April 4, 2016

Even though it’s Masters week, it’s also the start of the 2016 Major League Baseball season. Every year at this time there’s a big debate going on in my head: does this year’s Red Sox team warrant enough promise in my head to make me purchase the MLB Extra Innings package on DirecTV? I’ve thought about it a lot and watched more than a few Spring Training games on NESN and have made the decision.

Nah.

I have to say that I share the Boston Herald’s Steve Buckley pessimism when it comes to this year’s team. Yes, they have David Price up front and Craig Kimbrel as closer, but you’ll excuse me if the likes of Clay Buchholz, Joe Kelly, and Rick Porcello aren’t going to strike fear into any opposition. Eduardo Rodriguez is a keeper when he’s back, and I’m OK with Stephen Wright staying with the team as an occasional starter and occasional long reliever – especially since I think one of three starters I mentioned above is gonna lose their spot in the rotation sooner or later. My bet is on Porcello – he stinks. The bullpen, blah. The infield has a lot of ifs: if Hanley Ramiriez can handle first base. If Dustin Pedroia can stay healthy. If Xander Bogearts can keep improving. But I don’t care what you say – third base is a disaster no matter whether Travis Shaw or Pablo “Fat Pig” Sandoval play there. The same with left field – why can’t the Sox get a decent left fielder? Jackie Bradley, Jr. and Mookie Betts will be OK but I just have a feeling…

I guess more than anything, I see manager John Farrell as a downer. I can’t stand to watch him manage. I can’t stand to listen to that monotone. I can’t stand the corporate line that so-in-so is “putting in his work as we expect him to”. It’s annoying. More than anything else, he carries the air of dead man walking, like that restaurant down the street that has had four previous incarnations in the past five years. No enthusiasm. No passion. I think he already knows he’s gone by the middle of June.

But the final kicker was the NESN broadcast team. I know it was just Spring Training, but I miss Don Orsillo’s measured tones in the play-by-play role. The new guys they have (and that includes long-time color man Jerry Remy, who seems to me to be mailing it in these days) never shut up. It’s really gotten obnoxious in in the NESN broadcast booth, and it’s a real turn-off.

So I’ll follow the Sox whenever I can on the MLB Network and have to be satisfied with that. Anyways, here are my picks (for what they’re worth) for the 2016 season:

Red Sox: 82 wins, 3rd place AL East.

AL East: Blue Jays
AL Central: Royals
AL West: Texas
Wild Card: Twins, Astros

NL East: Mets
NL Central: Cubs
NL West: Giants
NL Wild Card: Cardinals, Dodgers

AL Champions: Royals
NL Champions: Cardinals
World Series Champions: Cardinals

Play ball!

Filed in: Golf & Sports by The Great White Shank at 21:39 | Comments (2)
2 Comments
  1. And then the Cards go out and get swept in their opening series. The Cards have the best farm in baseball but it’s a challenge for them to compete with the big boys on the coasts for free agents, especially their own. KC has the same problem. They have a great team now, though. The Royals are the cream of MLB in 2016. I think the Cubs finally break through and make the World Series. They’ll lose to the more talented, more experienced Royals.

    Comment by Rob — April 12, 2016 @ 4:37 am


  2. Thanks for your comment, Rob. The NL Central is the most exciting division in the game. You got the Cubs, Cards, and Pirates – all potential World Series caliber – and they’ll be going at each other all summer. In the AL central you’ve got the Royals, Tigers, Indians, and Twins. Amazing to see the power of baseball concentrated in the center of the country.

    Comment by The Great White Shank — April 18, 2016 @ 7:46 pm


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