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  1. #1
    Administrator Boss-Hog's Avatar
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    Edskin's bi-monthly column: edition #4

    20 Questions and 20 "Take It the Bank" Answers

    Spring has sprung and that means it's time for baseball. Right now, 30 Major League Baseball teams are tied for first place. On the other hand, 30 teams are also tied for last place. So who's moving up, and who's going to stay put? Who should you watch and who should you avoid? The answers to the biggest questions surrounding baseball and society in general are all right here. So, without further ado……….

    Q: Will the Anaheim Angels repeat as World Series Champions?
    A: The Angels may want to consider upgrading to a "rally gorilla" because that little monkey isn't going to cut it this year. The Angels have a brilliant manager in Mike Scioscia and they get an A+ in the karma/chemistry department, but the "road to repeating" is a rough one, especially for a team that relies more on "magic" than talent. The Angles will put up a fight, but they won't be playing in October.

    Q: What about the Giants? Will they be back?
    A: That sound you heard after Game 6 of the World Series last year was the window shutting on the Giants' chances of becoming world champions. They had it and they blew it. Opposing teams can tread even more lightly around Barry Bonds now that Jeff Kent has departed, and their starting rotation is not as formidable as it was last year. Not only will the Giants not repeat as National League Champions, they may be one of the most disappointing teams in MLB.

    Q: What is a more powerful force: Dusty Baker's will to win or the cosmic alignment that keeps the Cubs from meeting expectations every season?
    A: Baker always seems to get the job done, but it's hard to compete with the moon and the stars. The Cubs will not be in contention this September. In other news, water is wet, the sky is blue, and Michael Jackson is a tad odd.

    Q: Will J-LO and Ben last?
    A: Maybe I'm just fooled by the rocks that she's got, but I don't see this one going to extra innings.

    Q: Who's going to be the worst team in MLB this year?
    A: Unfortunately, there are SEVERAL candidates in 2003. The Devil Rays would be the front-runners, but Lou Pinella could keep them out of the cellar. Kansas City? Milwaukee? San Diego? Very good possibilities. But Detroit is the pick here. Eminem is the hottest thing to come out of the motor city in years-wonder if he can pitch? The Tigers might want to put in a call.

    Q: Is this Ken Griffey Junior's last chance in Cincinnati? If so, will he make the most of it?
    A: Yes and yes. It's now or never for Junior. If he sputters this year, his stay in his hometown is most likely over, and his career will be in serious doubt. It's hard to see him going down without a fight though. He looks healthy and was a force this spring. The energy boost (and short right field porch) at the new Great American Ballpark are also in Junior's favor. Junior will be near the top of the HR list this year and be a legitimate MVP candidate.

    Q: What is the best division in MLB?
    A: The NL East is better than many people think, but no division can touch the AL West. The A's, Angels, and Mariners all have 90-plus win potential and the Rangers aren't a bad team to bring up the rear. This division is the prime example why baseball should eliminate the divisions and simply send the top four teams in each league to the post-season.

    Q: Will the Phillies off-season wheeling and dealing pay off?
    A: Most definitely. Philadelphia has become the popular pick by many "experts" to be the big bust this year, but the pieces of the puzzle are there. Kevin Millwood, Randy Wolf, Vincente Padilla, and Brett Myers form one of the better starting rotations in the league, and Jim Thome adds some serious pop to an already decent line-up. The Phillies will challenge the Braves and make the post-season.

    Q: So, who will be the big bust this year?
    A: St. Louis could go south this season. They will be able to score runs consistently, but their line-up can't afford many injuries. The starting rotation could be a huge problem. Brett Tomko has been a bust for three teams, now that he's with the Cardinals he all of sudden has his "potential" back? Not buying it. Aside from Matt Morris, there isn't a pitcher on their staff (including the bullpen) that strikes fear into opposing batter's hearts. The Cardinals may be aided by the fact that the Central division doesn't have any clearly established threats, but St. Louis could still wind up right around the .500 mark this year.

    Q: Any Darkhorses?
    A: MLB is nothing like the NFL or even the NBA-what you see in baseball is pretty much what you get. The Angels were a rare, and refreshing, surprise last season, but don't count on that happening again. The division winners will look very similar, if not identical, to the way they did last year. If you must search for a real sleeper, Toronto might be a good place to look in the American League. In the NL, Cincinnati and Colorado could contend if luck is on their side.

    Q: Will the Braves miss Tom Glavine?
    A: Not really. The Braves had an excellent off-season, despite losing a vital cog in the Atlanta Pitching Machine. Russ Ortiz and Paul Byrd are both underrated starters that could easily combine for 30-35 wins. Mike Hampton lost his confidence in Colorado, but who doesn't? He seems like the perfect fit for a Leo Mazzone reclamation project-don't be surprised to see him return to all-star form this year. The Braves also added some nice arms in the bullpen. Ray King is deadly against lefties and Roberto Hernandez is versatile and experienced. Offensively, Robert Fick will fix their problems at first base and the Chipper Jones, Andruw Jones, Gary Sheffield outfield is the best in MLB. Look for the Braves to make it back the World Series in 2003.

    Q: Hootie or Martha?
    A: Who cares. It's a GOLF CLUB. Both parties are clearly overstating the social importance of this issue. Wonder why people are put off by golfing elitists? Wonder why people are put off by left wing, extremist feminists? Look no further than Hootie Johnson and Martha Burke. A complete waste of time.

    Q: Will Oakland get over the first round hump this year?
    A: It's now or never. The A's have incredible talent up and down their roster. The Zito-Mulder-Hudson one-two-three punch is totally devastating. The A's will win 100 games this year and finally shake the ghosts of post-seasons past by winning a first round series. However, if the Yankee come calling in the ALCS, that may be too big of a wall for the young guns to climb.

    Q: Speaking of the Yankees, any chance the Red Sox will dethrone them in the AL East?
    A: Yes, and Vin Diesel is going to win Best Actor for "XXX Part 2." The Yankees are refreshed and have added some hungry players with something to prove. Tampa Bay and Baltimore provide New York with a consistent punching bag in their division, and they will cruise to yet another division crown. The Red Sox will manage to beat out the Mariners, White Sox, and Angels for the Wild Card.

    Q: Will the Yankees be the only New York team playing in October?
    A: Well, I guess the Jets, Giants, and Bills will be going at it by then, but the Mets will be watching at home. Mets management needs to realize that their time has passed and stop delaying an all-out youth movement. Glavine provides the Mets with some intrigue and Art Howe could be a good fit, but overall, this is an old, slow, overpaid, over-hyped team. Last place is not out of the question.

    Q: Who is the best designer on "Trading Spaces?"
    A: For practicality Laurie is your best bet, but if you're a little more daring Frank might by your man. However, his seemingly unstoppable sweating problem might be more than your average homeowner could deal with. Edward is a bit too spacey and Genevieve is a bit too wired. There is really only one choice-the name says it all. When you need to fix your room-just "Yip it in the bud." Vern Yip is the smart remodeler's choice.

    Q: Do the Diamondbacks have enough gas in their tank?
    A: Arizona's success depends almost 100% on their two aces: Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson. The once potent Arizona line-up is now tired and old, quite possibly one of the worst in the league. But as long as the two big guns are firing away, Arizona remains the favorite out west. Schilling has shown signs of slowing down just a tad, but Johnson seems to get more unhittable by the day. Unless one of these two suffers a major injury in the coming months, the Diamondbacks will find themselves in the post-season yet again.

    Q: What about Minnesota?
    A: The Twins will repeat as division champions, but they won't be significantly better than they were last year-not improved enough to win the American League. The payroll is catching up to this team after this season, which is truly a shame because the Twins are a picture perfect example of how to build from within. The fact that everyone knows this team will be blown up in 9 months is still the number one problem facing MLB.

    Q: Will the fans enjoy the season more now that the labor mess has been resolved?
    A: With no threat of a strike looming, fans, players, writers, etc. can all focus on the games on the field, which is undoubtedly good for the game. However, if the small market teams are all out of the race by mid-May once again (and it looks as if they will be), the grumbling will still be quite evident. Seeing the Braves, Yankees, and Cardinals atop the standings creates some good national story lines and generates high levels on interest from fans in those markets, but MLB will continue to lose fans, as long as the teams in Milwaukee, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Detroit, San Diego, etc. continue to circle the drain. Blame it on the owners, blame it on the Commissioner, blame it on the rain, it doesn't matter-it simply needs to be remedied. When 50% of your fans feel their team has NO chance before the season even starts, it's hard to progress into the future.

    Q: Finally, who's going to win it all?
    A: The Yankees haven't won the World Series in two years-how the city of New York has survived is a mystery to behold. Tense New Yorker's will be able to relax once again this year though, as New York will outlast the A's in the ALCS. In the NL, the Braves will discover the heart they've been lacking in past post-seasons and take down Arizona in the NLCS. Atlanta will put up a valiant effort in the Fall Classic, but the Yankees will once again regain the title of World Champions. The "drought" will end.

    Predictions:
    (number to the right is how many games out of first the team will finish)

    AL East:

    Yankees
    Red Sox 6 (Wild Card)
    Blue Jays 12
    Orioles 27
    Devil Rays 40

    AL Central:

    Twins
    White Sox 5
    Indians 13
    Royals 25
    Tigers 38

    AL West:

    A's
    Mariners 7
    Angels 8
    Rangers 21

    A's over Red Sox
    Yankees over Twins

    Yankees over A's


    NL East:

    Braves
    Phillies (Wild Card) 2
    Marlins 8
    Mets 11
    Expos 16

    NL Central:

    Astros
    Cardinals 1
    Reds 6
    Cubs 7
    Pirates 10
    Brewers 33

    NL West:

    Diamondbacks
    Dodgers 4
    Giants 9
    Rockies 15
    Padres 41

    Diamondbacks over Phillies
    Braves over Astros

    Braves over Diamondbacks

    World Series:

    Yankees over Braves in 7 games.

  2. #2
    Dunnilicious creek14's Avatar
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    Ed, I just have to wonder... between the TV games posted on the wall, the time devoted to Nick at Night, being a closet Trading Spaces fan ( ), and taking the time to write these Red Stormian in length posts, well when do you find time to do those newlywed things?

    You know like help with the dishes, take the garbage out, grocery shop, stuff like that. :evilgrin:

    BTW, my vote goes to "Sweeeeet" Vern.
    Will trade this space for a #1 starter.

  3. #3
    Member TeamCasey's Avatar
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    Now these are some bold predictions to archive!

    Love these columns, Edskin.

    BTW, I'd only let Vern or Genevieve into my house. Frank if it was a kid's room. Nice to see another addict.
    Pots and Kettles

  4. #4
    Member TeamCasey's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Edskin
    Hmmmm.... didn't think I was still considered a "newlywed"-- when does that come to an end?
    When she says, "Catch me, catch me!"

    And you respond, "Can I catch you tomorrow? The game is on."
    Pots and Kettles

  5. #5
    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
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    The battle will soon be joined in he Tucker household.

    I have surrendered the TV remote to the Tucker female contingent (spousal unit, 2 daughters) who have turned the TV into "Trading Spaces, Every day, All day". It feels like there is a Trading Spaces Channel these days. It did give me a chance to catch up on my reading.

    However, Baseball is now starting and the Reds games will be on the tube. And if there is one absolute in this universe, it is The Reds Games On TV Shall Be Watched.

    It's one against three, but I'm a lot bigger, uglier, and stupider. Hope I come out alive. Wish me luck...

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    Ed, I apologize for trivializing what is otherwise a terrific column and turning it into a Trading Spaces discussion. But I agree Vern is the top designer for putting together rooms that I like. But as for designers who I always want to see on the show, Doug gets my vote there. First he is unbelievably arrogant, and rarely takes any input from "his team." Plus he's so out there with his designs there is a good chance you're going to see the homeowners breakdown at the end of the show. It's like knowing a 5 car pileup is coming and you're in the perfect place to see it.

  7. #7
    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Nice job, Edskin. Very enjoyable read.
    The Rally Onion wants 150 fans before Opening Day.

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rally-...24872650873160

  8. #8
    Oy Vey! Red in Chicago's Avatar
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    laurie is horrible. she ALWAYS takes down the ceiling fans:mad: look, if it's hot and i don't feel like turning the air conditioning on, i want to be able to turn on the ceiling fan, not some five and dime antique light that she spray painted some horrible color. and then those fabrics that she always uses...oh don't get me started

  9. #9
    Worth The Wait
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    I was afraid the Trading Spaces question might cause a stir

    I actually am not a big fan of the show. My wife LOVES it and I've sort of learned by osmosis.

    As always everyone, thanks for taking the time to read.

  10. #10
    Worth The Wait
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    Hmmmm.... didn't think I was still considered a "newlywed"-- when does that come to an end?

    I ruffle my wife's feathers from time to time with my sports obessesion, which has also now blossomed a semi sports message board obsession, but overall, I'm pretty smart about it.

    I plan ahead. That's the key. Sometimes, WAY ahead. I look at the sports schedules, then I look at our "life" schedule, I look at our work schedules, etc..... then I figure out how to make her happy enough while still getting to watch the games.

    Out of 162 games, I'll get about 115 or so on TV here. That means there's 47 days right there, not including days off, for us to do some stuff. Then, I simply tape the games when life gets in the way!

    But the bottom line is that she married me knowing full well what she was getting into. I switch seemlessly from football to basketball to baseball, so it's really never-ending for her. The key is to be sure and make time. For exmaple, let's say we play at Houston at 7:00 (Central time)--- I may come home from work and then take her out to eat (her FAVORITE pastime) and get home in time to watch the game-- everyone's happy.

    Plan ahead, be creative. That's my key.

  11. #11
    Worth The Wait
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    I must admit that there is a little bit of wishful thinking in my overall assesment of the Cards, but I stand by my thoughts on Tomko. Does St. Louis have a magic wand or something? It's happened before, so we'll see, but I watched that guy implode too many times to give him the benefit of the doubt.

  12. #12
    Gives Professional AtBats
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    I totally agree on the Tomko issue, Ed. If this was his second team, I'd be more inclined to think he could have a breakout year. However, this is his 4th team (Reds, M's, Fathers), and he hasn't done anything consistantly, except underachieve. I hate to break it to ya, Matty, but I see Tomko in the pen after a month or so.
    Potential: Latin for "Ain't Done Nuthin' Yet"

  13. #13
    Member MattyHo4Life's Avatar
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    Great column Edskin! Of course I whole heartedly disagree with your point regarding the Cards and Tomko, but we'll revisit that issue in a month or so

  14. #14
    Member MattyHo4Life's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Edskin
    Does St. Louis have a magic wand or something? It's happened before, so we'll see, but I watched that guy implode too many times to give him the benefit of the doubt.
    Yep...Dave Duncan is our magician

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    Vern Yip is the smart remodeler's choice
    Yep, he's awesome. I love how he's able to:

    score on a double (coat of paint) off the wall (or on, for that matter).

    So, if Yip is the TLC MVP, does that make:

    Laurie the workhorse hometown utility player? (Super Joe McEwing)

    Is Frank the flamboyant former All-Star attempting to regain his once-mighty swing (wink, wink)? (Dave Parker)

    Edward would then become the reliever with a mind numbed by too many hot dogs with too much time on his hands, right? (Bill Lee)

    Would Genevieve be the headcase former phenom struggling to gain mastery at the big league level? (Brett Tomko)

    Or maybe it's that Opening Day is just a few hours away and the only thing on my mind is the crack of the plaster-- I mean, bat, the roar of the homeowner-- darn, I mean crowd, and the smell of wet paint-- sh!t, I meant freshly cut grass.

    I think I need to go to bed now....
    "You can learn little from victory. You can learn everything from defeat."
    -- Christy Matthewson
    "Show me a good loser and I'll show you an idiot."
    -- Leo Durocher


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