16 January 2009

So I've discovered that I wasn't ready for blogging yet. I need to set aside time for writing on a regular basis, and I now intend to do that. Here goes, round two.

I'm starting to put together my thoughts on the upcoming baseball season, but I feel like I'll arrive at different conclusions once I really analyze each team, one by one. Here's where I currently stand

AL West
1 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim-it's a close call, but their pitching and defense are great.
2 Oakland Athletics-I can easily see them winning the division, but they need strong pitching.
3 Texas Rangers-with the right moves, they could be in it, but the pitching, again, is weak
4 Seattle Mariners-hopefully they're not so far out, but they've got work to do

AL Central
1 Cleveland Indians-maybe I just like the Indians, but they seem primed for another good year
2 Minnesota Twins-if their young pitching keeps up, this is a solid team, despite its look
3 Chicago White Sox-they can really end high or low, with so much young talent in place
4 Detroit Tigers-they haven't addressed the bullpen, but they have a lot of talent
5 Kansas City Royals-they should be in a better position, but they're not there yet

AL East
1 Boston Red Sox-such a balanced, experienced group, with youth, and they've added upside
2 Tampa Bay Rays-a very balanced group, with a solid bullpen great rotation potential
3 New York Yankees-they should be great, but now they're the ones stuck in a tough div.
4 Toronto Blue Jays-they took a hit and won't compete in this division, but they're good
5 Baltimore Orioles-they have young talent improving, but they're still a year or two away

NL West
1 Los Angeles Dodgers-if they get Manny, especially, but their pitching is weaker
2 San Francisco Giants-tough call, but some solid pitching should keep them in it
3 Arizona Diamondbacks-they seem to be stepping backwards, but they've got good youth
4 Colorado Rockies-not sure if they've got enough left to compete
5 San Diego Padres-they're not trying to compete in '09

NL Central
1 Chicago Cubs-a solid overall team, especially if they pick up another pitcher
2 St. Louis Cardinals-I think they're underrated, but it depends on health again
3 Houston Astros-they finished last year strong and have a shot
4 Milwaukee Brewers-if they don't bring back Sheets, their pitching could be rough
5 Cincinnati Reds-they're not balanced enough to compete
6 Pittsburgh Pirates-their perpetual rebuilding continues

NL East
1 New York Mets-with that rotation, the new bullpen arms, offense, defense, I say team to beat
2 Philadelphia Phillies-still very good, and their rotation is strong, but the Mets look better
3 Atlanta Braves-with some good seasons, they could be back in it, but there's ground to cover
4 Florida Marlins-they've got some real pitching, so they could easily find themselves in it
5 Washington Nationals-not ready yet

Wild cards right now to Tampa Bay and Philadelphia, with St. Louis close behind

Now, the plan is to go through each team, position by position, to get a better assessment. I in no way expect this ranking to stay the same by spring training. As a lifelong American League fan, I still feel that my National League knowledge is weaker, and so I'm especially looking forward to some serious study time with each roster.

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