MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL: 2009

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emfleek
2/13/09 10:12:52AM
Pitchers and catchers report today!

Shawn91111
2/13/09 10:37:19AM
..cant wait for March..Spring training..WBC (dont really care though) and March Madness
emfleek
2/13/09 10:41:40AM
As an absolute HUUUUUUUUUUGE fan of the NFL, I still don't think it compares to opening day of baseball season.

- No work (I take opening day off every year.)
- Beer
- BBQ
- Baseball

There are very few things that I enjoy more.
DCRage
2/13/09 11:51:03AM
I always look forward to baseball season, although this year I'll have to wait a couple weeks to get out to the minors like I usually do, my local minor league team starts with a 2 week road trip.
AchillesHeel
2/13/09 1:14:17PM
Some links for baseball nerds:

Baseball Think Factory
Baseball Prospectus
Baseball-Reference.com




Baseball Think Factory's "ZiPS" projections for Boston and Tampa Bay. They haven't done the Yankees yet, and their projections for Toronto are incomplete.

Looking at the Sox and Rays:

- Both have a gaping hole in their lineups at Catcher. Dioner Navarro and Jason Varitek are both "clubhouse guys" now. At least Navarro is young enough to give him the benefit of the doubt wrt room for improvement. Varitek can only get worse, methinks.

- 1B is a strength for both teams and SS is a question mark for both. The ZiPS projections for Youkilis and Peña look conservative to me. I think they're both good for 100 RBI and 80 R. Pedroia + Lowell + Lowrie/Lugo looks pretty even with Iwamura + Longoria + Bartlett to me.

- BJ Upton is the superior CF, but I like Boston's outfield more than Tampa Bay's. Even if Bay stumbles around the Green Monster for a while, a .900 OPS will more than make up for it. J.D. Drew missed a lot of games last year, even by his standards, but brought his OPS back to .900. If he gets back to playing 140 games, 30 doubles and 100 RBI is perfectly plausible.

- Designated Hitter obviously favors the Red Sox, but I think Pat Burrell is a great acquisition for the Rays.

- Starting pitching seems to favor the Sox, for their massively superior depth. Beckett & Matsuzaka should be the equal of Kazmir & Shields, and Garza and Lester are equally likely to continue their '08 success. The Sox take off after that, though, with Smoltz, Wakefield, Penny, Masterson, and Buchholz compared against the Rays' Andy Sonnanstine and... um... er... ZiPS seems to like Tampa Bay's David Price, who has all of 14 IP in the majors, but no more than it likes Boston's Michael Bowden and his 5 major-league innings. Still, if Shields, Garza and Sonnanstine pitch like they did last year, and Kazmir goes 200 innings, the Rays won't need a ton of depth to replace Edwin Jackson. They did, after all, win 97 games last year.

- The Sox depth in the bullpen is also superior to the Rays', although I think the ZiPS projection for Saito is over-generous. He's a 39-yr-old coming from a low-pressure baseball town and a pitcher-friendly stadium in a pitcher-friendly league, to Fenway Park and the American League East. Sox-Yankees games can get so loud, infielders have to use sign language to talk to each other. Joe Torre is keeping Saito in his prayers, I imagine.

The Yankees have improved a lot this off-season, and the Blue Jays haven't, although the Jays seriously underperformed last year, and should improve a little even if they field the exact same team. The AL East could well be a four-horse race into August, and four 90-win teams isn't out of the question (I don't know if that's ever happened before).
Twenty20Dollars
2/13/09 1:26:12PM
Come on Royals!

FlashyG
2/13/09 1:33:33PM

Posted by AchillesHeel

their projections for Toronto are incomplete.




It's as incomplete as the Jays pitching rotation
bojangalz
2/13/09 1:40:07PM
The only baseball source you need is the MLB.com Fantasy 411. Google it, I'm not doing your work for ya. But I better get some damn props after you win your league this year.

Seriously though...Baseball was the only stick and ball sport that I actually cared for before getting into MMA. I was a huge fantasy baseball guy before I found this site. I stopped playing last season and haven't missed it at all. I guess there's just not enough hours in my day to manage that many interests and hobbies.

But if you want to win your league get yourself a daily dose of 411.
The_Metal_Maniac
2/13/09 2:44:26PM
I'm a diehard sports fan, even more so diehards fan of all Pittsburgh teams. I live and die with the Steelers, Penguins, and yes the Pirates. Unfortunately year after year since 1992 the Pirates have fielded a horrible attempt at what appears to be a major league team. With that being said, it still doesn't matter to me. I will watch all season long with fingers crossed in hopes that the Pirates can come somewhat close to breaking the .500 marker. Baseball is a great sport and has great history and that's why I watch. I look at it like this, I either get to see my team field a competitive team this season and compete in their division, or I get to see them break a league and major sports record: The most consecutive losing seasons by a franchise lol.
higdon10
2/13/09 4:18:25PM
Lets go Reds!!! We have some good young talent and one of the top rotations in the NL but our lineup is to weak to compete with the Cubs and Cards.
evan9eleven
2/13/09 6:29:27PM
I'm pumped for the World Cup. Lovin this story on Ichiro too LINK
Shawn91111
2/13/09 6:40:54PM

Posted by evan9eleven

I'm pumped for the World Cup. Lovin this story on Ichiro too LINK



With as much money as Seattle has invested in him, id be on the next flight to Japan if I was the GM
lohmann
2/13/09 6:42:45PM
Oh man, being a Yankees fan this year will be worse than usual.

Last year I had to deal with local Rays fans finally getting a good team; this year it will be constant droning about A-Roid.
Shawn91111
2/13/09 6:45:30PM

Posted by lohmann

Oh man, being a Yankees fan this year will be worse than usual.

Last year I had to deal with local Rays fans finally getting a good team; this year it will be constant droning about A-Roid.



The Rays have fans? Ive been to the Trop many times when I lived in Florida everytime the Yankees played there and its always pro Yankees crowd.

As a Yankee fan one good thing comes out of this Arod thing. It takes all pressure and media attention off of CC, AJ and Tex for a while
evan9eleven
2/13/09 6:51:27PM

Posted by Shawn91111


Posted by evan9eleven

I'm pumped for the World Cup. Lovin this story on Ichiro too LINK



With as much money as Seattle has invested in him, id be on the next flight to Japan if I was the GM



no doubt, It would be cool to see him pitch though. Maybe in like a playoff game in Extras with the bullpen all used up something.
emfleek
2/14/09 1:10:50PM

Posted by Shawn91111

The Rays have fans?


Of course they do...now that they've gone to the World Series. We'll see how many fairweather fans stick around this year when the Rays fall back down to Earth.
Twenty20Dollars
2/14/09 3:00:03PM
Rays might get back into the playoffs because I dont think the red sox are going to make it.
DCRage
2/14/09 5:59:24PM
Tampa won't win the East again but they should win the Wild Card. It's the Yanks' to win or lose, but let's wait until the whole A-Rod thing has played out before getting too far into that.
higdon10
2/15/09 1:22:19PM

Posted by lohmann

Oh man, being a Yankees fan this year will be worse than usual.



Yeah it must be tough to watch that deadly lineup every night. Its gotta be hard to swallow a 90 win season.
AchillesHeel
2/16/09 11:53:03AM

Posted by higdon10

Its gotta be hard to swallow a 90 win season.


In the AL East, yes. The Yanks won 89 last year, and finished in 3rd place, 8 games out. If they win 90 games this year, Yankees fans will go all Bruce Banner...

RampageOwnedYou
2/16/09 12:22:01PM
As a Jays fan, i rarely get too excited for the season, since its always a rough year for us.
I must admit though, I am excited. But I do think its going to be the Yanks or Bosox this year. Yankees have paid there way for a championship "yet again" and the Sox will prob have another great year, but i see the sox slumping after this year, since age is hitting them and Big Papi is wearing down "somewhat".

I do however expect Roy Halladay to chase for Cy Young in the AL.

in the NL, I see Peavy/Webb or Tim Lincecum winning the NL Cy Young.

I just hope Arod gets suspended for a long time, since Bonds is paying for it, why not the rest of these steroid freak "Cheaters".
AchillesHeel
2/16/09 1:43:26PM

Posted by RampageOwnedYou

As a Jays fan, i rarely get too excited for the season, since its always a rough year for us.
I must admit though, I am excited.


Last year Toronto unperformed their "Pythagorean" record by 6 games (that is, they "should have" won 92 games, but they won 86). Vernon Wells hit well, but only played 108 games. Alex Rios hit a slump. Scott Rolen and Lyle Overbay have been up-and-down the last four years, so it's hard to anticipate what they'll do. Still, '07 wasn't a particularly good year for either of them, so with a little luck, they could stay on the same "schedule" and have a good season simultaneously.

So even if the same Jays team takes the field, they can probably be expected to win 90 games. Of course, they lost Burnett and replaced him with... um...


Posted by RampageOwnedYou

i see the sox slumping after this year, since age is hitting them[...]


Or not.

Jason Bay - 30 yrs old on opening day '09
Kevin Youkilis - 30
Josh Beckett - 28
Daisuke Matsuzaka - 28
John Papelbon - 28
Manny Delcarmen - 27
Dustin Pedroia - 25
Jacoby Ellsbury - 25
John Lester - 25
Jed Lowrie - 24
Justin Masterson - 24
Clay Buchholz - 24

If David Ortiz has "lost it" and last season reflects his performance for the next couple of years, he's still the best DH in the league who raises his game in the playoffs. Mike Lowell is 34, but even if his 2008 turns out to be the beginning of the end, he should still be a league-average hitter with a good glove for 2009 and 2010. Tim Wakefield and John Smoltz are both 41, but they're projected to be the 5th and 6th starters anyway. Jason Varitek is the only veteran whose decline poses a real dilemma for the Sox. Granted, it's a doozy, as major-league catchers are worth their weight in gold these days.
RampageOwnedYou
2/16/09 3:25:31PM
Good Post Heel.


Maybe when I think of Boston, I think of David, Curt, Varitek, and J.D Drew.
I know Drew is not as old as these guys, but his game isn't the same as once upon a time.


Jays replaced A.J with a guy who hasnt pitched in 2 years...lol
Basically they need to push for PEAVY. But i dont see it happening.
AchillesHeel
2/17/09 9:58:38AM

Posted by The_Metal_Maniac

Unfortunately year after year since 1992 the Pirates have fielded a horrible attempt at what appears to be a major league team.


I see they just signed McLouth to a 3-year extension. I'm not sure for how much, but it's something. Now they just need a pitcher. Or four.
DCRage
2/26/09 5:12:32PM
Kinda saddened to hear today that this will be a season of baseball without my favorite name in the majors: "The Boof". Minnesota P Boof Bonser had shoulder surgery. Done. And yes, Boof Bonser is his real name.
Shawn91111
2/26/09 6:33:40PM

Posted by DCRage

Kinda saddened to hear today that this will be a season of baseball without my favorite name in the majors: "The Boof". Minnesota P Boof Bonser had shoulder surgery. Done. And yes, Boof Bonser is his real name.



Not a big loss at all for the Twinkies. His real claim to fame is being apart fo one of the best trades ever
higdon10
2/26/09 7:59:07PM

Posted by Shawn91111


Posted by DCRage

Kinda saddened to hear today that this will be a season of baseball without my favorite name in the majors: "The Boof". Minnesota P Boof Bonser had shoulder surgery. Done. And yes, Boof Bonser is his real name.



Not a big loss at all for the Twinkies. His real claim to fame is being apart fo one of the best trades ever



His name doesnt hurt his notability though.
DCRage
3/4/09 1:17:45PM
Manny is staying in LA (Dodgers). The details from ESPN:
2 years for $45 million.
$25 million is deferred over 5 years.
Manny can opt out after the first year.
Full no-trade protection.
All that's left now is physical, then it's official.
AchillesHeel
3/5/09 10:29:32AM
Manny does a ton for that lineup. In 53 games last season, he nearly led the team in HRs.
DCRage
3/5/09 10:33:34AM
He almost instantly makes the Dodgers the favorite out west. At least this year, I think we all are in agreement that he will opt out before the second year and try to get even more money.
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