Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Follow the Monkey-Opening Day 2009

This is for Joan, who requested a action figure or something of the type to follow me all day for opening day.

Watching the game

Inside the Dome

Outside the dome again

Monkey likes the Twins in '09

Outside the dome

Heading Downtown

Grumpy and the monkey

Monkey at 6 A.M. breakfast on the plaza

Baseball Picks

I fell behind and didnt have time for the rest. So i'll just give a short and sweet version.

AL Central: Twins
AL East: Red Sox
AL West: Angels
AL Wild Card: Indians

NL Central: Cubs
NL East: Phillies
NL West: Dodgers
NL Wild Card: Rockies

World Series: Red Sox over Dodgers

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Baseball Preview-NL East

  1. Philadelphia Phillies (2008 World Champions)-Somehow, this team got better after being the best in 2008. They added RBI beast Raul Ibanez to man left field this season, but dont get your hopes to high on him as he ages big time. They have 5 quality starters and they have a lineup that is solid from 1-8. They should be a favorite to win again in 2009, but i think they will fall short in Ocober this year. They put up a fight but fall short to the Dodgers.
  2. New York Mets-Even with the additions of Francisco Rodriguez and J.J. Putz to the bullpen, the Mets still have holes in the 'pen that will hurt them. They can't pitch these guys every day, so the Mets are limtied with options after Putz and K-Rod. They have a solid offense and their rotation looks to be solid. But when push comes to shove, the Mets only know how to choke when it counts the most. They miss the division and Wild Card.
  3. Atlanta Braves-The Braves came out and added SP Derek Lowe to a rotation that is still suffering since the Maddux-Smoltz-Glavine era ended. They posess some good young pitchers and good young hitters and are a team of the future in this division. But they too like the teams below them, will fall short of the big guns above them. Look for the Braves to be a Wild Card contender until September.
  4. Florida Marlins-Another team with young stars and a bright future. But there are some holes and some players who have to prove themselves. They are lead by sluggers Hanley Ramirez and Dan Uggla who lead the fish attack, but they continue to lack the starting pitching to contend in this division. They put up a fight but not even close enough to the big shooters.
  5. Washington Nationals-There is too much pop at the top of this division for Washington to succeed this season. They have many young players, many of whom, have to still prove their MLB worthiness. They did land Adam Dunn in the offseason to add some home runs and some strikeouts to the lineups. Bottom line is they have a young core, but talent and experience are lacking big time.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Baseball Preview-AL West

Here is the second installment today. Here is how i think the AL West will Break down. The teams are picked in order of finish.

  1. Los Angeles Angels-Even with the loss of Mark Texiera and Francisco Rodriguez, this team is still the best in this division. They still have quality starting pitching and they will be a good hitting team. There is no question that this is the team to beat in the West in 09 and it will be very hard for the three other teams too.
  2. Oakland Athletics-With the addition of Matt Holiday the A's look like they can make some noise in the west. But they have a young starting rotation and the Angels will be ready to pounce on their young pitchers. But they have a strong lineup that can put up some runs and they will make some noise but not a force in this division. They come in second by a wide margin.
  3. Texas Rangers-This team will most definitely put up some runs. But they still need to prove they can pitch. Losing Milton Bradley did not help their cause toward getting a better finish this year either. The Rangers need some young pitchers to step up for them to have a shot at the Angels this year. They still fall short in third.
  4. Seattle Mariners-I really dont know what to think about this team. They just kinda threw some veterans in there and see how they turn out. They brought back fan favorite Ken Griffey Jr. to put a few more people in the seats, but i don't really expect much from Seattle this year, except maybe play spoiler at the end. No love for the Mariners. Last Place.

Baseball Preview-NL West

We are four days away from opening the baseball season, so here is will i make my predictions. Today i will start with the underachieving NL West. Team will be picked in order of finish.

  1. Los Angeles Dodgers-By bringing back Manny Ramirez the Dodgers solidify themselves as the team to beat in the West. If he plays like he did last year he can carry this team to the postseason again. This team is built offensively but their pitching staff has some question marks, but none the less Dodgertown will be playing once again in October behind the wonders of Manny Ramirez.
  2. Colorado Rockies-Some would say the Rockies don't have Matt Holiday anymore so they won't do anything in 2009. You're wrong. This team has a very strong pitching staff lead by Aaron Cook, who is poised for a big year. Their bullpen is equally strong and if Colorado gets a lead it will be hard to beat them. The offense lacks a little pop w/o Holliday but they still can score. The Rockies will win the wild card over the Mets because of their pitching.
  3. San Francisco Giants-The Giants only have one place to go. Up. They couldn't get much worse after last year. The only bright spot on this team was Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum who looks ready to defend his title. They added veteran pitcher Randy Johnson to give the young arms some mentorship, but other than that no one big new in the bay. This team is just a thrown together team and those teams scare me big time so the Giants come in thrid because they are going to play more scrappy like baseball this year, and the fact they decided to get younger.
  4. Arizona Diamondbacks-The D-Backs one of the best one-two punch in the MLB with Brandon Webb and Dan Haren. But behind them they lack big time. Their bullpen looks to be shaky and their offense will struggle to put up runs with the loss of Orlando Hudson at second base. They are a younger team, but they need more experience. D-Back finish fourth.
  5. San Diego Padres- With a new ownership group don't expect too much from the Friars this year except to trade their experience players for younger players for down the road. Jake Peavy will be more used as trade bait than Cy Young ace. The Padres don't have much on either side to contend with so expect them to build for the future.

Twins Blog-4/1

Its been a while again so i will try and collect some thought from the last couple of weeks.
  • Joe Mauer has been ruled out for Opening Day with that inflammed SI joint in his back. Lately he has been slowly working back into baseball activities after his medication was increased. Please take your time with him so he can be healthy for the remainder of the season.
  • Jose Morales was picked as the teams backup catcher to open up the season while Mauer recovers. And all indications are that he will get to catch at least once or twice a week behind Mike Redmond. Hey thats great. I just hope he can continue his career batting average of 1.000 in the majors (Knock on wood).
  • Jason Kubel has hit the cover off the ball this spring with a .345 average while hitting three home runs and eleven rbi. He should be the cleanup hitter in Mauer's absence. Without a doubt. This guy is gonna have a break out season.
  • I hate to say it, but it looks as if Matt Tolbert will start the season at AAA Rochester. With the addition of Joe Crede the Twins now have alot of infielders and with Brian Buscher and Brendan Harris having good springs he will be the odd man out. :p
  • Scott Baker has struggled this spring since he was named the opening day starter. He is 1-2 with a 6.85 era while pitching 23.2 innings. He has given up a whopping 9 home runs. Please just get all of that out now, and when April 6th comes around you will be lights out.