Author Topic: MLB 2004  (Read 39151 times)

Online Mikey D

  • Jedi Knight
  • *
  • Posts: 3341
  • Lost soul
    • View Profile
MLB 2004
« on: March 30, 2004, 07:15 AM »
Well, it's here.  The Yanks - Devil Rays are playing as I type over in Japan and Opening Day in the States is here in 5 short days.

Who you got to win?  What teams will surprise people this year?

I think, much like last year, the Red Sox and Yankees will beat the sh!t out of each other once again.  And I also believe if one of them falters, then Toronto could be right there lying in the wings.  

My predictions:

NL East:  Phillies
NL Central: Cubs
NL West: Giants
NL WC: Houston

AL East: Red Sox (got to give the love to the hometown boys, plus I think they have the better pitching staff)
AL Central: Royals
AL West: Mariners
AL WC: Yankees

Surprise teams:  Toronto and Baltimore should make the AL East interesting and could possible contend, especially if the Red Sox or Yankees don't do as well as expected.

GO RED SOX!!



« Last Edit: December 2, 2005, 02:07 PM by Jeff »
Common sense isn't so common

Offline Dressel Rebel

  • Jedi General
  • *
  • Posts: 8427
  • En Sabah Nur
    • View Profile
Re: It's Outta Here! The JD Official 2004 Baseball Thread
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2004, 09:11 AM »
Wow, Yanks lost to TB in Japan.  Game 2 is 17 hours from now.

AL East: NY Yankees
AL Central: Kansas City Royals
AL West: Anaheim Angels
AL Wild Card: Boston Red Sox

NL East: Philadelphia Phillies
NL Central: Houston Astros
NL West: San Franscisco Giants
NL Wild Card: Chicago Cubs

National League Champs: Houston Astros
American League Champs: New York Yankees

World Series Champion: New York Yankees
« Last Edit: March 30, 2004, 09:12 AM by Dressel Rebel »
This is what happens when you invade Wakanda

Offline Scott

  • Staff Member
  • Jedi Guardian
  • *
  • Posts: 18261
  • Get Some
    • View Profile
    • JediDefender
Re: It's Outta Here! The JD Official 2004 Baseball Thread
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2004, 10:27 AM »
I've been absolutely PATHETIC in my picks of division champs the last 3 years but here goes

AL East: NY Yankees
AL Central: Kansas City Royals (same spot the Twins were in 2 years ago, they are hungry and have gotten better while the Twins got worse)
AL West: Oakland A's (pitching wins baby)
AL Wild Card: Boston Red Sox

NL East: Philadelphia Phillies (I think I've picked them 3 straight times, bastards)
NL Central: Chicago Cubs (too many weapons plus they added more from last year)
NL West: San Franscisco Giants
NL Wild Card: Houston Astros (see Oakland)

National League Champs: Chicago Cubs
American League Champs: New York Yankees

World Series Champion: Chicago Cubs

As much as I hate damn Cubs fans and the 80 million bandwagon jumpers they get when they make the playoffs, I think they have a real shot at winning it all.  LaTroy Hawkins was a huge signing, he absoultely shuts teams down in the 7th and 8th when he most needed, something the Cubs really need.  Sosa, Alou, Ramirez, Patterson and Lee make for a really solid line up and Prior (when he gets back) Wood and Clement are pretty solid 1, 2, 3.  Its their year, God help us all

Online Mikey D

  • Jedi Knight
  • *
  • Posts: 3341
  • Lost soul
    • View Profile
Re: It's Outta Here! The JD Official 2004 Baseball Thread
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2004, 10:52 AM »
Here's my AL and NL Champions, I'm going with the World Series everyone (or at least MLB) wants to see:

NL Champions: Cubs
AL Champions: Red Sox

And guess what, there won't be a winner.  The world's coming to an end with 2 outs, 2 on, 3-2 count in the bottom of the ninth.  I have foreseen it.

Actually, that's not going to happen, the Red Sox in six.  The world will be safe, while Boston gets rioted into obvilion.
Common sense isn't so common

Online Jeff

  • Administrator
  • Jedi Council Member
  • *
  • Posts: 20017
  • i stay down with my demons
    • View Profile
    • www.JediDefender.com
Re: It's Outta Here! The JD Official 2004 Baseball Thread
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2004, 11:40 AM »
I, too, am a crappy division-winner chooser, but it never stops me from trying...

AL East: New York Yankees
AL Central:  Minnesota Twins
AL West: Oakland A's
AL Wild Card: Toronto Blue Jays

NL East: Atlanta Braves
NL Central: Chicago Cubs
NL West: LA Dodgers
NL Wild Card: Houston Astros

National League Champs: Chicago Cubs
American League Champs: New York Yankees

World Series Champion: Chicago Cubs

Or something like that...

Jeff
Editor-in-Chief  - www.JediDefender.com
Follow me on Twitter - @jedidefender / @jlsmentek

Offline Dressel Rebel

  • Jedi General
  • *
  • Posts: 8427
  • En Sabah Nur
    • View Profile
Re: It's Outta Here! The JD Official 2004 Baseball Thread
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2004, 06:56 PM »
Someone's got to explain to me how the Los Angeles Dodgers are being considered better than the Arizona Diamondbacks and the San Francisco Giants.  Hell, even the Padres are on par with LA this season.  And if LA isn't careful, Colorado could sneak up on them too.  Well, let's not get crazy.

But for real, where is LA better than Arizona and San Francisco other than the closer spot?

I'll give Gagne props, but I don't see anyone else worthy of much mention on LA other than Shawn Green.
This is what happens when you invade Wakanda

Online Jeff

  • Administrator
  • Jedi Council Member
  • *
  • Posts: 20017
  • i stay down with my demons
    • View Profile
    • www.JediDefender.com
Re: It's Outta Here! The JD Official 2004 Baseball Thread
« Reply #6 on: April 1, 2004, 11:01 AM »
Someone's got to explain to me how the Los Angeles Dodgers are being considered better than the Arizona Diamondbacks and the San Francisco Giants.  

Here's how I see it...

Barry + BALCO = Season long distractions...
Randy is unprotected thanks to Curt trip to the Red Sox... too much rebuilding
San Diego = They're the NL West's Royals.  Up and coming, but not quite there yet

All the Dodgers have to do is improve Run production.  If they would have scored just 17 more runs last year, the ESPN magic statistics (run differential) show they could have stayed in the race.  Plus, with Gagne, they DON'T lose close games.

So, that's why I picked them to win.  Plus, I'm tired of the same old teams and like a bit of fresh blood mixed into the playoffs (which is also why I picked Houston and Toronto as the Wild Cards)  

And besides, if I pick the same thing as everyone else, who will I brag to if I turn out to be right :)

Jeff
Editor-in-Chief  - www.JediDefender.com
Follow me on Twitter - @jedidefender / @jlsmentek

Offline Padawan

  • Jedi Initiate
  • *
  • Posts: 390
    • View Profile
Re: It's Outta Here! The JD Official 2004 Baseball Thread
« Reply #7 on: April 1, 2004, 11:39 AM »
Its their year, God help us all

I hope you are right.   ;)  Also do you really think the Cubs have 80 million bandwagon fans?  I think the reality of it is that there are Cub fans everywhere.  We are just a little more vocal about when we make the playoffs.  When you are in last place you don't go around screaming go Cubs.  I'm not saying I don't support the team when they are playing bad, because I definitely do, but I am a lot more vocal about it when they are winning.  It's not often you can brag about being a Cubs fan.  I am also a huge Buccaneers fan, now you can say all you want about that team having a plethora of bandwagon fans.  Our fanbase went up about 5000% after winning the Super Bowl and dropped back down to 10 people after last season.   ;)  

Offline Dressel Rebel

  • Jedi General
  • *
  • Posts: 8427
  • En Sabah Nur
    • View Profile
Re: It's Outta Here! The JD Official 2004 Baseball Thread
« Reply #8 on: April 1, 2004, 12:04 PM »
]

Randy is unprotected thanks to Curt trip to the Red Sox... too much rebuilding


I think Brandon Webb is an extremely formidable number 2 guy behind the Unit, he blew people away last year.

The way I see it Luis Gonzalez-Richie Sexson-Shea Hillenbrand is a nice 3-4-5.

It all depends if Shawn Green can return to his old form.

It's hard to bring up the fact that Curt Schilling live the 'backs and not state that Kevin Brown left the Dodgers.  Brown was 2nd in the NL in ERA last year and K'd a ton of people.
This is what happens when you invade Wakanda

Online Jeff

  • Administrator
  • Jedi Council Member
  • *
  • Posts: 20017
  • i stay down with my demons
    • View Profile
    • www.JediDefender.com
Re: It's Outta Here! The JD Official 2004 Baseball Thread
« Reply #9 on: April 1, 2004, 03:03 PM »
I think Brandon Webb is an extremely formidable number 2 guy behind the Unit, he blew people away last year.

The way I see it Luis Gonzalez-Richie Sexson-Shea Hillenbrand is a nice 3-4-5.

It all depends if Shawn Green can return to his old form.

It's hard to bring up the fact that Curt Schilling live the 'backs and not state that Kevin Brown left the Dodgers.  Brown was 2nd in the NL in ERA last year and K'd a ton of people.

I've got a LONG list of rookie pitchers who "blew people away" only to have a sucky Sophomore season, so until he shows me something, he's unproven IMHO.

As for Brown leaving, well.  That sucks for the Dodgers.  

I don't know, I've just got a gut feeling that the Dodgers will stick around a bit, but that's the great part of a new season.  I'll probably turn out to be totally wrong and you can all laugh at me in September!

Jeff
Editor-in-Chief  - www.JediDefender.com
Follow me on Twitter - @jedidefender / @jlsmentek

Offline Scott

  • Staff Member
  • Jedi Guardian
  • *
  • Posts: 18261
  • Get Some
    • View Profile
    • JediDefender
Re: It's Outta Here! The JD Official 2004 Baseball Thread
« Reply #10 on: April 2, 2004, 01:28 AM »

Offline Vote for Chewbacca the Wookiee

  • Youngling
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • If you haven't seen me before, I'm new to you.
    • View Profile
Re: It's Outta Here! The JD Official 2004 Baseball Thread
« Reply #11 on: April 4, 2004, 04:43 PM »
I'll post my predictions for finishes later tonight, top to bottom in each division. Just picking playoff teams out of a hat at the moment, I would have to pick the two safest picks, the Yankees and Red Sox, from the AL East. As for the other one of the three most clearly improved teams in baseball, the Angels, I'm not sure yet. I truly don't believe Bartolo Colon is truly a No. 1 starter. Maybe I never will, because he screwed around and underachieved for so much of his career with the Indians organization.
The AL Central is better than last year, though still clearly the worst division year-in, year-out since the 1994 realignment into three divisions per league. The only team I see that made significant improvements from last year is the Tigers, and unless a 75-87 record wins a division for the first time in history, Detroit is irrelevant in any fashion other than spoiler. Chicago and Minnesota have done nothing to improve and Cleveland is not far past its post-Hart nadir. Two swing factors in this division - how good as a rookie Joe Mauer will be, particularly if he can hit in the middle of the order for the Twins, and I don't think he'll reach his power potential for another couple of years, and the full managerial skills of Tony Pena and Ozzie Guillen, will determine who wins this division. I'll go out on a short limb and say the Royals.

In the National League, the Phillies and Cubs are the two most-improved teams by far. They're in. The Phillies have perhaps a better 1-9 lineup and more power potential overall in the middle of the order, but Corey Patterson of the Cubs is on the verge of being the next great center fielder in the game. On top of that, the Cubs' rotation of Prior (when he returns), Wood, Maddux (as a No. 3!), Zambrano and Clement gives them a top three arguably as good as the Maddux-Glavine-Smoltz days in Atlanta over the last dozen years, a top four that matches the Braves during Avery's brief peak and a 1-5 better than anything Atlanta has had during its run. The only team in the league that can keep the Cubs out of the World Series is Philadelphia and that wont happen in a long series. Philly's best chance at beating the Cubs would be in a best-of-five first round. (Or is this the year that MLB is going to a best-of-seven first round?)
In the West, it's up for grabs.
As for the wild card, who knows? Lots of good bets out there - Marlins, Braves' last hurrah (actually, the last might have already been hurrahed), Cards, Astros, Giants, maybe even the Mets.
"The truths we cling to depend greatly on our pwn point of view." - Ben Kenobi
Appearing for the first time anywhere outside of Rebelscum, Chewbacca the...

Offline Scott

  • Staff Member
  • Jedi Guardian
  • *
  • Posts: 18261
  • Get Some
    • View Profile
    • JediDefender
Re: It's Outta Here! The JD Official 2004 Baseball Thread
« Reply #12 on: April 5, 2004, 11:56 AM »
The real opening day is today for most teams, no more of this Tokyo Ball or special games before hand.  Its a great moment, the Boys of Summer are back.

Twins (and the Vikes) got some new turf its the Real Turf that all the rage now.  It looks weird seeing balls bounce on it with the little puffs of dirt/sand/rubber coming up.  Players I guess love it...feels better than real grass

I also read the Bengals are ripping up their natural grass field to put in this turf.  Weird

Offline Scott

  • Staff Member
  • Jedi Guardian
  • *
  • Posts: 18261
  • Get Some
    • View Profile
    • JediDefender
Re: It's Outta Here! The JD Official 2004 Baseball Thread
« Reply #13 on: April 5, 2004, 12:39 PM »
Just read an interesting article on the stuff...didn't think about the speed of the ball slowing down and how that effects your team...



The good and the bad of Metrodome's new turf
La Velle E. Neal III,  Star Tribune
April 5, 2004

A new carpet that has brightened up the Metrodome and provided for softer landings also leaves some Twins wondering how it might affect their playing style.

"It's a complete 180 from what we're used to," Twins first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz said. "Hopefully it gets faster. The only thing we had at home was that the speed of the game was faster. This takes away a lot of what we do as a team. But if it keeps guys off the disabled list, you have to take the good with the bad."

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he's grateful for the more forgiving surface.

"It's soft out there," he said. "We were looking for something that would not kill our knees and back and, when you dive, would not rip your skin off."

Torii Hunter, who knows a thing or two about ripped-off skin, said he's just as impressed with the aesthetics of the new field.

"It looks good," Hunter said. "It looks like a ballpark, actually."

Those were a few of the initial reactions to FieldTurf, the synthetic grass that replaced the old, hard AstroTurf at the Metrodome. It's perhaps the most significant change to the playing area since the plexiglass was removed from the left field wall after 1993.

Groundskeeping guru George Toma was flown to the Twin Cities to oversee final installation of the field, particularly the pitching mound and the dirt around the bases.

One concern, expressed by some players who worked out on the surface for the first time Sunday, is how the change from fake carpet to fake grass might change their style of play. Every ball that touched the ground Sunday slowed down significantly.

In the past, the Twins have benefited from high bounces and squibbed hits that have rolled through the infield.

Scouts in recent years have deemed the Twins perfectly suited for turf play. It's a description some with the Twins don't embrace. They say Minnesota scored 399 runs on 255 extra-base hits at home last season, compared with 402 runs on 263 extra-base hits on the road. Still, opponents such as Yankees manager Joe Torre warned against letting the Twins "loose on that surface."

Now, the Twins will play on a surface that features blades of fabricated grass and tiny rubberized chips, which resemble dirt. A similar field covers Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., where Tampa Bay plays. The Devil Rays have a full dirt infield while the Twins will continue to have dirt cutouts around each base.

The Twins have been told the blades will loosen up more as the season goes along and the rubber bits will settle into the surface, which will allow for faster play.

Slow, however, might not be all bad. Opponents' hits that scooted through the infield now might be caught, giving the Twins' standout infielders more opportunities to show off their defensive prowess.

"It is slower but still faster than [real] grass," Devil Rays General Manager Chuck LaMar said. "For the teams like Minnesota who have an outstanding defensive team anyway, I think their defense will show up more on this surface as well. They will find out once they get used to it."

That's exactly what infield coach Al Newman wants to hear. Newman has tutored shortstop Cristian Guzman and second baseman Luis Rivas over the past two seasons and said both have had good springs and could benefit from the surface.

"Defensively, it should help our pitchers, which should help our infielders because their range increases," Newman said. "I know [Guzman and Rivas] have taken a lot of hits for the balls they don't catch. Now that it's a fairer surface, the true athletes will succeed, and I know we have good athletes."

In addition, Guzman, Rivas and a few other Twins could use the bunt as a weapon.

"The surface is easier to bunt on," LaMar said. "It's not as fast. We found it easier to get bunts down."

Mientkiewicz agreed.

"You didn't think about bunting on the old stuff," he said. "Everything would roll foul. This year, we can take advantage of that more."

Instead of fretting about losing the fast track, Gardenhire was thinking of ways to take advantage of a surface that a couple of Twins coaches feel is slower than grass.

"It's definitely slower, no doubt, but we like it," Gardenhire said. "We have to see how we play on it. There's going to be some funny things happen as we go along here. The ball is going to stop as it goes through the infield, where it used to keep on rolling. If we can use our speed, we can take advantage of those things. It could be fun.

"We talked to our baserunners about going hard to first base when they get a base hit. Because if the ball stops out there, you might be able to take two. With our speed, we can try to stretch singles into doubles."

Sunday's workout included fielding practice, throws to home plate, popups and batting practice.

The players didn't mind the introductory session. While there's concern over how the game will be played on the new surface, it was good riddance to the old stuff.

"It was like patchwork," Twins General Manager Terry Ryan said of the AstroTurf. "They would get a seamstress to come in and fill in some of the gaps. They did a reasonable job. When we'd get in the postseason, the commissioner's office would come in and we'd have to walk the stadium. You'd get a pretty good idea walking through there that there were areas that weren't too appealing."

Offline Vote for Chewbacca the Wookiee

  • Youngling
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • If you haven't seen me before, I'm new to you.
    • View Profile
Re: It's Outta Here! The JD Official 2004 Baseball Thread
« Reply #14 on: April 6, 2004, 02:26 AM »
AL
East - Yankees
Central - Royals
West - Athletics
Wild Card - Red Sox

NL
East - Phillies
Central - Cubs
West - Diamondbacks
Wild Card - Astros

World Series - Cubs over Red Sox in seven, end of the world to follow 24 hours later. No, I just can't predict something that outlandish, even though those are aguably the best on-paper teams in baseball. I really am uneasy about the Yankees rotation after Mussina, and I really get the feeling Pedro is nearing a decline, so both the Yankees and Red Sox are a little shaky from about No. 3 or 4 on to me.
Jeez, I would love to see a best-of-7 NLCS between the Astros and Cubs, two outstanding rotations with at least one future Hall of Famer each. The Phillies are probably the only team that can keep the Cubs out of the Series, though, and that would take a quick five-game series.
I'll take the big-market coward's way out due to my lack of research time and predict a repeat of the 1932 Series, Yankees sweep the Cubs.
"The truths we cling to depend greatly on our pwn point of view." - Ben Kenobi
Appearing for the first time anywhere outside of Rebelscum, Chewbacca the...