Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ned Colletti

Today Ned Colletti, GM of the Los Angeles Dodgers, announced that he has the biggest set of balls in the world. He did this by having the gall to criticize the team and Matt Kemp for a lack of effort. He is either very stupid or is very much separated from reality because the troubles of the Dodgers rest squarely on his shoulders.

He was quoted on a Los Angeles radio show as saying “I’m not satisfied with the presentation. I’m not satisfied with execution. I’m not satisfied with the thought process of it.” How about not being satisfied with the personnel. Which is your side of the ball. The Dodgers woes are largely pitching related. The fact that Los Angeles started the season with two young as yet unproven pitchers, one malcontent, a knuckle-ball pitcher, and Hiroki Kuroda is Colletti's fault, not the players.

This is a rare time in Dodger history where a team can throw up nine runs in consecutive games and lose both those games. The Dodgers rank in the top five in the National League in major offensive categories. Yet they are in last place in the West. Perhaps it is because the Dodgers rank near the bottom in every pitching category.

Back in December, Colletti insinuated he had no monetary restrictions this off season. This leads one to believe one of two things. Either he is lying and divorce proceedings drastically cut into his staffing the rotation with arms or he is a really bad General Manager with a tiny mustache.

What about Matt Kemp? Well he certainly has been mucking it up on defense and base-running. He must be cashing it in. It would very well be prudent to question his work ethic. Unless of course his manager vouches that he shows up early to get his work in and he is currently scoring most of the runs on the team.

Matt Kemp is tied for second in the majors in home runs, tied for third in RBI, and first in runs. Granted he has made some horrible gaffs. But it may be a mental aspect of the game that someone needs to talk to him or comment about. How about Joe Torre, the manager of the team.

If the next words out of your mouth aren't "Damn I should have re-signed Randy Wolf, at the very least Jon Garland," I don't want to hear it.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Edinson Volquez

Another MLBer succumbs to the pressures and wiles of performance enhancing drugs. Edinson Volquez who is renowned for little will serve a 60 game suspension for using PEDs.

His suspension can start during his already lengthy disabled list stay. So sadly, the only true punishment he will receive is the initial announcement that he cheated and the fact that he will still be on the Reds. However, announcements such as these are hardly treated with much fervor anymore.

Three years after the Mitchell report was released, allegations of roids and other PEDs are met with a ho-hum attitude. Mark McGwire is now treated to great applause in St. Louis. Dodger fans know only two things about baseball, cheer Manny and bring a beach ball. In New York, well Yankee fans will win at any cost so Alex Rodriguez gets a pass there too.

But in the case of Mr. Volquez I can hardly blame him. If I pitched for Dusty Baker I may need some sort of horse pills just to keep my arm from falling off.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

AL West


Things should be tight out west.  There is no clear cut power house in this small division.   The two teams that will vie for control of the division may have their fortunes told by one key acquisition, Chone Figgins.      

The Angels did not tout a powerhouse team last year.  What they did well was to put runners on and work station to station.  Figgins epitomized their strategy with his high OBP and ability to get into scoring position with his speed.  Now on the Mariners, Figgins will change the fortunes of a few games in Seattle's favor.  This and solid defense will give them the edge in this division.

I would normally not count out the craftiness of Oakland.  This year however, they are looking less young and promising and more old and decrepit.  Their team is in perfect position to make some late season trades for more talent to stock into their farm system.

NL West


Everyone is always dogging on this division.  It used to be with good cause.  However this group is deceptive.  With the Rockies making noise in the playoffs in 2009 and the Dodgers beating the Cards in the divisional series, there is an argument to be made that this may be one of the stronger divisions.   With that I dub the NL West the "sneaky hot" division. 

Granted each team has their  question marks.  The top two teams may falter if their staffs cant hold it together long enough to get to their bullpens each game.  This young season has already illustrated that the Dodgers pitching is so bad that the Pirates are able to tee off on them.

The Giants tout one of the best rotations in the game.  They will also get a boost offensively with Pablo "I'm so fat they relate me to a panda around these parts" Sandoval having another year under his belt.  The Padres have some depth, especially if Chris young can find his form.  I will go out on a limb and say the Padres will win at least a couple of games this year.

Friday, April 2, 2010

NL Central


Lets work from the bottom up here.  The Pirates are essentially The University of Pennsylvania baseball team with a nicer stadium to play in.  You can't approach their team with what they lack because it is so bountiful.  Instead lets look at what they have. Andrew McCutchen.  There that is it.  So, let's move on. 

The Reds have pitchers but they will again be slain at the hands of Dusty Baker.  The Astros have mediocrity so that's a plus if you aim for the middle of the pack.  The Cubs still have that goat thing hanging around their neck.  Which brings us to the teams that matter.

The obvious clear cut favorite in this division of miscreants is St. Louis.  They have the best tandem of pitchers in the league and Albert Pujols. Both will be enough to reach the playoffs. 

The main point I want to make here is the underrated talent of the Brewers.  Most have this team finishing third or later.  I struggle to find the reasoning in a division of average ball clubs. They have a decent rotation with a solid bullpen.  Milwaukee's lineup has both power and speed.  This should be no challenge to bypass Chicago's curse or the Astros patchiness.

AL Central

White Sox

The Twinkies and Sox will battle it out the whole year.  Granted those of us in warmer parts of the country may have but a passing interest. In the end, Minnesota will shock some and impress most by putting together pitching and defense with timely hitting.  They are a model to those teams hoping to keep the payroll down and still win consistently.

The White Sox have depth in the starting rotation.  Buehrle, Peavy, and Floyd will hold down what will be the most consistent aspect of the team.  The White Sox may have to worry about a lineup that can be at best explosive and at worst schizophrenic. 

Looking up and down the lineup card, Ozzie has to scratch his head at the expectations.  You have those past their prime in Konerko and Andruw Jones, those that are waiting to see if they can reach their best in Quentin, Alexei Ramirez, and Gordon Beckham, and those that will either falter or flail at some point in Teahen, Pierre, and Pierzynski.

The Indians, are bad.  You can properly gauge how bad as I have them finishing below the Royals.  The Royals are the perennial nether region of MLB.  Watching a Royals game is a bit like eating a full meal from KFC.  It seems harmless, even appetizing, at first.  By the end, frequent trips to the bathroom are necessary.  And I have the Indians below that.