Results tagged ‘ Cardinals ’

The Springtime Ritual of Predicting the Winners

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We all know that preseason predictions mean nothing–nada, zilch, zero. And while we shouldn’t take them seriously, it’s still a lot of fun–especially when the so-called experts pick your team to win.
Historically, it’s very rare when the baseball media elite pick the White Sox to win their division, let alone the AL pennant or World Series. It’s not that much different this year as the Twins seem to be the most common pick to conquer the AL Central. That said, there are a few “big name” media types among those who have picked the South Siders:
* Hall of Fame electee Bill Madden of the New York Daily News and author of the forthcoming bio of George Steinbrenner.
* Fox SportsKen Rosenthal, who somewhat tongue-in-cheek picked the Sox to win the World Series while referring to them “Team Wacko.” Think that had anything to do with our Ozzie?
* ESPN‘s Tim Kurkjian, who doesn’t exactly wear a Sox jersey on the weekends.
* Jon Heyman, he of SI, SI.com and the MLB Network.
Since I’m drinking the prediction Kool-Aid, I might as well add my two cents. Here are my divisional picks for 2010:
AL CENTRAL

1. White Sox
2. Twins
3. Tigers
4. Royals
5. Indians


AL EAST 

1. Rays
2. Red Sox
3. Yankees
4. Orioles
5. Blue Jays


AL WEST

1. Angels
2. Mariners
3. Rangers
4. A’s

NL EAST

1. Phillies
2. Braves
3. Marlins
4. Mets
5. Nationals


NL CENTRAL

1. Cardinals
2. Reds
3. Brewers
4. Cubs
5. Pirates
6. Astros


NL WEST

1. Rockies
2. Dodgers
3. Giants
4. Padres
5. Diamondbacks

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Sox-wise and Otherwise…

   My weekly off-season musings on the White Sox and more…

*  Is President Obama the first Sox fan to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize?

*  It was announced today that Dewayne Wise, he of the spectacular catch that saved Mark Buehrle’s perfecto, has opted for free agency rather than accepting an outright assignment to Triple A. Wise is a favorite of mine and I wish him the best. No matter what happens in his career from this point on, he made “The Catch” that many call the greatest in history.

*  Chip Caray is certainly not a “chip off the old block.” The grandson of legendary Harry Caray and the son of outstanding sports broadcaster Skip Caray, is an embarrassment to his family’s tradition, TBS and baseball in general. He’s a minor league announcer on the sport’s biggest stage. Read Richard Sandomir and Phil Mushnick in today’s New York Times and New York Post, respectively, for details.

*  You have to feel for the Cardinals’ Matt Holliday after his error with two outs in the ninth set the stage for the Dodgers to rally and take a 2-0 lead in their ALDS series. That said, Cards closer Ryan Franklin should have been able to pitch over it. Reminds me of all the flack Bill Buckner got as THE culprit in Game 6 of the 1986 Mets-Red Sox series. In that case, pitcher Bob Stanley got a big-time pass.

*   I’m not the biggest Jim Thome fan, but I was hoping he was going to jack one out yesterday as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning. Instead, he was hit by a pitch.

*   Joe Girardi’s decision to replace All-Star catcher Jorge Posada with Jose Molina to catch A.J. Burnett in Game 2 of the ALDS against the Twins is a big story here in New York. Truth is, Posada’s not a great defensive catcher and Molina is. Plus, Burnett and Molina have a much better rapport.

*   I picked the Yankees to win the World Series, but the more I think about it I’m getting a vibe it’s going to be the Angels. They are on a mission to win it for their late teammate Nick Adenhart.

*   I’d give anything for the Sox to be in the thick of things, but it’s nice to sit back, relax and enjoy a baseball game. I can’t do it when the Pale Hose are playing.                 

11 Ex-White Sox on 2009 Playoff Rosters

While our Sox failed to make the grade this season, 11 former Chisox find themselves on postseason playoff rosters, including four who won World Series rings with the club, one coach and one manager.

Here’s the breakdown:

AL
Yankees:    *Damaso Marte, Nick Swisher
Twins:         Orlando Cabrera, Jon Rauch
Red Sox:    *Brian Anderson
Angels:        None

NL
Cardinals:    Tony LaRussa (Mgr.), Dave Duncan (Coach)
Dodgers:    *Jon Garland, Jim Thome
Phillies:       Scott Eyre
Rockies:    *Jose Contreras

* Member of 2005 World Champion White Sox. Anderson was on the team, but not on the postseason roster.

Two more of note: Red Sox Manager Terry Francona managed in the Sox organization and Twins’ reliever Matt Guerrier played in the farm system, but neither made it to the majors with the White Sox.

My Hat is Off to the Piranhas

I have a great deal of compassion for the Detroit Tigers and their fans this morning after last night’s thrilling tie-breaker loss in Minnesota. As a White Sox fan, I’ve seen this movie before.The Twins play the right way (especially in the Dome), make very few mistakes, hit in the clutch and just nibble at you until they’ve done enough to win. Ozzie Guillen said it best, they’re a bunch of piranhas.

As a division rival I hate them. As a baseball fan I admire them. Many are predicting a Yankee sweep in the ALDS and it very well could happen. But the Twins, a tired bunch without playoff-caliber pitching and an injured Justin Morneau, will compete and certainly won’t embarrass themselves.

My prediction: Yankees in 4. The Twins will find a way to win a game, but the Yanks’ lineup is as strong and balanced as any in baseball and the pitching staff should be able to handle the Minny hitters, who are at a major disadvantage without Morneau.

My other predictions:

Angels over Red Sox in 5
Cardinals over Dodgers in 5
Rockies over Phillies in 5

Sox News: Freddy Garcia and Matt Thornton had their respective options picked up and will both be back with the Sox in 2010.

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