May 09

Re: CSN 8 Questions for every baseball fan except the A’s

This is in reply to the CSN post at http://www.csnbayarea.com/blog/the-buzz/post/eight-questions-for-every-baseball-fan?blockID=704116&feedID=9973

Shawn Frazier8 minutes ago
LIKE LIKE LIKE except for no mention of the Oakland Athletics looking strong in second place in the AL West. Many expected the AL West to be the best division in baseball with two world beaters in the Rangers and Angels. Well, lookie here! Its the Athletics in second only 4 games back of the best team in baseball, the Texas Rangers. hmmm….
The biggest surprise in baseball right now is the Oakland A’s as wild card contenders.
For fun, I am going to answer these questions…
1. Can the Orioles stay atop the AL East? (they are currently in a tie with the Tampa Bay Rays atop the AL East) No. I believe the best of the East are the Rays and by the all star break, the Orioles will be a solid second in the division to the Rays. Yanks all payroll, no payout… Jays not ready… BoSox are full of issues. (CSN says… well check it out yourself.)
2. How many homeruns will Albert Pujols hit? Current numbers are .190 avg with 1 HR and 9 RBIs. He is getting significant playing time. That is not the problem. My gut tells me Pujols hits only 19 or 20 HRs this year. This would be very surprising, but somehow it feels right to me.
3. Will Washington win the NL East? No. Steven Strausburg coming off his Tommy John surgery has been reported to be on a 160 inning limit this year. That means he is done in August and may not pitch again. If the Nationals play it right and pull Strausburg early (as in after 5 1/3 innings and 80 pitches or so) and allow him to miss an occasional start, they may be able to extend his availability. I hope they do. Stausburg pitching in late September and October would be exciting. I do believe the Nationals have enough to make the playoffs with one of the wild cards, as there is an extra in play for each league this year. If the Nationals play their cards right, Strausburg will be available as well for the postseason. Crossing my fingers.
4. What will Derek Jeter hit? He is currently hitting .392 at 37 years of age. This is so surprising since last year at this time, he seemed washed up. I would expect the average to curtail quite a bit but remain over .300 for the year. I figure he will finish around .320 then pop for PEDs. Hey, I’m just being honest.
5. Can Bobby Valentine survive the season? Yes he can, but the Bo Sox cannot. Unless they are on pace to lose 90 games this year or if there is a major scandal, I expect Valentine to remain the skipper for the year. This is the Bo Sox though, and scandals seem to be part of their DNA recently.
6. How many more no hitters will there be? Jared Weaver and Philip Humber both recently pitched no hitters. This article is making a big deal of the fact that two came so close together, as well as the fact that one came from Humber, a young unknown pitcher. Their answer is one more on the year by Matt Cain. I have to agree only with the answer of one more on the year. Matt Cain has a very small chance to get it done. Why? No hitters are often thrown by young pitchers who throw gas that no one has much of a scouting report on. There are some that are thrown by great established pitchers against terrible hitting clubs, but not as many as you would think. Also early in the season is when no hitters typically are thrown. There is no surprise that 2 have already happened. Since 2006, there are as many Anibal Sanchez’s as there are Justin Verlanders, and the large majority of them have happened before the All-Star break. How about Dallas Braden of the Oakland Athletics who threw a perfect game on Mother’s Day 2010. Also see Jonathan Sanchez at that time of the San Francisco Giants who threw a no hitter on July 10th the year before. If I were to pick a Giant to do it, I would pick Ryan Vogelsong who limited the Dodgers to one run and lasted into the eighth inning yesterday. If I were to pick an Athletic to do it, it would be Brandon McCarthy. Realistically, my money is on the Dodger’s Clayton Kershaw, a young arm with great success that hitters are not that familiar with yet.
7. Future for Mariano RIvera… I think there is an issue with all the injuries in sports now… There are players in all sports blowing out ACLs, left and right. There is something wrong. Are they taking PED’s that are not detected in tests? PED’s seem to help players heal quicker while at times lead to further injury… Just a thought. So Rivera will not make it back this year, but he will pitch in 2013 as a 43yr old reliever and he will have a chance to be very effective, just not as a Yankeee. He won’t be worth retaining for them.
8. Who will win the World Series? The Texas Rangers. I hate them. If I had it my way, they would be the Buffalo Bills of the MLB. You can come to the party, but the party is never yours! I wish. This year, I expect the Rangers to crush all comers in the playoffs, including the LA Dodgers in the World Series.

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