston! Sale and Kluber healthy - I don't believe it, but I will say it, because there's no point picking a surprise if they're not going to be surprising. Or the Angels, for most of the same reasons. 

We'll see if I get anything right other than LA and Houston... 

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