Sunday, April 02, 2006

"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" ---- 04-08-06

Yes, another baseball season has arrived--one sure to be filled with steroid controversy, overpriced tickets, narcissistic egos, and non-stop injuries. Why do I watch it--you may ask? I dunno--I guess because it's still BASEBALL between the lines. Here's how they'll finish in 2006 (and I tested cleanly before I wrote this, folks!):

N.Y. Yankees
Boston Red Sox
Toronto Blue Jays
Baltimore Orioles
Tampa Bay Devil Rays

Chicago White Sox
Cleveland Indians
Detroit Tigers
Minnesota Twins
Kansas City Royals

L.A. Angels
Oakland A's
Texas Rangers
Seattle Mariners

AL EAST- $200 million payrolls make the playoffs--case closed; Yanks will outscore everyone, but starting pitching fails them in the end. If Beckett and Schilling can stay off the DL, the Sox win over 90 games; Toronto improved, but there's only so many wins to go around in this division. A toss-up for last between T.B. and Baltimore; on second thought, the O's finish ahead of the Rays as the possiblility of a scantily-clad Anna Benson appearing in the clubhouse inspires the team.
AL CENTRAL- Bottom line? The White Sox have the best pitching in the AL; Cleveland has some young hungry players, but closer Wickman MUST stay healthy for them to contend. Leyland and the Tigers may surprise and will score lots of runs; Twins' lack of punch a concern, and Radke needs to pitch better. If anyone can name the starting nine for K.C., you win a date with the aforementioned Anna Benson.
AL WEST- Weaver a good addition to a deep L.A. staff; the key is the catching position--where rookie Mathis needs to impress. Milton Bradley to cause dissension in Oakland by June 1st; Texas improved their pitching--but not enough. Seattle still waiting for pitchers Pineiro and Meche to come into their own; they'll STILL be waiting next year at this time.

Atlanta Braves
N.Y. Mets
Philadelphia Phillies
Washington Nationals
Florida Marlins

St. Louis Cardinals
Houston Astros
Milwaukee Brewers
Chicago Cubs
Pittsburgh Pirates
Cincinnati Reds

L.A. Dodgers
San Francisco Giants
San Diego Padres
Arizona Diamondbacks
Colorado Rockies

NL EAST- I'll NEVER bet against Atlanta as long as Cox is managing and Schuerholz is GM'ing; pitching is good, but can Reitsma/Devine close? Mets will score, but the staff will break down in September; Phils' bullpen is "iffy"--but they still have baseball's best mascot. Nats will have trouble getting their games to closer Cordero; only good news for Marlins manager Joe Girardi is that he'll get more sun in Florida than he did in New York.
NL CENTRAL- Cards' pitching lets them coast--and Pujols is Pujols; Houston will score more than last year, but need Pettitte to come up big. Brewers can contend for second with a solid rotation; Cubs' stud pitchers can't stay healthy--thus 4th place. Pirates will be improved; Reds won't be.
NL WEST- Dodgers will score often--and Baez helps the bullpen; Giants will be close behind--but Benitez will blow the big game. Padres pitching questionable; D'Backs bullpen uglier than Barry Bonds imitating Paula Abdul. Name the Rockies’ starting lineup and Coors may give you a lifetime season ticket.

*Postseason: A healthy Jim Thome and superb pitching lead the ChiSox over the Cards in the World Series; enjoy the season, everyone.

Bob Lazzari

Reprinted by permission of the Valley Times.


At 12:39 AM, Blogger Dan McGowan said...

Bob, I couldn't agree more. I also think the White Sox are the favorite but for some reason, I really like Oakland as well.

By the way, I'm a huge fan of your blog. I read you weekly.

Keep up the good work.


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