Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Manny's Preseason Picks - AL East

Let's start with the East:

1) NY Yankees - even as a Yankee despiser, you have to admit that the Yankees are baseball's best from April to September. Come October, though, and you'll see the return of the choke. Expect Randy to wear down come the postseason, Pavano return to his pre-'03 form, Wright to get injured, the hitting to get older and worse, and Brown to bring the choke back to New York once again.
2) Red Sox - 3rd straight wild card. I like Wade Miller, think he'll be one of the biggest surprises this year. Arroyo will get better, and Renteria provides an extra catalyst for Manny and Papi. Clement has flown under the radar of Prior and Wood in Chicago, and should do better than Pavano. Sox can't steamroll over the O's as consistently as the Junkees, so they have to come in 2nd. But the Sox will prevail come October.
3) Orioles - Slammin' Sammy will help out, but can he pitch? Guys like Bigbie, Matos, and Brian Roberts will improve. Sidney Ponson and Erik Bedard can't beat the Yankees, though.
4) Blue Jays - Offense will take a slight step back, in missing Delgado. Hillenbrand and Koskie are nice pickups, but not much effect. Bounce-back years from Halladay and Miggy Batista give the pitching a boost, but not enough for the Jays to compete.
5) D-Rays - most mismanaged team of all-time, anyone? Gotta feel bad for Piniella and whatever fans are left down there. What a mess this team is.

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