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The Crack of the Bat, a Couple of Legends, and Moobs

The first game of the season -- Spring Training 2011, Yankees vs. Phillies.  The first line-up has even been posted!

Jeter SS
Swisher RF
Teixeira 1b
Rodriguez 3b
Cano 2b
Posada DH
Granderson CF
Cervelli C
Gardner LF

Pitching: Colon

For every baseball fan, this is a great day!  We've waited months for this.  Even Cubs fans are brimming with hope as to what the new season may hold, and Red Sox fans can't see the utter humiliation which awaits them.

People wonder why I am a Yankees fan when I am a Californian down to the fourth generation.  One reason is found in the picture of Yogi and Jeter from this year's spring training. 

My first baseball game was at Dodger Stadium in July of 1964--Angels vs. Yankees.  Even at age ten, I just knew that any team with Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra was better than the no-name scrubs from Los Angeles (you know, the "Los Angeles Angels" when they really were the Los Angeles Angels--Anaheim Stadium had not yet opened).  No other sports team has the "legend thing," the Yankees do.  The picture of Yogi and Jeter really conveys that point.

One last thing, the photo of Bartolo Colon running (and bouncing) somehow gives every middle-aged man hope.  We are not alone.  Even professional athletes can have moobs . . .


A.L. East:  Obviously, either the Yankees or Red Sox win the A.L. East.  Whichever of these two teams does not win the division (because of injuries, etc.) will fall to third or worse, because both Toronto and Baltimore are much, much improved.  Tampa brings up the rear this year.

N.L. East:  No question about this one; Phillies win, Atlanta wins the wild card.

A.L. Central:  Tigers or Twins?  Tigers

N. L. Central:  Brewers

A. L. West:  Angels over Rangers.  I think the Angels will surprise everyone.

N. L. West:  Giants

Your thoughts? Predictions?

Reader Comments (15)

I think your predictions are pretty close.

AL East: Boston by a hair over the Yankees
AL Central: Whitesox - just barely over the Tigers
AL West: A's (that's my bold prediction of the pre-season)

AL Wild Card: I think the East will beat each other up enough to let the Tigers in as Wild Card.

NL East: Phillies
NL Central: Brewers
NL West: Rockies

Braves as the Wild Card is probably a safe bet.

This is a great day indeed.
February 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRick
Hi Pastor Kim:

As you know, I live in the Phoenix area. I already have spring training tickets for the Diamondbacks/Rockies new spring training site at Salt River Fields, in Scottsdale, against the Reds.

I have already seen the Indians/Reds ballpark in Goodyear. I have also seen a spring game in Surprise between the Royals and the Rangers. A couple of years ago, I got to see a game at Maryvale Baseball Park; the home of the Milwaukee Brewers.

I plan on going to some spring games this year. Spring training out here is huge. It is actually more fun than a regular game!

Prediction: Last season the Diamondbacks lost at least 30 games because of their horrible bullpen. New G.M. Kevin Towers (an excellent G.M.), has already brought in good pitchers to fix the problem. New manager Kirk Gibson will be a great manager. The young Diamondbacks are in good hands for the future.

The D'Backs will surprise and contend in the west, which will lead Richard to jump into the pool in center field at Chase Field, and join his buddies Darren Sutton and Mark Grace for a swim!
February 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLloyd I. Cadle
Big Red Sox fan here. Originally from the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.

The Red Sox will not only win by a hair, but will win the division by at least 7 wins. They are too strong to lose this time around. The Yankees just didn't make the proper adjustments in the offseason that they needed to. Bartolo Colon might win a few games, but I hope they have some better weapons than him.

I would, however, probably agree with the rest of the picks. I would probably slate the Tigers over the White Sox, though.
February 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBrandon Dyer
Here is a listing of the teams that make Arizona their homes for spring training: Angels, A's, Brewers, Cubs, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Giants, Indians, Mariners, Padres, Rangers, Reds, Rockies, Royals and White Sox.

All of the spring sites are within 40 minutes of each other, which is attracting more teams every year; that and the great spring weather. Many of the MLB players make their off season homes in Arizona.
February 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLloyd I. Cadle
I hope you're right. I just think several Yankees under-achieved last year. They'll be better this year if they get bounce-back performances from some key players. They did lose some pieces but I think they'll hang around and buy an SP and a real DH at the deadline. Boston still takes the division. It will be interesting to see if Gonzalez changes his swing for Fenway (he's been and inside-out hitter), or if he'll be content with plunking the ball off the wall and settling for doubles and singles.

The Tigers are my team. Their success depends on the back-end of the rotation being serviceable and Cabrera not missing significant time rehabbing from addiction.
February 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRick
Yikes, where to start. Well, the Yanks lost their first exhibition game to the Phillies. <grin> In Red Sox Nation that sort of abysmal start will guarantee at least one caller to sports radio demanding they fire Francona <double grin>
February 26, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterpb
GO Angels, aka, the Yankee killers! No name scrubs or not, I'm sticking to my SoCal teams! Dr. Riddlebarger, why not drop the Lakers too and jump on the Melo/Amare Knicks bandwagon?
February 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGPLeague
That is a great set of Chesticles indeed!
February 27, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersteve
The only way I get into the pool at Chase Field is if Gracie and Sutton are at the bottom of it--without any air. Good grief--another season with those guys "announcing" their pathetic lives on TV to people who don't care. I think I will trade my TV set in.

Phillies will win it all.
February 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRichard

The D'Backs radio guys do a great job - I'm sure you'll agree.

I am a fan, though, of Mark Grace. I think that the average fan can relate to him pretty well. I think that Mark is a good ambassador for the game of baseball, much like the great Tommy Lasorda. In fact, the sports talk guys out here rate him the most popular Diamondback.
February 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLloyd I. Cadle

I know there was talk of making Grace mananger. I will grant you he is a LOT better than Sutton--but then, twice nothing is STILL nothing.
February 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRichard
Richard - You state, "twice nothing, is still nothing."

I'll mix a little theology with baseball: Everything has a cause. God is the first cause. God is un-caused. God is the un-caused first cause!

1. Mary; the mother of God.

2. God died one afternoon.

3. A human being runs the universe.

Ahhh - great stuff!
February 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLloyd I. Cadle
I'm a Rays fan but this year they enter with too many IFs. The Rays were good because of Crawford, the offensive spark plug, Benoit the set up man and Sorenio the closer. All three are gone. Garza is gone. I don't know if any of their replacements can equal their contributions. The Rays did not enter either of the past three seasons looking better than either the Yankees or Red Sox on paper, yet they won their division twice. Here's hoping they can do it again, but I wouldn't put any money on it!
March 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMontgomery
I'm not pinning my hopes on the California Angels of Los Angeles of Anaheim this year, but I did but 20 ticket vouchers at 5 bucks a pop. The A's look much improved this year, and I was surprised to see ex-Angel Vladi going from Texas to the wrong side of the Bay.

Woohoo! My only sport of the year is about to begin!
March 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPatrick Yamada
Bartolo actually looks pretty good. If only he could pitch a game under 3 1/2 hours.
March 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterWinona

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