Play Ball!

It’s that time, again. It’s time for summer nights, under the lights with vendors screaming “BEER! COCA-COLA! POPCORN! HOT DOGS! CRACKER-JACKS!”

It’s time to play ball. It’s time for baseball.

The St. Louis Cardinals are the reigning champions, but they don’t have their first baseman anymore (Albert Pujols). Magic Johnson is now part-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, while a Prince moved to the Motor City. Adam Wainwright and Stephen Strasburg are completely healed from their Tommy John surgeries, and their teams will need them. Alex Rodriguez took the Kobe Bryant-approach and flew to Germany to have some operations done? Hopefully he has a better season than he did last season. Ryan Braun was cleared of his positive drug test, while the Florida Marlins hired Ozzie Guillen, signed Jose Reyes, and moved to Miami. Michael Stanton changed his name to Giancarlo Stanton (his original name), while we found out the true identities of Fausto Carmona and Leo Nunez (Roberto Hernandez Heredia and Juan Carlos Oviedo).

Hey, did you hear about what is going on in Boston? They got a gift in Bobby Valentine or did they? He is already going after some of his players (Daniel Bard and Carl Crawford). Johan Santana and Josh Johnson also return to the mound after injuries last season. If you haven’t heard by now, Pujols is now in Los Angeles playing for the Angels and pitcher C.J. Wilson joined him. But why do I still think that the Texas Rangers will win that division?

Let’s welcome Yu Darvish (Rangers) and Yoenis Cespedes (Oakland Athletics) to the big leagues. Speaking of welcoming players to the majors, where the hell is Bryce Harper? How come no one talks about Tim Lincecum anymore? I thought he was the best pitcher in baseball just two years ago?

The season hasn’t even started but already I have highlighted a few disappointments. Ubaldo Jimenez and Michael Pineda top my list. First, Jimenez throws at his former teammate, Troy Tulowitzki, hitting him in the elbow in a spring training game. Then, he decided to throw down his glove, pound his chest, and charge the batter’s box. What does that say about a man, who two years ago, was having one of the best seasons a pitcher has ever had. His career is falling apart. Pineda showed up to Yankees training camp overweight and out-of-shape. Now, he will more than likely end up on the 15-day disabled list to start the season. Don’t forget that he had a superb rookie season for the Seattle Mariners. He couldn’t even hit 95 M.P.H. on the gun this spring. Now, with shoulder problems, he might not even crack the rotation when he comes off the disabled list.

Andy Pettite has decided to return to the majors. Pettite will return sometime this season and will pitch for the Yankees. He just doesn’t know when the time is right. Some players just can’t let it go (Michael Jordan and Brett Favre).

Now it’s time for some “What If’s”.

What if the Pittsburgh Pirates end up with a better record than the Philadelphia Phillies? The Phils have a lot of injury problems now (Chase Utley and Ryan Howard).

What if the Miami Marlins play the Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series? The Rays have one of the best pitching staffs in baseball and if their offense comes around, I could see them in the World Series. I also think that the Marlins have a very good team. If they get solid pitching and offense from Hanley Ramirez and Reyes, I can see Miami making it to the World Series.

What if the Los Angeles Angels don’t make the postseason? Are they better than the Detroit Tigers, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, and Tampa Bay Rays? Oh, I forgot the Texas Rangers!

What if the Cardinals make it back the World Series? Despite the loss of Pujols, this team still has a lot of talent. Matt Holliday, Lance Berkman, David Freese and Carlos Beltran are just some of the names on this team.

What if Minnesota Twins’ catcher, Joe Mauer, is healthy for an entire season? If he is, I think the Twins will surprise some people.

Now, it’s time for my picks this season:

Award Picks

AL MVP: Jose Bautista

AL CY Young: David Price

AL Rookie of the Year: Matt Moore

NL MVP: Troy Tulowitzki

NL CY Young: Stephen Strasburg

NL Rookie of the Year: Drew Pomeranz

Playoff Picks

AL: Rays, Rangers, Tigers, Yankees, Angels.

NL: Diamondbacks, Cardinals, Marlins, Dodgers, Phillies

World Series: Rays v. Phillies

Champion: Rays

That’s all I have for now. Check my “MLB” section because I will be writing posts throughout the season. Thanks for reading! Good luck to your team this season!


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