Pinstripe Alley, HAPPY OPENING DAY!
Also, this will be the first Yankee home opener as long as some of us can remember without Freddy "Sez" Schuman. Freddy won't be gracing Yankee Stadium with his upbeat, incredible attitude or his signature shamrock pan and spoon, but he'll certainly be there in spirit. Enjoy the game today, folks. Yankee baseball is back!
If you're in for a good laugh (as if the Yankees need any more motivation), take a look at this article - ESPN 2011 MLB predictions.
I don't normally like to make preseason predictions, especially when it comes to the playoffs. There are far too many variables that affect 162 games and there are bound to be multiple surprises out there. However, I'll take my best shot at weathering the storm that starts in four hours. It's all in good fun! Here's my take on the season that's about to unfold.
AL East Winner - Boston Red Sox
AL Central Winner - Chicago White Sox
AL West Winner - Texas Rangers
AL Wild Card - New York Yankees
NL East Winner - Philadelphia Phillies
NL Central Winner - Milwaukee Brewers
NL West Winner - Colorado Rockies
NL Wild Card - Atlanta Braves
ALCS - Yankees over Red Sox
NLCS - Brewers over Phillies
World Series - Yankees over Brewers in five. Hey, Travis had the Pirates!
AL/NL MVPs Miguel Cabrera / Albert Pujols (who?)
AL/NL Cy Youngs Jon Lester / Josh Johnson
AL/NL Rookies of Year Jeremy Hellickson / Aroldis Chapman
AL/NL Managers of Year Ozzie Guillen / Jim Tracy
Most wins/losses at end of regular season - Red Sox / Diamondbacks
AL Disappointment - Detroit Tigers: I think this team is absolutely stacked with offense. The addition of Victor Martinez to the heart of the order is scary alongside Miguel Cabrera and Magglio Ordonez. However, I feel their pitching behind Justin Verlander is lacking.
NL Disappointment - Philadelphia Phillies: Contrary to popular belief, there will not be four starters on this team that win 20 games. Brad Lidge will need to be healthy and the losses of Jayson Werth to free agency as well as Chase Utley and Dominic Brown to the DL will hurt. Rotation still looks like the best in baseball, but they won't win 100 games this year. Most wouldn't categorize this as a disappointment, but they've been overhyped.
Yankees Surprise Player - A.J. Burnett: Come on buddy, I STILL believe in you.
Yankees Disappointing Player - Nick Swisher: I hope this pick is wrong (I sided with jscape on this), but I don't think he's going to be playing during the All Star Break this year. He'll regress a bit.