Baseball season, baby!

For reasons that I can't quite encapsulate, I am a die hard Mariners fan. Every year I count down the days until the season opener, and I follow the team faithfully until--usually sometime near the end of the summer--they crush my heart and soul through their ineptitude.

But this year...this year will be different! I picked up a brand new gas grill at Home Depot this weekend, I've got a fridge full of beer, my wife is picking up some Official Seattle Mariners Hot Dogs at the store today, I bought my 21-month-old daughter a pink Mariners jersey...the Mariners can't possibly suck this year!

Anyway...anyone else been looking forward to Opening Day? Anyone else harbor an undying love for a team that will probably never make it to the World Series?

I''m skipping baseball this year...and every year until the Home Run records of McGwire, Sosa and Bonds are wiped from the record books.

I''m counting down the days until the NFL draft and then training camp.

BRING HOCKEY BACK!!!!!

I''ve been looking forward to opening day more than usual, but I think it''s more withdrawal from no hockey season <sob> than anything else. It is fun to go out to the Pirates stadium, though-- it''s set up very nicely. While the Pirates have no chance at all of making the World Series, I don''t think they''re the pathetically bad team they used to be, either, so watching them isn''t too painful. Looks like I''ll be over there for a game next week.

"TheGameguru" wrote:

I''m skipping baseball this year...and every year until the Home Run records of McGwire, Sosa and Bonds are wiped from the record books.

I hear you, man. I just pretend that they never happened. It''s all about Ichiro and his record for most hits in the regular season! [size=7]...which is all the more remarkable when you look at how many games the M''s lost last year...[/size]

"Podunk" wrote:

I hear you, man. I just pretend that they never happened. It''s all about Ichiro and his record for most hits in the regular season! [size=7]...which is all the more remarkable when you look at how many games the M''s lost last year...[/size]

I have been SO looking forward to opening Day. The air seems claner this morning and the sun brighter.

[size=7]Oh and let''s not forget that Ichiro needed 8 more games to brake the hits record.[/size]

It''s regular season hits, man! Sure, there''s another record for most hits in regular season + playoffs...but I''d rather not think about that one...

edit: nice avatar, BTW!

I somewhat follow the Marlins since my brother''s best friend is a die hard Marlins fan and well... I''m Cuban. Can you think of any Cuban who doesn''t love baseball? I surely don''t. I only go to about 1 or 2 games all season and I usually watch the games on tv, but I don''t keep track of stats or anything.

but I don''t keep track of stats or anything.

Then what''s the point?

"Podunk" wrote:

nice avatar, BTW!

Thanks.

I think this''ll be the season that decides the course of baseball for the next decade or so. Will people duck out like Gameguru over what are mostly (outside of Jason Giambi and Alex Sanchez) allegations of steroid abuse, similar to how fans abandoned the game after the strike. Or, will people still come back for more? The Yankee fans last night seemed to forgive and forget Giambi last night, but who knows?

Oh, and as for how I think the divisions will fall this year (Forgive my leaning on the West divisions, since I happen to know the most about them, living out here):

American League

East - New York Yankees Yes, this prediction is kind of a day late, but while the World Champion Boston Red Sox lost players in the offseason, the Yankees gained, and gained several good ones, not the least of which is Randy Johnson.

Central - Minnesota Twins The season''s safest bet. The Indians, White Sox, and Tigers are better, but not enough to dethrone the Twinkies.

West - Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, California, United States of America, Planet Earth, Milky Way Galaxy Yes, the jokes about the name change keep coming, but they''ll have the last laugh this season, since they have the best team in baseball. Yes, you read right: best. And they only team they have to worry about in their division is Seattle, but while they have improved with the Beltre deal, it won''t be enough to put them over the top. And the Oakland Athletics? Forget about them; now that their Big Three is down to Barry Zito, the weakest of the old trio, they''ll be scrapping at the bottom with the Texas Rangers.

Wild Card - Boston Red Sox No Pedro, but they still have the most explosive offense in baseball, provided they aren''t facing batting average killers like the Big Unit. Certainly are better than the other second place teams in the league.

National League

East - Atlanta Braves Suprisingly, this was a tough call to make, given how much more competitive the division has become. But, when put up against the Phillies and Mets, they''re the better of the three.

Central - St. Louis Cardinals Another tough call, what with the Houston Astros, but I think the Mark Mulder deal will give the defending National League champs the edge come the fall.

West - San Francisco Giants No, I''m not being a homer. Yes, I''ve heard all the ""San Francisco Geriatrics"" cracks. But, that doesn''t take into account the fact that out of every team in the division, the Giants are the most improved, thanks to deals that brought over Mike Matheney, Omar Vizquel, Armando Benitez, and the biggest of all, Moises Alou. And, guess what folks, the Giants don''t need Barry Bonds. Yes, there''s actually a quality team there without him in the line-up. He can take all the time off he needs; I doubt the Giants will miss him, especially since their competition this year only comes from the apoleptic Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres, who despite all the talk last year couldn''t come through on any of it, and so far, I haven''t seen anything in their off-season dealing to make me think that they''ve changed that.

Wild Card - Houston Astros There was a really good reason they got into the playoffs last year, having nothing to do with either Roger Clemens or the ailing Andy Pettite. It was the same reason they took the Cardinals to the wire in the NLCS last year: their bats. When and if they start swinging for the fences and trotting around the bases, expect this team to leave all the other Wild Card potentials in the dust.

Baseball brought all of this on itself by allowing the steroid thing to go on for far too long. Bud knew EXACTLY what was going on and what he was doing. It made decisions tough for players who didn''t want to do drugs and still wanted to compete. Personally, I dont care about steroids as long as they''re open about it. That said, baseball has always been my favorite sport and I doubt that will change anytime soon. I always look forward to opening day, and the new baseball games of course!

Rat Boy, good picks but I think the Padres will take the NL West this year and Cubs may take the NL Central.

Anyone catch the end of the Reds/Mets game? What are the odds on that one?

Yeah, I was watching it at work. Awesome! And Pedro gets the ND! Can''t ask for more.

West - Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, California, United States of America, Planet Earth, Milky Way Galaxy Yes, the jokes about the name change keep coming, but they''ll have the last laugh this season, since they have the best team in baseball. Yes, you read right: best. And they only team they have to worry about in their division is Seattle, but while they have improved with the Beltre deal, it won''t be enough to put them over the top. And the Oakland Athletics? Forget about them; now that their Big Three is down to Barry Zito, the weakest of the old trio, they''ll be scrapping at the bottom with the Texas Rangers.

You are dead wrong. Zito is a Cy Young winner who had a bad season. He''ll be back in top form, I hate this whole ""the big three"" made it happen. The A''s have a better bullpen this year and picked up Jason Kendel who is fantastic behind the plate. Your precious Angels won the division by ONE GAME! The A''s are going to take the division this year surprising everyone.

fight, FIGHT!

You''re both wrong! The M''s addition of Beltre and Sexson will re-energize the offense that only a few years ago bulldozed through the major leagues to tie the regular season record for wins. Mariners pitching has been looking good in the spring, and Eddie Guardado seems poised to regain his title as one of the most effective closers in baseball. With the leadership of new manager Mike Hargrove, the M''s will be Cahlton Fiskin'' ''em with Louisville fackin'' sluggahs!

"Ulairi" wrote:

Zito is a Cy Young winner who had a bad season. He''ll be back in top form, I hate this whole ""the big three"" made it happen.

Obviously not today, judging by the score of the game going on right now. Zito was the weaker of the three last season, and by a considerable margain. Cy Young winners don''t have seaons like that without having something seriously wrong with them. As for the rest of the pitching team, they aren''t that impressive, except maybe Harden. Bullpen wise, it''s Dotel, that''s it. In that respect, they''re like the Dodgers, where the only notable pitcher to come out of the pen is Gagne, assuming they ever get in a situation to use him.

You can ""hate"" the big three thing all you want, but the bottom line is that great starting pitching can make a huge difference, which it did for Oakland every year the three of them started. Almost every World Series championship team for the last decade or so had a starting pitching staff that stood out, each a ""star"" in their own right. The A''s were dead wrong in dealing Mulder and Hudson; even if Zito recovers, he''s only one starter. They need more than one of him if they hope to break their one and out streak in the post-season, assuming they can even catch the Angels or Mariners this year.

The LA team not of LA, on ther other hand, is a completely different story. They''re pitching is superb, and they''re bullpen has the rarity of having a set-up man in K-Rod that''s more feared than the closer. And that''s just pitching; they''re defense and bats are just as good if not better in some spots.

You can ""hate"" the big three thing all you want, but the bottom line is that great starting pitching can make a huge difference, which it did for Oakland every year the three of them started. Almost every World Series championship team for the last decade or so had a starting pitching staff that stood out, each a ""star"" in their own right. The A''s were dead wrong in dealing Mulder and Hudson; even if Zito recovers, he''s only one starter. They need more than one of him if they hope to break their one and out streak in the post-season, assuming they can even catch the Angels or Mariners this year.

They have a younger staff with a great catcher who will be able to coach them. I would of loved for Mulder and Hudson to still be on the team but the A''s cannot pay the money that they require, maybe if the Giants would let the A''s move to San Jose.

Obviously not today, judging by the score of the game going on right now. Zito was the weaker of the three last season, and by a considerable margain. Cy Young winners don''t have seaons like that without having something seriously wrong with them. As for the rest of the pitching team, they aren''t that impressive, except maybe Harden. Bullpen wise, it''s Dotel, that''s it. In that respect, they''re like the Dodgers, where the only notable pitcher to come out of the pen is Gagne, assuming they ever get in a situation to use him.

Zito was the weaker of the three last season and if he can get some offense support (major problem today) they''ll be fine. Opening day is not a good forcast of the season. I am willing to bet that a Cy Young winner can bounce back at 26, I think you would be to.

"Ulairi" wrote:

They have a younger staff with a great catcher who will be able to coach them.

And that will certainly be the case, if we were talking about the A''s being in a rebuilding year rather than trying to talk them about them contending for the penant. You''re pretty much the only person outside the organization that is. Hell, Podunk just gave some pretty darn good reasons why the Mariners will finish ahead of the A''s this year.

I would of loved for Mulder and Hudson to still be on the team but the A''s cannot pay the money that they require, maybe if the Giants would let the A''s move to San Jose.

I was wondering how long it would take for you to bust out that old tired excuse. Oakland''s problem is that it has the cash, but just doesn''t want to spend it thanks to the dictates of the Moneyball philosophy. Get Billy Beane to stop treating his players like stocks and maybe then they''ll actually keep a star they develop instead of selling them off when their contract''s up.

I am willing to bet that a Cy Young winner can bounce back at 26, I think you would be to.

There are plenty of examples of quality pitchers just coming unglued relatively early in their careers. There isn''t anything to suggest right now that he is or that he can. Zito wouldn''t be the first pitcher to have a brilliant start to their career but then just fade away completely. His problems are now compounded because he''s the sole ace in the line-up.

I was wondering how long it would take for you to bust out that old tired excuse. Oakland''s problem is that it has the cash, but just doesn''t want to spend it thanks to the dictates of the Moneyball philosophy. Get Billy Beane to stop treating his players like stocks and maybe then they''ll actually keep a star they develop instead of selling them off when their contract''s up.

They''ve signed Harden and Chavez to long term deals. They have Crosby building and if all goes well, he''ll be a super star. The A''s do not have the payroll of the Angels. I don''t think they should put up the big dollars until they can get in a new stadium.

And that will certainly be the case, if we were talking about the A''s being in a rebuilding year rather than trying to talk them about them contending for the penant. You''re pretty much the only person outside the organization that is. Hell, Podunk just gave some pretty darn good reasons why the Mariners will finish ahead of the A''s this year.

I think with a deeper bullpen and hopefully someone to hit behind Chavez, they could make a real run. I don''t think they should be discounted because they lost two players. The A''s are in the strongest division in baseball and I wish they were in the NL West but they aren''t.

You''re both wrong! The M''s addition of Beltre and Sexson will re-energize the offense that only a few years ago bulldozed through the major leagues to tie the regular season record for wins. Mariners pitching has been looking good in the spring, and Eddie Guardado seems poised to regain his title as one of the most effective closers in baseball. With the leadership of new manager Mike Hargrove, the M''s will be Cahlton Fiskin'' ''em with Louisville fackin'' sluggahs!

Sexon is overrated and a jerk. He won''t hit more than 30/80.

You''re all wrong... my team of rats and... um... beagels, yeah beagels, will win the World Series.

"jmdanny" wrote:

You''re all wrong... my team of rats and... um... beagels, yeah beagels, will win the World Series.

Hmmm... sounds like a Pirates fan.

Another year to be dissapointed by the Rays..pfth.

"Ulairi" wrote:

They have Crosby building and if all goes well, he''ll be a super star.

And''ll fetch quite a lot of draft picks when he''s traded before his contract comes up.

"TheGameguru" wrote:

I''m counting down the days until the NFL draft and then training camp.

BRING HOCKEY BACK!!!!!

I am with you!

Jacksonville, FLA is dead to me.

And now ya lost me.

In the time between now and the draft, NFL Europe on NFL Network is holding me over.

Professional hockey in America is dead. Have your wake and funeral and move on.

"Rat Boy" wrote:

Professional hockey in America is dead. Have your wake and funeral and move on.

*looks at your icon*

BONDS IS A ROID RAGER OMFG CHEATER LOL!!111

Dear God, how long has Vin Scully been like that? He makes Pat Summerall look lively and youthful by comparison.

Now begins my yearly sports ritual. I shall care deeply about the Yankees until the Champions League Semi-Finals. Then I will care again come August. Then i''ll care slightly more about whether Plaxico Burress is or isn''t total crap, based on the playoff situation.

Then i''ll care slightly more about whether Plaxico Burress is or isn''t total crap, based on the playoff situation.

So I assume he was signed by the Giants? I''ve been so out of touch in sports the last month.

(also let''s hijack this thread away from baseball, it makes me feel better about my stupid suck arse baseball team!)

*Puts thread back on topic*

Cardinals are going to kick butt in the NL central this year. I think the Twins are going to have a really good year and should get to the World Series.

I alos think the Yankees should move to Montreal. Better yet, Iceland.