Baseball begins this weekend, and I am in a fantasy league with the legendary Bartolis.
Played fantasy baseball for the first time last year, and think I finished last..or pretty darn near it.
I expect to keep that going this year.
MY fantasy team :
SP: Brandon Webb - Dude has been solid...one of my top players probably.
SP: Clayton Kershaw - Kid is a stud. Future ace...hoping he's ready now.
SP: Hiroki Kuroda - I have no idea what to expect from him.
SP: Jordan Zimmermann - A front runner for N.L. R.O.Y.
P: Andy Pettitte - I hope he has something left.
P: Scott Olsen - Dude eats up innings.
RP: B.J. Ryan - They say he has arm woes right now. Uh oh.
RP: George Sherrill - has had a bad spring, and might lose his closer job.
C: Jesus Flores - A future All Star.
1B: Casey Kotchman - If he stays healthy, he might be OK.
2B: Chase Utley - A stud. Hope he keeps it going.
SS: Mike Young - Carries a good stick in a launching pad ballpark.
3B: Ryan Zimmerman - I'm sure he will explode this year. Contract year.
OF: Ichiro Suzuki - I don't know his fantasy worth, but I like him.
OF: Jay Bruce - He will be a star. Just hope it's now.
OF: David Murphy - Another Ranger in that tiny ballpark.
OF: Adam Jones - He is ready to bust out.
Utility: Dave Ortiz - Hope Big Popi can get some big pops.
Utility: Carlos Guillen - Can hit in his sleep.
SS: Christian Guzman - Hoping he will play like last year.
OF: Fred Lewis - A future Giants leader.
OF: Garrett Anderson - Took the old pro for his stick.
2B: Ronnie Belliard - Dude can hit, when healthy.
1B: Kyle Blanks - Stashing him just in case he plays. Has huge power.
OK, Let me get my baseball predictions for 2009 out of the way:
1. Red Sox - I think Bay will fill the Manny void really well, the only thing I wonder if the bullpen up until Papelbon. But it's in better shape than most teams...so why nitpick?
2. Rays - I LIKE this squad. I think they have what it takes to get the wild card too. I see a 3-way battle this year...and I think the Rays will get it done to move on. They also have that great farm system.
3. Yankees - Ted Stepien (former Cav's owner) showed that money can't buy you love. Burnett pitching a whole season is questionable, in my eyes. Word is that Rivera has lost a yard off his heat too. Jeter is on his last legs, and is a liability in the field. Heck, there's a lot of oldsters in the field with fat wallets. I just don't see it...but I could be wrong.
4. Blue Jays - Cito doesn't have the same roster he had his first time around, but it's not bad. I think the Jays will push for a spot in the top three for quite a few months this year. They even have the skill set to stay there.
5. Orioles - Until Peter Angelos dies or sells, this is their spot. Good news is there are young players again, and the farm is trying to build. I'm not in love with the rotation, but the pen is maybe the best in the division. Adam Jones is primed to explode this year, making the Bedard trade look even better.
1. Twins - I like the kids here. I can see them getting over the hump this year, making the future look even more promising.
2. White Sox - I think Ozzie will make sure these guys are competitive.
3. Indians - They have the talent to win it all, especially if Westbrook stays healthy.
4. Tigers - I don't like their pitching enough, and they seem like a bunch of under achievers as a whole to me. I could be wrong easily though.
5. Royals - They are building something in KC, and have enough talent to do well. IF that pitching staff can stay healthy and gel, they can make a push.
1. Angels - They are the best in this division by far, even minus K-Rod.
2. A's - I might be crazy here, but I'm liking the power on this squad.
3. Rangers - If they ever pitch, they will win the division with all their great sticks. Kinsler might be the best second baseman in baseball.
4. Mariners - Rebuilding takes time.
1. Mets - Just a feeling.
2. Phillies - Will win the wild card, and could win it all again.
3. Nationals - I am pulling a homer move here. I think Zimmerman and Zimmermann will be huge this year. Flores is a budding All Star, and the pitching staff is in better shape than last year. IF Dukes, Kearns, Milledge, and Willingham can hit, then Dunn can play more 1B. Unless Nick Johnson decides to play 162 games. IF Johnson lasts, he hits .280+...then the OF is strong. The only question will be second base. This team will score more runs, and might actually pitch too.
4. Braves - Rebuilding on the fly is hard to do.
5. Marlins - Cheap owners and no fans. It might get ugly down there.
1. Cubs - I think the team will get that love they have been seeking. Pinella is the right man to give it.
2. Cardinals - Pujols alone gives you a chance to win.
3. Reds - LIKING this squad. PITCHING plus. Then there's the youngsters. I think they make the run.
4. Astros - I can't figure these guys out yet, so guessing here.
5. Brewers - I think they are either going to blow up...or hold it together. Not sure which one yet.
6. Pirates - I will not say a word.
1. Dodgers - They should win it if they pitch well.
2. Rockies - I can see an improvement this year.
3. Diamondbacks - The top three teams in this division are all capable of winning it.
4. Giants - They are improving yearly.
5. Padres - The rebuilding will happen after the divorce settlement, I guess.
Too bad the Boston has won something already, so we can't call it the "Sad Sap Series". But, now that the BoSox have gotten two rings....I think they will get a third in a helluva 7 games series.
But then again...I am a last place fantasy baseball participant...so what do I know?