Well I’m really starting to lap the field here. But being the tallest, quickest and best looking of the group, it’s only to be expected.
We continue with our PostView of the 30 MLB teams. Loyal readers probably need to prepare themselves for the frightening possibility that my 10 teams will be comepleted in the near future while the other two tortoises may never reach the finish line. It’s a grim reality, I know.
The Rockies are a pretty good young team. They have two solid young starting pitchers in Ubaldo Jimenez and Jorge De La Rosa. De La Rosa is one of those names you can say for about five minutes straight when you’re stuck in traffic to entertain yourself. Trust me.
Thier lineup is packed with solid hitters at nearly every position. Troy Tulowitzki is the star of the show and in Denver I’m guessing he is enjoying life.
The bullpen is a little shaky right now, but this is a team that has made the playoffs two of the last three years, and a team I think will play in October again. Excuse me Rocktober. You see, these names really are brilliant.
Team MVP – Huston Street…if he can return from the DL and lock down 9th innings like he did last year, the Rockies have a good chance of winning the division or wild card.
X-Factor – Carlos Gonzalez…Carlos Gonzalez (Cargo to his friends and fantasy owners) haunted my dreams for a 5 day period last fall when he hit somewhere north of .500 in the divisional round against the Phillies. He’s a top prospect from Oakland in the Matt Holliday trade and projects as a 5 tool player. He’s out with a tight hamstring currently, an injury that this writer encourages him to, “rub some dirt on it and get back out there.”
The San Diego Padres are a Major League Baseball team according to various interweb sources. At the moment, then happen to be a fairly troubled Major League Baseball team. I think there was a divorce in the ownership family some years agoâŚassets were liquidatedâŚfranchise players were dealtâŚcamouflage uniforms were scaled back onâŚ.
Itâs been a tough couple of years.
In 1998, the Padres represented the National League in the World Series. There were quickly trounced by the Yankees and since then, the team slowly fell from grace in the NL west. First ballot Hall of Famer Trevor Hoffman is gone. Jake Peavy is gone. I think they even got rid of the chicken.
So yes. The Padres are waiting for their renaissance period. Is 2010 the start of something special in San Diego? Has the new decade brought with it the return of the Padres to the class of the National League?
Take another gander at that roster. That’s what 40 million dollars can buy you in the Majors in 2010. I hate to keep kicking this team while theyâre down, but there is virtually nothing to be inspired by here. Adrian Gonzalez is the best player on the team by a friarâs robe length, and while he is probably the most affordable player -production wise- in all of baseball, many think he too soon be gone so that San Diego may retool itâs minor league system with a bevy of Boston or some other prospect laden team headed back to the Padres.
To be fair, that is likely the weakest every day lineup in the league. Once Gonzalez moves on, my goodness, I donât know what youâd hope for at the ball park every day. Maybe a 2 for 1 Hairston Brothers bobblehead giveaway day will be scheduled. I donât even know how to make a 1-9 lineup card out of those names, although Iâll stick with tradition and say manager Bud Black decides to hit Gonzalez third and the pitcher last. The other seven slots he might as well pick out of a hat.
The rotation isnât bad by any means. Itâll be difficult to go up against the Lincecumâs and Cainâs of the Giants, the Kershawâs and Kurodaâs of the Dodgers, and the Jimenez‘ and De La Rosaâs of the Rockies, but there are worse rotations in the league. Correia quietly had a nice year last year, and Latos and Poreda could make a nice duo in years to come. Something to consider though is that San Diegoâs Petco Park is the best pitchers park in the league. This team would be better suited throwing the three contributing writers of this blog out there in their starting rotation and spending their money on power/speed/average/lottery ticket type hitters.
Closer Heath Bell continues seamlessly in his transition from set up man to powerful closer, but again, a team with this sort of makeup canât afford to have their second best player be their 50 innings per year closer.
I watched the Grammyâs last night, and apart from the forced duets that the Grammy producers insist upon showcasing year after year, and the very sad and confusing sight that were the late King of Popâs children, the thing that stuck out to me most was the Black Eyed Peas. I donât particularly enjoy the Black Eyed Peas, but many, many people do. The Black Eyed Peas performed a couple of shortened songs with a smattering of backup dancers and DJâs and special effects. They were on stage for a total of maybe 5 minutes. The band consists of 4 members. The two that anyone who doesnât follow the band around the country know include Fergie and Mr. Will.I.Am. There are two other men in the group. They were not permitted to sing and were marginalized to the side stages for any major choreography. They were allowed to participate, but no one was really taking them seriously. They were in short, the 2010 San Diego Padres.
Looking back, this preview looks overly harsh, but in fact I think Iâve sugar coated it a bit. Shout for the pina colada man, Padres fans. Itâs going to be a long summer.
Team MVP â GonzalezâŚfor as long as heâs there.
X-Factor â the amazing weather in the greater San Diego area. Should make this brand of baseball easier to consume.
Standing: 5th in the NL West with a good chance of securing first overall pick in 2011 draft.
Here’s another post from newly minted writer Brent. His sports knowledge is vastly impressive and to be frank, a little worrisome. Below you’ll find a reference to Bo Jackson, someone named Charlie something and a Techmo Super Bowl video among other items. It’s quite the creation. We’ll try to get both new guys set up with accounts this week and cut out this bloviating middleman…
My fellow copywriter Ariel is giving you a taste of what youâll see in the playoffs this fall, but there is a lot you wonât see again until Spring Training.
I love Spring Training. I love that it gives every team a brand new start so they can suck and fall well short of expectations (New York Mets, Chicago Cubs), be awesome (Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees), or just experience more fledgling mediocrity (Milwaukee Brewers, Toronto Blue Jays). But for me, it doesnât get much better than post-season baseball. Iâm a Minnesota Twins fan and while the Twins havenât had much success in October in the last decade, they have at least been in the playoffs in four of the last seven seasons, including a Game 163 in 2008 that they lost to the Chicago White Sox. John Danks shut the Twins out in that game but could not deliver the same result in his regular season finale this year against the Detroit Tigers when he walked three in the first inning, including one with the bases loaded. Now the Twins and Tigers will square off in Game 163. 2009 is the third season in a row to require a 163rd game. Two years ago the Colorado Rockies beat the San Diego Padres 9-8 in 13 innings.
But there are guys who had phenomenal seasons who wonât see stadium lights after October 4th. Zack Greinke led the majors in ERA at 2.16, led the AL in WHIP at 1.07 and finished 3rd in strikeouts in all of baseball. And he won 16 games on a team that won 65 all season.
Albert Pujols got all the press this year in the NL, but what about Prince Fielder’smonster season? Prince set a Brewer record for RBIâs at 141, he hit 46 home runs, behind only 47 by Albert Pujols, and he hit .299 with an on-base percentage of .412.
Roy Halladayâs reputation speaks for itself and because Toronto couldnât get a deadline deal worked out (other than sending Alex Rios to the Chicago White Sox), he too will miss the playoffs, just as he has in every season of his career. The Toronto Blue Jays havenât seen the post-season since they won back-to-back World Series Championships in 1992 and 1993. Remember Joe Carter jumping around first base? That team also had Minnesota natives Paul Molitor, Jack Morris, and former Minnesota Golden Gopher basketball stand out Dave Winfield (yes, basketball, he was also drafted by the Minnesota Vikings without ever having played a down of football in his life) on the roster.
Fernandez went from the Pads to the Mets in 1992 in a deal involving former outfielder/running back D.J. Dozier and then the Mets traded Fernandez back to the Blue Jays in June of 1993. The Padres received McGriff, Dozier, and Wally Whitehurst in exchange for a World SeriesâŚ (more or less, Iâm blowing it out of proportion. But I canât help but be reminded of when the Vikings traded for now MMA fighter Herschel Walker and gave the Cowboys a dynasty. I think Hershal Walker also tried out to be an Olympic bobsledder at some point, too. He dabbles.).
Our old friend Charlie Leibrandt from a few paragraphs ago played with a couple of two-sport athletes. He was a teammate of Bo Jackson on the Royals, who of course was an Oakland Raider and legendary Tecmo Super Bowl player.
Besides getting ready to vacation in warm climates, what else do these guys have in common with Greinke, Fielder, and Halladay? In the next few years, theyâll each probably receive ginormous contract offers from teams you will see in the playoffs this year: Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, and The Los Angeles, California Angels of Aneheim, USA. Or other big market teams, like the New York Mets, Chicago Cubs, and Chicago White Sox.
Small market teams find it difficult to hold on to their best young talent, even through the playersâ arbitration years, after all, Ryan Howard was awarded $10 million in arbitration after striking out 199 times. I wonder what Mark Reynolds of the Arizona Diamondbacks will get after striking out over 400 times over the last two seasons?
There are pitfalls to rooting for both small market and big market teams, however. Small market teams, like my Twins, have to wave good-bye to guys like Johan Santana and Torii Hunter because they cannot afford to keep them. The Tampa Bay Rays will find out the same thing when they try to hold on to Carl Crawford and others. The Florida Marlins know this reality well and will face it again when it comes time to pay Josh Johnson, Dan Uggla, and Ramirez.
Big market teams throw money at players like they are Pacman Jones making it rain. But that comes with great risk sometimes, too. San Francisco gave Barry Zito $126 million over seven years and they got a #3 starter at best. The Cubs are locked in to Alfonso Soriano for more than any club would like to be. Mike Hampton signed a monster deal once upon a time and then spent much of that time on the DL. The same can be said about Carl Pavano, Kevin Brown, Jason Schmidt and others.
Things you should know that have happened sort of under-the-radar and may be of help to you in future fantasy drafts or baseball nerd conversations:
Jair Jurrjens had a 2.61 ERA for the Braves this year, good for 6th best in baseball.
The New York Mets hit 95 homers as a team, last in the league and 149 behind the league leading New York Yankess. The Mets could combine home run totals with seven other teams and still have fewer than the Yankees did. Handfuls of players could combine their home run totals to have the greater than sign in their favor when compared with the Mets.
Fielder, Braun, and Mike Cameron > 2009 Mets.
Mauer, Morneau, and Michael Cuddyer > 2009 Mets.
The second baseman of the AL East* > 2009 Mets.
Pujols, Fielder, and Carlos Zambrano > 2009 Mets.