Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Coming Soon

Monday, April 03, 2006

More Predictions

American League

1. Vladimer Guerrero
2. David Ortiz
3. Alex Rodriguez
4. Jim Thome
5. Victor Martinez

1. Rich Harden
2. Johan Santana
3. Mark Buerhle
4. Jeremy Bonderman
5. Randy Johnson

Ian Kinsler

National League

1. Albert Pujols
2. Carlos Beltran
3. Andruw Jones
4. David Wright
5. Chase Utley

1. Jake Peavy
2. Roy Oswalt
3. Tim Hudson
4. Carlos Zambrano
5. John Patterson

Ryan Zimmerman

Opening Day

Here are my 2006 Predictions. Reference them throughout the season, and either applaud my baseball brilliance, or mock me as the anti-Bill James. Whichever way the winds blowing at the time.

*Boston Red Sox
New York Yankees
Toronto Blue Jays
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Baltimore Orioles

Comments: Everyone's on board with the Yankees, and while their lineup may be the most impressive I've ever seen, and their bullpen is downright scary, I just don't believe their rotation will hold up throughout the season. Why do the baseball know-it-alls continue to overlook this, but are surprised when the Yankees fall short? The Sox not only have quality starting pitching, but plenty of depth too, and the toys to make a deal to tweak the roster throughout the season. I'm not a fan of the Jays, and if Tampa could get two (which I know is not an easy task) starting pitchers, they could leap them...but not with a sterling record.


*Chicago White Sox
Cleveland Indians
Minnesota Twins
Detroit Tigers
Kansas City Royals

Comments: I like Cleveland's team - but again - their starting pitching is worrisome, and that was before C.C. Sabathia when down with an injury on Opening Night. I could also see the Tigers in the third spot if their young players continue to develop nicely.

*Oakland A's
*L.A. Angels
Texas Rangers
Seattle Mariners

Comments: Because Texas and Seattle are weak, in my opinion, I believe the Wild Card team will come out of this division. I love the A's, as they remind me of the late 90's Yankees. You know they will make a splash trade if they are in it. The Angels are simply loaded, and have the best minor league talent in the AL. This will be a fun race, but either way, I think your World Series Champion comes from one of these two teams.

*Atlanta Braves
*New York Mets
Philadelphia Phillies
Florida Marlins
Washington Nationals

Comments: Once again, starting pitching helped dictate my standings. The chic pick was to annoint the Mets as the new divisional stalwart, but its hard to bet against the Braves, even in the post-Leo Mazzone era. I love, love, love the Phillies lineup (Rollins, Utley, Howard, Burrell, Abreu...unreal), but there isn't enough pitching to contend, and what pitching there is will have no confidence after getting shelled in that park all season. The key for the Mets is Pedro...if he can make enough starts...they will get in the Wild Card. If not, then the Pirates or Astros may have enough to sneak in.

*St. Louis Cardinals
Pittsburgh Pirates
Houston Astros
Milwaukee Brewers
Chicago Cubs
Cincinnati Reds

Comments: Surprised by the Buccos? Don't be. They lack star power on offense (aside from the superstar-to-be Jason Bay), but they have tons of pitching and a decent bullpen. Their leap up the standings has more to do with the futility of the bottom-half of the division. Sure, they could easily end up toiling at the cellar with the Reds, but this is my surprise pick of the year. The Cards take the division with 103 wins.

*L.A. Dodgers
San Francisco Giants
Arizona Diamondbacks
San Diego Padres
Colorado Rockies

Comments: Yuck. I take the Dodgers by default, because if they stay healthy, they should walk away with the division. I like the Giants pitching, but Bonds is such a key, and that's a situation to avoid altogether. The D'backs and Padres hold promise, but pitching, again, is an issue. The Rockies will be pathetic...again.


A's over Cardinals in 6.


Okay, now I've made more comebacks than John Elway...or MJ...or an 11-year old telling yo' momma jokes...or...you get the point.

My inconspicuous absence from the blogging community can simply be attributed to a lack of consistent internet access - but a real life, grown-up, responsibility-filled, 40-plus hour per week job left little time for pointless ramblings (which no one reads anyway), but I digress.

The point is - I'm back. For now at least.

To those out-of-the-loop, my departure from the cushy college life and the city of Morgantown has led me to Quincy, W.Va., where the aloof college student has been replaced by rude, obnoxious teens, college professors have been subbed by spiteful, aged educators, mired in a rut and bitter about their lot in life, and mind-numbing, monotonous work.

On the flip side, I have money. Seriously.

The other day I reached in my wallet to pull out my last $50 to fill-up with gas - and I found two. To my compadres from South Hills - this may sound like a nightmare - but for me, it was a huge boost in morale.

Officially, I teach from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Riverside High School, a seven-year old institution that looks twice its actual age by consistent abuse of its inhabitants. I'm technically a long-term substitute (its a half-year position), which mainly means I'm a day-to-day substitute assigned to one room for the semester. It's a compromise between a daily sub gig and a full-time teacher. I'm completely certified with a master's in education, but I don't have a "guarantee" of a job there after the year (which is fine by me), and I'm teaching out-of-content for the time being.

Overall, I'm surviving. The content I teach is so simple - but I didn't go through school to teach it, so I'm not entirely comfortable and I don't have a variety of lessons. It's a tremendous challenge. I do like my kids, however, which is why I got into teaching in the first place. Most are pleasant and most listen - but there are some days where I want to curl into the fetal position under my desk and wait for the final bell to ring.

I am there until June 2, after which I will skirt up I-79 and curve my way to Martinsburg, W.Va., where I will continue my illustrious, 4-month foray into adulthood.

Thinking about pursuing another degree? Is that master's appealing to you? Or how about Law School?

Go for it. The race out of Morgantown to being grown-up isn't all its cracked up to be.