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Thread: Make your pick - Which MLB team(s) will be the biggest flops & biggest surprises

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    Smells Like Teen Spirit jmcclain19's Avatar
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    Make your pick - Which MLB team(s) will be the biggest flops & biggest surprises

    Here is your chance to make your case for which MLB club will be the biggest flop and the biggest surprise this year.

    Since I'm starting this thread, I'll step to the plate first.

    My call for stinking up the joint - the Los Angeles Dodgers. If you listen to the likes of Peter Gammons, the Dodgers are likely set for a run at 90+ wins and could run away with the NL West. This is based on the vetern signings of new GM Ned Coletti and their strong bullpen. This will turn out to be a house of cards. Gagne is still nursing it, Brazoban is hurting, and Baez may have to do things on his own, closing games in a big market for the first time. Their new CF hasn't had 400AB in five seasons. Their RF is top flight when he's healthy, which is rarely ever. Their 1B has a glass groin and they are seriously considering giving the significant playing time at catcher to the soon to be 40 years old Sandy Alomar Jr. IMO - it's a trainwreck just waiting to happen.

    As for who will surprise - I'll stick with the same division. My call is that this year's surprise team will be the Colorado Rockies. Before you call me a total quack, in the last 100 star games of the 2005 season the Rockies had the exact same record as the division winning Padres - 46-54 and had a team ERA of 4.80. Nothing earth shattering, but in that poor division, it could be just enough to make things interesting. Especially considering the Padres made a few puzzling subtractions over the offseason. In Jason Jennings, Jeff Francis and Aaron Cook they have three solid, home grown starters who all have respectable track records at Coors. Kim was also quite effective when he was put back in a starting role. Rumors are that the grounds crew is busy making sure the infield at Coors will resemble the rough at the US Open, which will further help for all those sinkerballers. Ryan Shealy could be another nasty bat out in RF this year, along with Matt Holliday who broke out last year, to go with rookies Clint Barmes and Garrett Atkins who both proved to be solid hitters and of course Todd Helton. That's a lineup that could put lots of runs away from Coors as well. The West again will be a dismal hole for winning baseball, and 82 wins again might net you the title. I'm not saying they will win anything of worth, but they could be close enough to .500 to at least be in the race or make things interesting.

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    Re: Make your pick - Which MLB team(s) will be the biggest flops & biggest surprises

    Biggest Flops - This one is out of left field but I think the A's aren't going to be as high as most people suspect. The other teams in the division have tinkered with their lineups to address some of their shortcomings and I think that Texas's young guns have had another season under their belt so they may move up a position in the division. My prediction for the AL West is Angels, Texas, Mariners and A's.

    Biggest Surprise - I'm rooting for the REDS. AK will show that he is just as good as Dunn and Junior will put in the numbers to show that he is a HOFer. Pitching wise the guys will step up.

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    White Castle to the Nile Crash Davis's Avatar
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    Re: Make your pick - Which MLB team(s) will be the biggest flops & biggest surprises

    I'd feel a lot better about the Rockies if they went out and got a real centerfielder in the offseason. Cory Sullivan? That's terrible. I also think Luis Gonzalez, while he's been better than advertised, should continue to be the utility man rather than being counted on to hold down 2B full time. He's a pretty poor fielder, and his offensive numbers don't look quite as good after factoring in Coors Field. I agree on Shealy though. If he can make the transition to the outfield, it would help the Rockies offense a lot. He can mash. In the end, I think the Rockies just don't have the offense to compete. Too many holes in the lineup.

    I've been a big fan of all of Schuerholz's offseasons until this year. I've always been extremely impressed with his ability to lose key players and retool by thinking outside the box. However, I have a bad feeling about the Braves this year. Giles is great, but they're going to really miss Furcal as an instigator at lead-off. LaRoche can't play against lefties, and they didn't replace Franco's platoon bat there (I'm wondering if they should play Betemit at 3B against lefties and move Chipper over to 1B on those days). Most importantly, their bullpen isn't just missing a reliable closer, they're also missing the rest of the pen as well. The Braves usually have a few question marks going into the season, but they also normally have intriguing and talented answers to those questions. I'm not sure that's the case this season. I think the Braves are going to disappoint. Luckily they still have plenty of young talent, so they should be back again next year if they address their weaknesses.

    I also think the Giants are too old, the Cards are weaker and the Phillies got worse instead of better. The Nats will struggle to score runs. The Mets offense is going to be dynamic. And the Brewers are a very frisky team. I'll be watching them often this season.
    "I fought because I understood and could not bear to understand, that it was my destiny -- unlike that of my father, whose fate it was to hear the roar of the crowd -- to sit in the stands with most men and acclaim others. It was my fate, my destiny, my end, to be a fan."

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    Re: Make your pick - Which MLB team(s) will be the biggest flops & biggest surprises

    Red Sox as my biggest fall of the season. Losing Damon and Renteria will be more than they can handle. Plus they didn't really upgrade their pitching very much. I can see them falling to fourth place this season in the AL east.
    Reds,of course, as the biggest surprise. New ownership and GM will give them a shot of confidence that hasn't been seen in Cincinnati in years. At least I hope so.
    Reds Fan Since 1971

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    Re: Make your pick - Which MLB team(s) will be the biggest flops & biggest surprises

    Biggest Flop: Oakland A's

    Biggest Suprise: Cincinnati Reds

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    White Castle to the Nile Crash Davis's Avatar
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    Re: Make your pick - Which MLB team(s) will be the biggest flops & biggest surprises

    Quote Originally Posted by cumberlandreds
    Red Sox as my biggest fall of the season. Losing Damon and Renteria will be more than they can handle. Plus they didn't really upgrade their pitching very much. I can see them falling to fourth place this season in the AL east.
    Reds,of course, as the biggest surprise. New ownership and GM will give them a shot of confidence that hasn't been seen in Cincinnati in years. At least I hope so.
    I disagree with this. I think the Red Sox are in much better shape than they're getting credit for. Didn't upgrade their pitching? They traded for a young ace who already has a World Series MVP under his belt (Beckett) while losing nobody from their rotation. Additionally, they get the return of a healthy Schilling...not to mention an electric young arm in Papelbon waiting in the wings. In the bullpen, Foulke figures to be much improved from last season. To get to Foulke, they upgraded from Harville, Bradford an injured Mantei and a bunch of question marks to good veterans in Riske, Tavarez, Seanez and a cadre of intriguing young arms: Craig Hansen, Papelbon, Manny Delcarmen, Van Buren, Lenny Dinardo. This an incredibly deep and talented pitching staff. They're not only more talented than last season, but they also have many more options this season.

    Fielding: They've improved significantly at shortstop, and Snow/Youkilis gives them a slight upgrade at first base over Millar. They're pretty much the same everywhere else. Mueller was a pretty good 3B, but Lowell is reigning gold glove winner in the NL.

    Offense: Downgrade at shortstop, but Renteria wasn't all that great last year anyway. Gonzalez can hit 9th and pop 20 HRs. Upgrade at 2B. Loretta is a very good #2 hitter. Possible upgrade at 3B. It always amazes me how quickly good players get written off after one bad season. It wasn't too long ago that Mike Lowell was being talked about as a possible MVP candidate, and now he's completely lost it? I don't buy it...bounce back year for Mikey. Upgrade at 1B. Millar was horrendous last season. Youk is an OB machine, and Snow is a steady platoon partner. Centerfield could be a wash. Damon should get the benefit of the doubt for being a great lead-off hitter over the past several seasons, but Coco could surprise in this line-up.

    I think the Red Sox are the class of the AL East this season. The Yanks just don't have the starting pitching (of course, they can just buy it come July).
    "I fought because I understood and could not bear to understand, that it was my destiny -- unlike that of my father, whose fate it was to hear the roar of the crowd -- to sit in the stands with most men and acclaim others. It was my fate, my destiny, my end, to be a fan."

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    RaisorZone Raisor's Avatar
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    Re: Make your pick - Which MLB team(s) will be the biggest flops & biggest surprises

    Quote Originally Posted by Nugget
    My prediction for the AL West is Angels, Texas, Mariners and A's.

    .

    I'm a big Mariners fan, so I hate he Angels, Texas, and especially the A's.

    But.

    The A's are going to be scary good this year. My Mariners are going to be gawd awful.

    There's no way the A's come in after the M's. It'll be the A's and the Angels fighting it out all year.
    "But I do know Joey's sister indirectly (or foster sister) and I have heard stories of Joey being into shopping, designer wear, fancy coffees, and pedicures."

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    Joe Oliver love-child Blimpie's Avatar
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    Re: Make your pick - Which MLB team(s) will be the biggest flops & biggest surprises

    NL

    Biggest Surprise: Milwaukee Brewers--possible wildcard? It'll be tough, but they laid the groundwork last year to be an contender this year.

    Biggest Flop: I kinda agree with the Atlanta Braves. Other than losing Furcal, they didn't do much in the winter--while the Mets got much stronger. Philly may even finish ahead of Atlanta.

    AL

    Biggest Surprise: Toronto Blue Jays. Personally, I think they overpaid at many positions, but they tightened up a few weaknesses during the winter. Not going to win the division, but could be there in the end for a wild card.

    Biggest Flop: I'll also say the Boston Red Sox. I don't think that losing Damon will be near as damaging because they were able to trade for Crisp. However, they really need to be concerned about their pitching (especially if Beckett starts off slow). I think Foulke is still a big question mark.
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    Puffy's Daddy Red Leader's Avatar
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    Re: Make your pick - Which MLB team(s) will be the biggest flops & biggest surprises

    I completely agree with Blimpie in the NL.

    Surprise: Brewers
    Flop: Braves

    In the AL, however:

    AL Surprise: Indians, Twins

    AL Flop: Blue Jays and Red Sox.
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    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Re: Make your pick - Which MLB team(s) will be the biggest flops & biggest surprises

    Even though lots of people are rooting against them, the A's will be very good -- just like every year. Zito/Harden/Haren is a great trio, and their bullpen is solid. They had problems scoring runs early last season, but those problems will be corrected by the addition of Milton Bradley, Frank Thomas, and a full season of Dan Johnson.

    The biggest surprise will be the Brewers. The biggest flop will be the ancient Dodgers.
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    Puffy's Daddy Red Leader's Avatar
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    Re: Make your pick - Which MLB team(s) will be the biggest flops & biggest surprises

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Footstool
    Even though lots of people are rooting against them, the A's will be very good -- just like every year. Zito/Harden/Haren is a great trio, and their bullpen is solid. They had problems scoring runs early last season, but those problems will be corrected by the addition of Milton Bradley, Frank Thomas, and a full season of Dan Johnson.

    The biggest surprise will be the Brewers. The biggest flop will be the ancient Dodgers.
    I think Blanton steps it up big as a #4 as well. Zito/Harden/Haren/Blanton will be a great 1-4.

    ...and I agree the Dodgers will flop as well. I just think the Braves flop will be more surprising.
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    Member Jpup's Avatar
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    Re: Make your pick - Which MLB team(s) will be the biggest flops & biggest surprises

    Flop: White Sox, they will struggle to win 80 games.
    Suprise: Braves, another division title despite what the Mets have done in the offseason.
    "My mission is to be the ray of hope, the guy who stands out there on that beautiful field and owns up to his mistakes and lets people know it's never completely hopeless, no matter how bad it seems at the time. I have a platform and a message, and now I go to bed at night, sober and happy, praying I can be a good messenger." -Josh Hamilton

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    Re: Make your pick - Which MLB team(s) will be the biggest flops & biggest surprises

    The As wouldn't be a surprise. Everyone knows they're solid.

    AL surprise: Toronto

    AL flop: Boston

    NL surprise: Milwaukee

    NL flop: Mets
    "Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini

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    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Make your pick - Which MLB team(s) will be the biggest flops & biggest surprises

    The As wouldn't be a surprise. Everyone knows they're solid.
    Except Nugget, Nugget has a low opinion of the A's... it's like a nervous tick that can't be hidden.

    Right Nugget?

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    Puffy 3:16 Puffy's Avatar
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    Re: Make your pick - Which MLB team(s) will be the biggest flops & biggest surprises

    So whats a surprise/flop with regard to the A's? I say that won't win 90 games this year - I figure they will be 88-74 so if thats a flop then thats what I say. If thats not considered a flop (which I don't conisder it that) then so be it.

    I think the White sox flop this year - too hard to repeat, and I think the Indians and the Twins and the Sox end up in a three way dogfight all year long, with the sox not even making the playoffs.

    In the NL I think the Mets are the surprise, winning over 95 games and running away and hiding much like the White Sox did last year.

    As for surprise player - Kris Benson with the O's wins over 17 games with an era under 3.50.
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