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thehed's national league preview


National League Preview

West

1. Padres 88-74
In the follow up to an end of season meltdown, blamed fully by most, on legendary closer Trevor Hoffman, the Pads return a strong well rounded club. Losing Milton “lunatic behavior the board game” Bradley and replacing him with Jim Edmonds will not change much for an offense that has had challenges in recent years. It will however add a center fielder who can make routine outs into highlight reel material, so that’s exciting. The strength has always been pitching, and with two top of the rotation quality guys in Jake Peavy and Chris Young, plus one of the best bullpens in the league (despite last year’s melt down), this team looks to continue their recent successes and compete for the division title. In the end, barring another miracle finish by any division opponent, they look to squeak out the division.

2. Rockies 86-76
After last year’s miracle run, anything less would seem more probable. However, this team has a lineup that can flat out put fear into a pitching staff when they are hot. The West as a whole however, has the most solid pitching top to bottom in the NL. As a result, the Rox will not likely win the division with so many road games in pitcher’s parks. Troy Tulowitzki had a breakout season, and Matt Holiday is a full blown superstar. Big questions however, include the whole pitching staff in a ball park like Coors Canaveral, and can Helton summon the power of the bushy goatee and keep it going another year? Unfortunately for everybody else this team is chalked full of good boys who never produce any interesting media material, they could use a few more douche bags to spice things up a bit on the national stage.

3. Dodgers 82-82
This team has disappointed for the better part of the last 20 years. Only the worthless Cubs have pissed away seasons after being a top salary spender. Andrew Jones seems to be ecstatic upon arrival for a number of reasons. First the bloated contract for a guy that hit .222 a year ago, plus the greater LA area has a plethora of all-you-can eat restaurants as well as more strip clubs than he can shake his dick at. In addition, the management is calling back Paul LoDuca and Eric Gange to see if they have any backup steroid/HGH dealers that can help Nomar resurrect his career, and keep Russell Martin looking like an All Star. This team is a typical LA Bum team, some bright spots, but not well rounded enough to make the playoffs. Similar to the Cubs, no matter how promising the club may look at any point in the season, eventually they will choke on a chicken bone from Andrew Jones’ empty KFC bucket in the clubhouse.

4. Diamondbacks 80-84
Anchored by what could be the finest pitching staff in the West, the Dimebags look to get back into the playoffs. News Flash: it isn’t going to happen. Sure, picking up Dan Haren from the A’s (in exchange for the entire farm system) was a big move, but their lineup is still very weak. A lineup chalked full of average hitters, and void of any legitimate cleanup man, seeing the club win the west while scoring less runs than their opponents again is laughable. Eric Burns, Chris Young and Connor Jackson are all quality hitters, but they hardly strike fear in the hearts of opposing pitching staffs. While an outside chance of the Snakes making a playoff run is not impossible, it certainly seems like a long shot.

5. Giants 64-98
This team blows. As a Giants fan my whole life, it’s sad to see the state of affairs this “Major League” ball club has sunk to. Clearly earning the rival fans moniker, “Gnats,” this club has very little hope of avoiding 100 losses. If there is a potential bright spot, it is certainly the pitching staff anchored by the two very promising young arms of Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum. That ladies and gentlemen, is where the optimism ends. Adding Aaron Rowand wasn’t the worst move ever (worst move ever was Barry Zito’s contract), this does certainly not change the fact that the lineup is chalked full of 2, 7 and 8 hole hitters. With bad contracts, and unproven young talent riddling the position players, this team better hope for a miracle. A miracle that isn’t coming.


NL East

1. NY Mets 94-68
Scoring the best pitcher in major league baseball by virtue of raping the Minnesota Twins, was a nice pickup for General Manager Omar Minaya. With Johan Santana and Pedro Martinez (clearly past his prime, but still a big game pitcher) at the front of the rotation, this team becomes a legitimate contender to challenge any AL team in the World Series. Despite losing Moises Alou to injury in spring training, the Muts lineup is a formidable one to say the least. Jose Reyes, David Wright, Carlos Beltran, and Carlos Delgado are going to be pounding National League pitching. This team will learn from last year’s epic deep throat choke job, and finally achieve their potential.

2. Phillies 90-72
The beneficiaries of the Mets meltdown a year ago, the Phils will be back with a solid lineup, and an above average pitching staff. Coming off an MVP season Jimmy Rollins is in his prime as a rotisserie league monster, will be putting up great stats across the board. Chase Utley and Ryan Howard will have plenty of opportunity for padding the RBI numbers. Questions do loom down the lineup with Pat “I used to be called ‘Pat The Bat’ in college until I have turned into the most inconsistent waste of potential in baseball” Burrell, and Pedro “I swing at slop all day long” Feliz. Cole Hamels looks to build on what seems to be developing into an Ace caliber career, but after he pitches the rest of the rotation is chalked full of question marks. The Phils will beat up a bunch of teams, but just will not have the pitching to make it two division titles in a row over the Mets.

3. Braves 84-78
The top two teams in this division are lay ups to pick, and judging by the horrid nature of the Marlins and Nationals, the Braves are a safe pick to finish in the 3 hole. Old teammates re-unite as Tom Glavine brings his washed up outside corner garbage back to Atlanta to pitch with old vet John Smoltz. In addition, Tim Hudson looks to put together his first solid season outside Oakland in hopes of becoming a front line starter again. Trading in Andrew Jones for Mark Teixiera in the cleanup spot behind Larry “the family man” Jones was a nice upgrade, add in Jeff Francour, who has become a good MLB ball player, and you have a pretty decent lineup. Unfortunately, the Bravos will not have the firepower to compete for a playoff spot.

3. Nationals 73-89
This is not a very good team. John Patterson is a legitimate frontline starter, but the rest of the rotation falls off quite a bit after that with the departure of Krispy Kreame Livan Hernandez. Add in a lineup featuring fellow Krispy Kreamers Nick Johnson and Dimtri Young battling it out for the 1B job, newcomer Paul LoDuca sans steroids, and huge disappointment Felipe Lopez, and you have a below average ball club. These guys will score some runs, but in the NL East they will be giving up plenty.

4. Marlins 68-94
Casting off all their top shelf talent to the Tigers will put a damper on the Marlins’ already questionable hopes. A decent pitching staff anchored by Scott Olsen, the guy with the most hilarious mug shot ever- the one taken after Miami PD stomped a mud hole in his ass. The other starters of note are Sergio Mitre, and Mark Hendrickson, who both can be, well inconsistent at best. Hanley Ramirez and Dan “hey look a white guy with marginal talent can make the All Star game” Uggla start the lineup off well, but it’s pretty much downhill from there. These guys will win some games, but still occupy the cellar at season’s end.


cont...

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"in the early days all i hoped was to make a living out of what i did best. but, since there's no real market for masturbation i had to fall back on my bass playing abilities."

les claypool
3/7/2008, 6:30 pm Link to this post   
 
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Re: thehed's national league preview


NL Central

1. Brewers 86-76
Mr. White wishes he could have lived to see the 2008 Brewers. These guys ran out of gas a year ago after a valiant run at the Central Division title. Winning the Central of late only takes about 83 wins, so this shouldn’t be a problem for this ball club, especially with a schedule full of lay ups in Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. Leading the charge is a monster known as Prince Fielder who has mashed an impressive 79 bombs the past 2 years. Rickie Weeks at 2b is primed for a solid season, and Ryan Braun hitting in front of Fielder could put up All Star numbers. Ben Sheets is one of the best pitchers in the NL if he stays healthy, while Jeff Suppan and Chris Capuano can easily pile up 10+ wins each in this garbage division. After last year’s pennant race experience this young club should be ready to get into the playoffs.

2. Cardinals 83-79
A popular pick here would be the Cubs, but everyone knows they can only be counted on for is coming up short of expectations. The Cards on the other hand, under Tony LaRussa, have found ways to play better than they look on paper. Their pitching staff especially doesn’t look like much on paper with the “Ace” being Adam Wainwright. Rounding out the rotation in the 5 hole and looking to get back his former form is Mark Mulder, who after a myriad of injuries could be a surprise comeback player. The rest of the staff is unimpressive, but with their lineup, they could easily win some high scoring games in the Central. Last year the feel good story of Rick Ankiel turned back into Rick Ankiel is a punching bag for bad jokes (insert your HGH/Steroid joke here). He looks like he will be a solid hitter in the 2 hole, with Albert Poo Holes, Chris Duncan, and fellow juice head Troy Glaus to follow. If healthy, this lineup can put some runs on the board. Look for these guys to win some games but not have enough pitching to overtake the Brewers.

3. Cubs 82-82
While lacking the fortitude to even come in 2nd, the lovable loser Cubs will not slip further down than the 3rd spot in the Central. Carlos Zambrano and Rich Hill are solid starters, and the rest of the starting staff is pretty decent. Somehow, they always seem to blow it at the wrong time. A resurgent year by once dominant Kerry Wood out of the bullpen could help alleviate recent past years bullpen melt downs. Alfonso Soriano, Derek Lee, and Aramis Ramirez are all hammers in the lineup, and will put runs on the board. Unfortunately, to call this club doomed is like saying that the New England Patriots have turned into, “a pretty decent franchise.” No way in hell they get to the post season.

4. Astros 75-87
Imagining a worse year for Roger Clemens would be difficult, but we haven’t got to the criminal trial yet. Don’t expect him suit up for yet another “second half of a season for a full season’s pay.” He is washed up anyway, and would do little to help the already pedestrian starting rotation. Roy Oswalt is a great fantasy baseball pitcher, but he can’t pitch every day, which is what this team will need to get into the playoffs. Hunter Pence looks like a future star, Lance Berkman and Carlos Lee will always put up good numbers. The big question is if new arrival, Miguel Tejada, can re gain his juiced up performance numbers. Likely, he will suck, and they will have wasted a bunch of prospects in yet another franchise debilitating trade. Look for these guys to edge out the garbage time teams for 4th.

5. Reds 72-90
Brining in Dusty Baker to take the reins was a good idea, but can hardly save this perennial loser. Despite the two hammers of Griffey and Dunn, outside Ryan Freel, this lineup sucks. A bunch of never were’s and never will be’s. Aaron Harrang is a decent frontline starter who will get you a bunch of strikeouts for your roto league, but he is a far cry from Cy Young material. In addition, Bronson Arroyo has a funny name and a funny delivery, but not much else. Not even Dusty can save this team from getting mopped up all year long in the Central.

6. Pirates 68-94
The Pittsburgh Pirates, great ball park, great nothing else. It’s difficult to imagine any positives about this team outside Jason bay and X Nady. Rest of the lineup: garbage. Pitching staff: horrid. These guys will rival the Gnats for worst record in the NL. This team will be more beat up than Paris Hilton’s snatch on a Saturday night. Go for the ballpark, never come back.


Wild Card: Phillies
Division Playoff:
Mets over Brewers
Padres over Phillies
National League Championship:
Mets over Padres


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"in the early days all i hoped was to make a living out of what i did best. but, since there's no real market for masturbation i had to fall back on my bass playing abilities."

les claypool
3/7/2008, 6:30 pm Link to this post   
 
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Nice writeup, Although I disagree with a lot of it.

Good read!
3/7/2008, 6:37 pm Link to this post   
 
tehehd Profile
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Re: thehed's national league preview


hey assholes, i need some feedback, i'm submitting this around.

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"in the early days all i hoped was to make a living out of what i did best. but, since there's no real market for masturbation i had to fall back on my bass playing abilities."

les claypool
3/7/2008, 7:15 pm Link to this post   
 
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Re: thehed's national league preview


A little sloppy in the research. Plus, I didn't know that LA, AZ and the Cubs get to play 164 games.
Probably not too far off in some instances.
Overall, a C-.
3/7/2008, 7:36 pm Link to this post   
 
tehehd Profile
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Re: thehed's national league preview


thanks for the input bryan. i did leave out delgado's injury. it wasn't supposed to be too in depth, just some basic comedy and baseball.

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"in the early days all i hoped was to make a living out of what i did best. but, since there's no real market for masturbation i had to fall back on my bass playing abilities."

les claypool
3/7/2008, 7:39 pm Link to this post   
 
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Re: thehed's national league preview


I know. I'm a HF. I just wanted to give you some feedback.
I actually think you're going to be right on many of your predictions!!
3/7/2008, 7:43 pm Link to this post   
 
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The John Patterson line was pretty funny.

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3/7/2008, 7:46 pm Link to this post   
 
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i dont agree about the pads coming in first, their lineup is horrible, almost giants like. dodgers and az should be better this year
3/7/2008, 7:57 pm Link to this post   
 
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I do believe that you have overestimated the Cards' lineup.
3/7/2008, 8:03 pm Link to this post   
 


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