February 5, 2009

TSN Predictions

I picked up my first pre-season magazine today -- The Sporting News 2009 Yearbook. Spring cannot be far behind!

Sadly, I am in Region 2 and am stuck with cover boy Roy Halladay, as opposed to getting FY and LBJ in Region 1.

In his AL East intro, Dan Graziano of the Newark Star-Ledger writes that the division "may have the three best teams in the league, of not all of baseball. And since no more than two of those teams can qualify for the postseason, it promises to be an all-out dogfight."

Here is TSN's predicted finish:
             Final Grade*
Yankees 94
Red Sox (wc) 93
Rays 92
Blue Jays 74
Orioles 65
*: I don't know what this is or how it is calculated, but it sure looks like
TSN could have listed the top three teams in any order and gone to press.


Comments from rival scouts:

Yankees:
They needed starting pitching and they got it. Those two guys they got, Sabathia and Burnett, they're real No. 1-type guys. So they'll be better, no doubt about it. But for me, the biggest problem they had last year was they were a team that looked like it was getting old. And I'm not sure how well they've answered that ...

Bobby Abreu was a real useful player for them, and they couldn't fit him in their [2009] outfield because they're stuck with Damon and Matsui, who can't do much anymore. Jeter is basically a singles hitter now, and he's a disaster in the field. He actually hurts them at shortstop. Posada's coming off shoulder surgery. Cano ... who know what they'll get from him? ...

They could win [the division], but they're not clearly better than those other two teams at the top.
Red Sox:
They'll score plenty. Ortiz should be back from the wrist [injury] and be the monster he used to be. Everybody's raving about the two No. 1 starters the Yankees got, but they forget the Red Sox already had three of them. Beckett and Lester are as good a 1-2 as anybody has. Dice-K drives you nuts, but he knows how to win the game. And Papelbon is the best closer going right now. I love that kid's stuff and attitude. Like, "I'm better than you and there's nothing you can do about it."
Rays:
They won the league with the league's lowest payroll. Seriously, that's a GM's dream, right? What GM wouldn't have traded his whole team, straight up, for Tampa's team last October? The whole 25-man roster. And there's more on the way, too. If they're putting David Price in the rotation, he'll be an impact guy right away. ...

They could use another big bat, but they'll probably get one, and they'd do well to make sure it's one that doesn't mess with the good stuff, chemistry-wise, they've got going on there. The starting pitching is rock solid. I worry a little about their bullpen because I don't see a closer. But they have enough arms to figure it out. ...

Guys like Upton and Longoria are just going to get better and better, and they have more guys in the system coming up to help in the next year or two. They make everybody jealous.
TSN's picks for the other five divisions: Twins, Angels, Phillies, Cubs, and Dodgers, with the Mets as the NL wild card.

MVPs: Longoria / Pujols. CYs: Sabathia / Santana.

World Series: Yankees over Cubs. (In 2008, TSN picked the Red Sox over the Cubs.)

18 comments:

James said...

So was this written prior to the Rays getting Pat the Bat, or do they think the Rays are going to get another big bat?

Honestly

Upton
Pena
Burell
Longoria

is a goddamned stacked middle of the order.

Dan said...

Was written prior to Burrell signing, yes. Actually, it was written before the Teixeira signing, but we amended some things before it went to press on that (initially I had the Yankees third, but moved them up after they got Tex and Boston didn't). I stick by the idea that these three teams are all excellent, and mainly because of starting pitching. I think they could finish in any order and it wouldn't be a shock.

redsock said...

Thanks for commenting, Dan! Any idea where the "final grade" comes from?

So at first you had TB, RS, NY or RS, TB, NY?

I'm skeptical one player can bump a team from 3rd to 1st, especially when it's only addition to one team and not also subtraction from another, but then again, these three teams are likely very closely bunched together.

Jere said...

I don't get that either. To me, whether the Yanks do a little better or a lot better hinges on CC and AJ, not Teixeira.

redsock said...

Someone remains obsessed with Manny. (Scroll.) Jeez.

beantown33 said...

ortiz "should" return...

i don't like this injury at all. if he is down, who fills in?

tim said...

Happy Truck Day JoS!

Dan said...

Yeah, I just thought they were all so tightly bunched, and the Yankees' main weakness was offense. Teixeira addressed that weakness and, for me, nosed them ahead of the other two. But I'm serious -- these are three freaking heavyweights, and it could come out in any order and not be a surprise. Only reason I put them in any order at all was because, well, that's what we have to do.

SoSock said...

It's TRUUUUUUUCK DAY!

Hooray, I'm ready.
And screw all these guys. We're going all the way.
That's my story and...you know the rest.

James said...

If Ortiz is down, I imagine it's Lars Anderson who starts to get some playing time. He hasn't logged any time at AAA yet, but he mashed at AA last year. We'll see.

Benjamin said...

I'm hopeful about Lars, but he's still years away.

redsock said...

ortiz "should" return...
i don't like this injury at all. if he is down, who fills in?


can we wait until the equipment truck actually gets to florida before we get all gloomy and doomy?

9casey said...

Dan said...
Yeah, I just thought they were all so tightly bunched, and the Yankees' main weakness was offense. Teixeira addressed that weakness and, for me, nosed them ahead of the other two.


Interesting, what do you add offensively with Tex and losing Abreu , besides upside and 10 HR's if that pushes them from 3rd to 1st , so be it.

Yankess main weakness was offense???? Sidney Ponson started 15 games for them last season...

I beielve the impact of Texiera has been greatly overated.. I maybe wrong....Then again I maybe right......

I don't believe this divison has ever been decided by offense , It may sometimes look that way, but it is always pitching ,staters and bullpens that usually decide who wins what.....

James said...

I don't think Lars is years away. I'd imagine he'd get a look on second-division teams this year, and probably start in 2010. The Sox have enough veteran depth and talent to let him develop a year or two more, but most people agree that he wouldn't look out of place on a major league roster next year, and certainly not in 2010.

That said, it's probably Chris Carter (or maybe Gumball) who gets to play if Papi/Lowell/Youk goes down.

Zenslinger said...

If Papi goes down in a big way, I can't tell you who will wear a Sox uniform to replace him, but it will probably involve Clay Buccholz wearing another team's uniform.

James said...

Never mind the Jeff Bailey prediction.

He is Gone.

Dan said...

Sorry. I guess what I meant to say and thought I implied was "(After they addressed their rotation with the Sabathia and Burnett signings), the Yankees' main weakness was offense." Assuming a healthy Ortiz, I'd still put Boston's offense ahead of the Yankees'. But I think the Yankees moved slightly ahead in starting pitching. On paper, of course.

9casey said...

Dan said...
Sorry. I guess what I meant to say and thought I implied was "(After they addressed their rotation with the Sabathia and Burnett signings),



You most likely did, I just like to stir things up....