Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
March 25, 2004
BASEBALL: 2004 MLB Preview

For what itís worth, Iím offering my attempt at prognostication for the 2004 season here. With Opening Day right around the corner Ė the Yankees and Devil Rays open in Japan on Tuesday - itís time, for me at least, to focus a little more on baseball and a little less on turbulent and often unpleasant current events. I donít have any crystal ball; my picks here are based almost entirely on gut feelings and hunches, rather than any kind of studied analysis. But here goes:

NL EAST
1) Phillies
2) Marlins
3) Braves
4) Mets
5) Expos

NL CENTRAL
1) Astros
2) Cubs
3) Cardinals
4) Reds
5) Brewers
6) Pirates

NL WEST
1) Giants
2) Dodgers
3) Diamondbacks
4) Rockies
5) Padres

NL MVP: Jim Thome
NL CY YOUNG: Mark Prior
NL PLAYOFFS: Astros beat Phillies. Cubs beat Giants. Cubs beat Astros.

AL EAST
1) Yankees
2) Red Sox
3) Blue Jays
4) Orioles
5) Devil Rays

AL CENTRAL
1) Twins
2) Royals
3) White Sox
4) Indians
5) Tigers

AL WEST
1) Aís
2) Angels
3) Mariners
4) Rangers

AL MVP: Carlos Beltran
AL CY YOUNG: Curt Schilling
AL PLAYOFFS: Yankees beat Twins. Aís beat Red Sox. Yankees beat Aís.

WORLD SERIES: Yankees beat Cubs.

Random Notes:
* I took Beltran with the second overall pick in my AL-only fantasy draft, so Iím counting on a big season. Itís also his contract year and heís right in his prime, in a pretty good hitters park.

* I think A-Rod should do fine in New York, but if he puts up numbers which are big but less than what he did the last few years (a strong possibility moving from Texas) and the Yankees only improve a game or two in the standings, I just donít see him repeating as MVP.

* I really love the races shaping up in the NL Central and AL West.

* The NL West and AL Central, on the other hand, seem awfully weak.

* For some reason, I think this may be the year that age, injuries, and/or off-the-field controversy finally catch up with Barry Bonds. Then again, Iíve thought that before.

* Iím of the pessimist-school of sports fans Ė I purposefully expect and predict the worst, while hoping for the best. Thus, I see the Yankees winning it all and the Braves, with all their personnel losses, still staying ahead of the Mets. I also wouldnít mind seeing the Red Sox or Cubs finally win it all, but Iím not jinxing it.

* In short, I think it should be a great year for baseball, especially if MLB can start to get its drug policy in order. To steal a line from Thomas Boswellís book title a few years back, time begins on Opening Day.

Posted by The Mad Hibernian at 01:16 PM | Baseball 2004 • | The Mad Hibernian | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

The Rockies ahead of the Padres? I'm not sure about that...

Posted by: Jeremy Heit at March 25, 2004 03:16 PM

Ha ha ha, A's finishing ahead of the Angels, ha ha ha.

Posted by: Matt Welch at March 26, 2004 01:26 AM
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