Latest posts by Senor Weaselo (see all)
- A BattleBots Beat Special: What Got Cut – January 3, 2019
- Your “Isn’t This the Part…” Final Friday Evening Thread of 2018 – December 28, 2018
- And Now, Time for a Holiday Game – November 23, 2018
Ah, spring. Birds chirping, not wearing eight different layers to take out the garbage, and the Italian ice stand down the block finally opening. Oh, and I guess it’s baseball season too. It’s Opening Day, and bunting makes everything better in my eyes. I need to get some when I get my own place. And/or follow through with that idea of having all the team caps on a shelf and doing the standings.
/Gets pelted with insults and fortunately empty beer cans
Yes, I know I am, and I fail to see the point in your insults. Let’s get to work, shall we? First pitch waits for no man except the one on the mound, and they’re working on changing that too with pitch clocks. I am… decidedly mixed on it.
AL East (teams are in predicted order of finish with last year’s results in parentheses)
New York Yankees (91-71, 2nd in AL East, won Wild Card, lost in ALCS to HOU)
Each team will have three questions!
-How many homers will they hit, and will they break the record set by the ’97 Mariners?
-Will the combination of CC Sabathia’s knee, Masahiro Tanaka’s elbow, and Luis Severino’s spike in innings last year become a danger?
-Can Greg Bird stay healthy long enough for me to create a Twitter account; tweet at the Yankees, Dan Harmon, and Justin Roiland clamoring for Greg Birdperson Bobblehead Night; and get enough viral support that it becomes a thing? (So far the answer’s no, he’s out for 6-8 weeks with a broken off bone spur from the ankle he injured last year.)
Boston Red Sox (93-69, won AL East, lost in ALDS to HOU)
-Can J.D. Martinez have a full season of the couple months he had in Arizona last year?
-Is it me or has everyone forgotten about Brock Holt thanks to his vertigo last year?
-Can David Price recover from cursing out Dennis Eckersley on the team plane last year and actually have a decent year?
Baltimore Orioles (75-87, 5th in AL East)
-How happy is tWBS that Ubaldo Jimenez is no longer on the team?
-How much will Manny Machado insisting he plays short and not 3rd affect his trade value?
-How is Mark Trumbo that much of a liability in the outfield considering that when he’s not DHing he predominantly plays right field at Camden Yards?
Toronto Blue Jays (76-86, 4th in AL East)
-Can Aaron Sanchez figure out his blister problem?
-Considering Josh Donaldson is 32 and will be wanting a massive contract next year (whether the Jays deal him or not this year), what are the chances of him being next year’s version of this year’s Jose Bautista?
-When does the Rogers Centre become people waiting for Leafs/Raptors season to start again?
Tampa Bay Rays (80-82, 3rd in AL East)
-How are the Rays somehow going to have less offense than last year?
-Wait, how did the Rays score more runs than Toronto last year? (Okay, more run. As in 1. But still, it is worth laughing at the Jays.)
-How many Chris Archer “Danger Zone” jokes can I make until he inevitably gets traded in July?
Cleveland *Redacteds* (102-60, won AL Central, lost in ALDS to NYY)
-How quickly did the narrative turn on Corey Kluber from Cy Young winner to getting rocked in both ALDS starts?
-Do you remember Jose Ramirez finished 3rd in AL MVP voting and Carlos Carrasco finished 4th in Cy Young voting?
-How many white-hot taeks will there be about the Clevelanders ending the use of Chief Wahoo after this season and Jim Thome going into the Hall of Fame with the block C on his cap?
Minnesota Twins (85-77, 2nd in AL Central, won Wild Card, lost in Wild Card Game to NYY)
-You think the Twinkies would like to see any team in any playoff round that is not the Yankees, considering they lost the 2017 Wild Card Game & 2003, 2004, 2009, and 2010 Division Series to them? (In fairness, they lost in ’06 to Oakland.)
-Did you know that apart from his 2009 MVP year, Joe Mauer has never hit more than 13 homers in a season, and hasn’t hit more than 11 since Target Field opened?
-Anyone else remember this commercial with Brad Radke?
Chicago White Sox (67-95, 4th in AL Central)
-Is James Shields really their ace now?
-Did you know that Jose Abreu, creator of the Venezuelan El Sistema musical education system, passed away on Monday and that popped up as I was checking Jose Abreu, first baseman for the White Sox, and his stats?
-So, the prospects are going to start panning out now, right?
Kansas City Royals (80-82, 3rd in AL Central)
-Man, Mike Moustakas really should’ve taken that qualifying offer at the beginning of free agency, shouldn’t he have?
-Do you think that that’s going to be a more frequent thing after the collapse in the market due to the lack of parity in baseball (and most sports) meaning only a handful of teams have a chance to win it all this year and the rest will tank, and those who do have the best chance of competing this year hanging onto their purse strings for next year’s free agency crop and a reset to their luxury tax surcharges?
-Why isn’t Jon Jay, aka The Federalist, on the Nationals?
Detroit Tigers (64-98, 5th in AL Central)
-Was last year’s sub-.800 OPS (on base plus slugging) the sign that 34-year-old Miguel Cabrera is declining from his status as an elite hitter or can he have a bounce-back season?
-Is Shane Greene seriously the closer, and considering that the Tigers have had bullpen issues for at least the last decade does it really matter?
-Are you excited that the Tigers’ cap D and jersey D are finally going to match?
Houston Astros (101-61, won AL West, won World Series over LAD)
-How many games is new addition Gerritt Cole going to win, considering he’s the 4th starter on this team that retained most of its championship offense?
-Is last year’s American League MVP (Jose Altuve) even going to be the most valuable player on this team this year (or is it going to be his double play partner Carlos Correa)?
-When can/will Marwin Gonzalez get traded/sign with Miami?
Los Angeles Angels (no longer of Anaheim of California of… you get the joke) (80-82, 2nd in AL West)
-Did you know that of all qualified players, the lowest WAR (wins above replacement) in all of baseball last year belonged to Albert Pujols, with a -2.0? (That means he was 2 full wins WORSE than what you’d expect from a replacement-level player; stat courtesy of Fangraphs)
-I didn’t draft him in either of my leagues, but how is Shohei Ohtani being both a pitcher and a DH going to work in fantasy baseball?
-At what point does Mike Trout go Bugs Bunny vs. Gashouse Gorillas?
Seattle Mariners (78-84, T-3rd in AL West)
-Is this the year that Felix Hernandez loses his status as the ace of the M’s staff, considering James Paxton had a better, more productive, and slightly more injury-free year?
-Isn’t it great that Ichiro returned to Seattle, even though he’s more than likely not going to get a chance to play in America until he’s 50? (He is currently 44.)
-Is Robinson Cano seriously 35 years old, with close to 2,400 hits? Could he get to 3,000?
Texas Rangers (78-84, T-3rd in AL West)
-How does Roughned Odor feel considering his favorite punching bag still doesn’t have a team?
-How does Joey Gallo feel about playing baseball, considering he’s dead?
-How does Delino DeShields feel about playing again since he had such a long hia… oh wait, it’s his son.
Oakland Athletics (75-87, 5th in AL West)
-How in the hell has Khris Davis hit 85 home runs in his last two seasons in Oakland, even from being last year’s leader in barrels (types of balls hit with a certain angle and velocity off the bat) not currently wearing pinstripes?
-When will Dustin Fowler finally get that long-awaited first at-bat after he suffered a gruesome patellar tendon injury his first inning in the outfield last season?
-Does Marcus Semien get as many or more chuckles from/at his name than Trevor Siemian?
Washington Nationals (97-65, won NL East, lost in NLDS to CHC)
-Is this the year Bryce Harper, for all he has done thus far, just goes absolutely nuts since it’s a contract year?
-Is this the year Anthony Rendon gets some love because he was tied for the highest WAR (according to Fangraphs) in the National League?
-Is this the year that the Washington Nationals franchise finally gets more collective at-bats in the NLCS than the members of this website put together? (Note: I said Washington Nationals and not Montreal Expos.)
Atlanta Braves (72-90, 3rd in NL East)
-How many days will Ronald Acuña have in the minors just so the Braves can get an extra year of arbitration eligibility on him?
-How will the young middle infield combo of Dansby Swanson and Ozzie Albies fare in their second years in the bigs?
-Rex Brothers: Most soap opera-y name in baseball?
New York Mets (70-92, 4th in NL East)
-How many consecutive turns around will that rotation be healthy for at the start of the year? (Wait, Jason Vargas is already hurt.)
-Well isn’t it better they got the annual starting pitcher injury out of the way early this season?
-Speaking of annual injuries, are we all in agreement that David Wright should probably unfortunately hang them up?
Philadelphia Phillies (66-96, 5th in NL East)
-What is Rhys Hoskins going to do for an encore after last year’s 50-game spurt?
-Did they of all teams seriously give Jake Arrieta a three-year deal for a shitload of money?
-Did they give Scott Kingery a six-year extension without him playing an inning?
Miami Marlins (77-85, 2nd in NL East)
-Not so easy owning a Big League team, is it, Jeets?
-You think he’s going to go nuts by Memorial Day because he was never on a team this bad as a player?
-Who gets traded first, Justin Bour, Starlin Castro, or JT Realmuto?
Chicago Cubs (92-70, won NL Central, lost to LAD in NLCS)
-Has not being the “same ol’ Cubs” while not being the defending champs changed the public’s feeling about the Small Bears?
-Does it feel like Kyle Schwarber has to have a bounce-back this season after hitting .211 last year?
-Can we have a “Jon Lester throws to first” counter somewhere at Wrigley?
Milwaukee Brewers (86-76, 2nd in NL Central)
-Did anyone piece together where the Brewers came from last year to make the run that they did at the playoffs?
-Since Ryan Braun’s apparently going to play first against lefties, who will be the odd man out in the outfield against righties: Braun, Christian Yelich, Lorenzo Cain, or Domingo Santana?
-Speaking of Braun, why did he get off in the public eye relatively scot-free for his steroid suspension, considering he got a judge fired?
St. Louis Cardinals (83-79, 3rd in NL Central)
-How will Paul DeJong fare in his second season, after finishing a not-so-close runner-up to the Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger?
-Is Yadier Molina going to get more rest over the course of the season, given that he’s a 35-year-old catcher?
-Do you think Tommy Pham gets “Sup, Pham?” wherever he goes?
Cincinnati Reds (68-94, 5th in NL Central)
-Is Raisel Iglesias the best closer in the game that you’ve never heard of?
-How the hell does Joey Votto do it, posting his second .450+ on-base in the last three years while playing all 162?
-Why was Billy Hamilton’s on-base last year under .300 and how is that possible with his ludicrous speed?
Pittsburgh Pirates (75-87, 4th in NL Central)
-Well, the ride of “being good enough to lose in the Wild Card Game” was fun while it lasted, right?
-It’s not going to take another 15 years or so to make the playoffs, is it?
-Is this kind of a “put up or shut up” year for Jameson Taillon?
Los Angeles Dodgers (104-58, won NL West, won NL pennant, lost in World Series to HOU)
-It’s been two years in a row that Clayton Kershaw’s missed a significant portion of time due to injury, and he’s 30, so people should probably worry about that, right?
-How many people do you think were put off when Enrique Hernandez went nuts last postseason and people just started posting just his nickname on their social medias in all caps, sans accent?
-…Am I allowed to make that joke?
Arizona Diamondbacks (93-69, 2nd in NL West, won Wild Card, lost in NLDS to LAD)
-All that effort and three-team dealing to get Steven Souza, Jr. and he’s on the DL to start the year?
-Archie Bradley’s a cult hero now after that triple, is that a good assumption?
-How were the holidays at the Avila household, considering Alex (current catcher for the D-Backs) was traded from Detroit to Chicago and his father, Al, is the GM of the Tigers?
Colorado Rockies (87-75, 3rd in NL West, won Wild Card, lost in Wild Card Game to ARI)
-Rocktober: Best postseason marketing, or greatest postseason marketing?
-Also isn’t it important to extol the values of classic rock? I told one of my violin students I was playing Led Zeppelin for a wedding recessional AND SHE DIDN’T KNOW WHO THEY WERE!
-Something about if rookie 1B Ryan McMahon can add length to the middle of the order of Arenado, Gonzalez, and “He Hits, He Fields, He’s” Trevor Story?
San Francisco Giants (64-98, 5th in NL West)
-After finishing 40 (forty!) games behind the Dodgers, whose idea was it that this team needed Evan Longoria and Andrew McCutchen and to get older?
-And didn’t that idea just blow up spectacularly after Madison Bumgarner fractured his pitching hand in a spring training game (which is improvement from last year’s injury) and Jeff Samardzija strained a pectoral muscle, meaning that the Giants are without two of their three best starters for at least the first month of the season, and Bumgarner more (6-8 weeks)?
-Do you think they should just have Hunter Strickland pitch to Bryce Harper from now on? (See above.)
San Diego Padres (71-91, 4th in NL West)
-Dear MLB GMs, If you hate Eric Hosmer so much, why don’t you just send him to San Diego? Wait, that happened.
-But why did they even sign him if they had Wil Myers slated to be at first for the foreseeable future, and now has to move to the outfield?
-Other than Low Commander… does anyone care, at least until the new unis come in 2020 or so? (Sorry buddy.)
Oh, you want playoff and award things too? Um.
AL MVP: Carlos Correa, HOU
AL Cy Young: Chris Sale, BOS
AL Rookie of the Year: Shohei Ohtani, LAA (all he has to do is be semi-cromulent in both things)
NL MVP: Bryce Harper, WAS
NL Cy Young: Max Scherzer, WAS
NL Rookie of the Year: Ronald Acuña, ATL
AL Playoffs: Boston over Los Angeles; Houston over Boston, New York over Cleveland
ALCS: Houston over New York (As much as I hate it, the Astros will benefit from being more better than the Angels than the Yankees are over the Red Sox, netting them the 1 seed and Game 7. That’s… kinda English, right?)
NL Playoffs: Arizona over Milwaukee; Arizona over Washington (and the Bryce Harper era ends without them winning a playoff series!), Chicago over Los Angeles
NLCS: Chicago over Arizona
World Series: Houston over Chicago
The good news is I was completely wrong about my preseason picks last year, so don’t put Hippo’s money on it. The bad news is the best team from last year managed to get better. It’s admittedly hard to repeat though, the last time it happened was the 1998-2000 Yankees, so it’s been a while. SI has the Nats over the Yanks, by the ways, completely forgetting the above Nationals never getting past the first round thing. But at least I didn’t pick a rematch of last year’s Series this time! And also ESPN picks the same thing, apparently so shit, well this’ll obviously be wrong now. Oh well, not like I get paid to give this advice. Anyway, one thing to do…
Y’know Hidalgo, you’re right. First put your cap on, then?
(Hey, his name is Mr. Hyunh and he’s a fantastic character!)