Monday, April 06, 2009

Opening Day!!!!!!!!!!

Today (or tomorrow -- see the next paragraph) should be a national holiday. And were I king of the world (someday, someday) enacting such a festive respite in honor of the start of baseball would be one of the first pronouncements I would make, alongside establishing the global fashion police (hey you, Fatty, where you think you're going in that spandex? Walk back into the house slowly and no one gets hurt . . .) and establishing a college football playoff system. And I know there was baseball played last night, a blasphemy that too would be done with the stroke of a pen in my enlightened despotism.

The Red Sox were scheduled to be on national television today, but because of frightful April weather in Boston, the game has been postponed to tomorrow. Which brings me to the question of what the hell the Sox and Rays are doing kicking off in Boston in early April when both teams just left Florida, where the Rays play in an indoor facility. I love Fenway, I love baseball, and I love Opening Day, but Fenway in early April can be frigid, and if it is wet it can be utterly miserable. Why not play this series in St. Pete and open at Fenway in a couple of weeks? 'Twould be done in dcat's world (admit it -- you're growing warm to the idea of my benevolent dictatorship).

Here are my perfunctory predictions for the season:

American League:

AL East: (Predicted order of finish; * denotes predicted Wild Card berth) Red Sox, *Rays, Yankees, Orioles, Blue Jays (In the best division in baseball, maybe in baseball history, three teams will win 90 games and the fifth-place team will be fighting for a .500 record through September.)

AL Central: Indians, Twins, Tigers, White Sox, Royals (The Indians will rebound to win a stunningly mediocre division.)

AL West: Angels, Rangers, A's, Mariners (Also mediocre, but more competitive, one of the stories in the West will be the Rangers finally having some good young pitching to go with a team that can always hit. Still, at least for this year, the Angels will continue to be the class of the division.)

National League:

NL East: Mets, *Phillies, Braves, Marlins, Nationals (It is fun watching the Mets collapse, but they have strengthened their bullpen and should win the East, though Philadelphia is not going to give up the crown all that easily.)

NL Central: Cubs, Cardinals, Brewers, Reds, Astros, Pirates (Why in the hell does the NL Cantral have six teams while the AL West has four? This has always annoyed me. My benign autocracy will shift one of these teams to the American league -- welcome back Milwaukee!

NL West: Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Rockies, Giants, Padres (Manny really is a difference maker. This should be a good race to the end, though, and the Diamondbacks could pull it out.)

ALDS: Sox over Indians; Angels over Rays

NLDS: Cubs over Phillies; Mets over Dodgers

ALCS: Sox over Angels (Again.)

NLCS: Cubs over Mets (hey, one of these years this much-anticipated matchup is going to happen)

World Series: Sox over Cubs in six. (What, you thought I was going in another direction? The Sox both have my blind loyalty and a hell of a team. The pitching staff, starters to back of the pen, could be other-worldly and the lineup will have its usual stellar season. That's a nice combination.)

Play Ball!!! (Tomorrow!)

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