Well it’s time for another version of The Gut. I’m sorry they haven’t been more regular but I can’t see the point in writing about Hockey because it sucks these days. And Basketball is nothing but a western conference show. With me living on the east and all I don’t get to see the good teams too often. But the good news is baseball is back!
After one of the best playoffs in recent history baseball did something that I thought only football could do. It made major headlines in the off-season. Between A-Rod moving to NY and steroids baseball managed to stay on the front page of the sports section for most of the winter. So who had the best winter?
Hey Mike don’t smile too much when I say this but the Anaheim Angles had the best winter of anybody. They added 4 excellent players in Vladimir Guerrero, Bartolo Colon, Jose Guillen, and Kelvim Escobar. They already had a solid team and may have been helped just as much by Tejada leaving the A’s and the Mariners getting older. I pick the Angles to just walk away with the AL West title this year.
I can see the Yankee fans singing now…. “All our ex’s live in Texas” How did George let Andy Pettite and Roger Clemens go to the Houston Astros? This gives them 4 of the better pitchers in the game when you “throw in” Wade Miller and Roy Oswalt. The only question they have is Dotel in the closer role. I have faith in him; after all don’t most players become stars when they leave the Mets?
The Boston Red Sox got Curt Schilling but I think that move is way over rated. Would I want him on my team? Yes! Do I think that Curt pushes Pedro to number 2 in the rotation like the guys from Mike and the Maddog? Hell no, as a matter of fact with the addition of Pokey Reese a groundball pitcher like Derek Lowe might have more wins than Schilling. But the real key to this team is Keith Foulke, if he can handle the pressure of pitching in a pennant race in the middle of baseballs greatest rivalry that Boston has a chance to take it all.
The New York Yankees… Nice dramatic pause right? Well what is there to say about the Yanks? For starters let me say that A-Rod wasn’t that big of an upgrade from Soriano offensively. Not so big that I would have paid an additional 20 million a year for. Kevin Brown however is a dominant pitcher who will remind all of baseball why he was the first player to get 100 million dollars in a contract. And while Javier Vzquez only went 13-12 last year he did post an ERA of 3.24. If he pitches as well for the Yanks as he did for the Expos last year expect this young righty to pick up 17-20 wins.
I only wish for the Baltimore Orioles sake that they could move to the horrible NL West. This team got so much better with the additions of Miguel Tejada, Javy Lopez, and Mr. Viagra himself Rafael Palmeiro that it would walk away from that division. Unfortunately for the Orioles sake they are in the same division with the Yanks, Red Sox, Blue Jays and Devil Rays (Yes they actually aren’t a bad team this year).
I don’t even want to type this but the Philadelphia Phillies did what they needed to. They went out and got one of the top five closers in all of baseball when they traded for Billy Wagner. And it’s almost like they got 2 players because there is no way in hell that Pat Burrell bats .200 again. I expect him to have a solid year and for them to win the east. But there is good news in all of this; the Braves will not win the east for a 12th consecutive year.
In closing this article I would like to add this quote from Baltimore Orioles third baseman Tony Batista: “People say the Yankees are the team to beat,”. But it’s really the other way around. They’re the ones that have to beat everybody.” Keep that in mind Yankee fans and good luck to everyone in the Baloolapalooza fantasy league. I hope you guys like the view of my ass cause its all you’re gonna be seeing.