Tuesday March 30, 2004
Twins Win Again
Discussion Question #1
Discussion Question #2
The Beast and the Least... in the Far East
For those of you who are up too late, or too early, and are reading this, I have just part of my entry for today posted. I have discussed the Twins game from yesterday and how former Twins did. I talked about the Timberwolves important win in Houston. I have also included again this week's Discussion Questions. However, the primary piece of my entry for today is major league's first regular season game of the year. I can't call it Opening Day because that really is just the first full Monday of games, or even the Sunday night game. However, at 4 a.m. central time today, the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Devil Rays will open their regular season with two games in Japan. I will be awake and writing my thoughts as the game takes place. I am looking forward to it. Will I do the same for the second game, at the same time tomorrow? Uhh... No. I do like sleep! I hope you enjoy the thoughts. If you want some great thoughts on the Yankees roster and the Devil Rays roster, check out Clifford's Big Red Blog today.
Pitching today will be the Yankees Mike Mussina against the Devil Rays Victor Zambrano. Last year, Mussina was 17-8 with a 3.40 ERA. Zambrano went 12-10 with a 4.21 ERA for the Rays. Mussina is 35 years old, entering his 14th major league season, and with one win would have 200 for his career. The 28 year old Zambrano is in his fourth big league season, and has 26 career wins. The starting pitchers are really just a microcosm of the discrepancies between these two teams. The Yankees spend money to bring in the best players. The Devil Rays are in year two of a rebuilding plan. They have got some great, talented young players who were given a chance to play last year. If the Rays were in the AL Central, I think they could legitimately finish in the top 3 of the division. In the AL East, they will maybe have a chance to finish 4th in the division.
Yankees Devil Rays
Derek Jeter SS Carl Crawford LF
Hideki Matsui LF Damion Rolls 3B
Alex Rodriguez SS Rocco Baldelli CF
Jason Giambi 1B Aubrey Huff DH
Gary Sheffield RF Jose Cruz Jr RF
Jorge Posada C Tino Martinez 1B
Ruben Sierra DH Julio Lugo SS
Enrique Wilson 2B Toby Hall C
Kenny Lofton CF Rey Sanchez 2B
By just looking at the lineups, there is no doubt which team has more experience and more fire-power. The Yankees lineup, especially 1-6 is incredible! Their 3-4-5 hitters have to be as intimidating as any middle of the lineup ever. Bernie Williams will eventually fill the DH role. This is Enrique Wilson's first full-time job, so it should be interesting to see how well he does. Kenny Lofton was brought in to give the Yankees a legitimate leadoff hitter, and he has struggled so much he is now in the 9 hole for the time being.
But don't look too far past this Devil Rays offense. I think Carl Crawford is ready to have a big year. He doesn't walk, but he does steal a lot of bases (55 last year). He is also a big strong kid, so I think power will come, starting in 2004. Rocco Baldelli doesn't walk either, but he is a good hitter and incredible fast! The two cover a lot of ground in the outfield. Aubrey Huff might be one of the least known stars in the league. In 162 games last year, he hit .311/.367/.555 with 47 doubles, 34 homers and 107 RBI. Jose Cruz Jr won a Gold Glove last year, and had a solid first two months with the bat for the Giants last year. Tino Martinez has had a couple of "off" years, but the 36 year old former Yankee hero should be able to provide the team with some good leadership and plenty of punch with the bat. Julio Lugo has hit well. Then the lineup has question marks, especially in Rey Sanchez. He can't hit, so how long before BJ Upton makes his big league debut?
It should be a fun game to watch. I have the utmost respect for the Yankees and their players. However, I really like the little guys, in this case, the Devil Rays. I think they will be a fun team to watch as the year continues.
I will be back in about 4 1/2 hours (if I can wake up!), and start my 2004 baseball season posting. I will try to post every 1/2 inning or so. See ya then!
Good morning, All! I actually got up at 3:55 a.m. this morning, in time to watch the final three minutes of the Minnesota Wild's 5-3 loss to the Detroit Red Wings replayed on ESPN2. 55,000 fans in attendance in the game at the Tokyo Dome. A little time lesson. It is 4 a.m. here in Minnesota as it is 7 p.m. in Tokyo. I can't help but wonder how many people in New York, or across the USA are awake just to watch this game... or is it just me? 7,200 miles from New York to Tokyo. Harold Reynolds, Peter Gammons and Karl Ravech are doing the pre-game commentating.
1st Pitch from Victor Zambrano to Derek Jeter at 4:14 a.m. central time. On a 1-1 pitch, Jeter grounds out to SS Julio Lugo. Hideki Matsui to the plate, batting second, something a lot of Yankees fans don't seem to like. I personally don't think it is a big deal. He should get some pitches to hit hitting in front of the Big 3. On a 3-1 pitch, Matsui drills a double to right centerfield. I really think that Matsui will increase his home run numbers. Even if he doesn't, he hits a lot of doubles and just seems to be a very professional hitter. Alex Rodriguez steps to the plate for his first official at bat as a Yankee. After falling behind 2-0, Zambrano comes back with two fastballs down the middle that A-Rod took. On 2-2, Zambrano threw a nasty, sharp-breaking curveball that A-Rod took for a called third strike. Jason Giambi comes up. You have to assume that he will increase his batting average from its .250 level in 2003. Power numbers shouldn't be a problem...and just as I write that, Giambi drills a 1-0 fastball to left centerfield, just over the fence, to put two runs on the scoreboard. Gary Sheffield now steps in for his first Yankees at bat. Bat waving, Sheffield takes a big, full swing and hits a perfect drag bunt down the third baseline for a single. Nothing Zambrano could do. Jorge Posada, the Yankees All-Star catcher, a catcher who could arguably be called the best catcher in baseball steps in. Zambrano gets ahead of Posada with a couple of curveballs, then strikes him out with a couple of good moving fastballs. Yankees 2, Devil Rays 0.
Mike Mussina to Carl Crawford. On the first pitch, Crawford lays down a bunt that did not get far enough from the plate. Jorge Posada made a relatively easy play to throw him out. Damion Rolls steps in takes the first two pitches before hitting a one-hopper to Enrique Wilson at 2B for the second out. That brings "sophomore" CF Rocco Baldelli to the plate. On a 2-2 pitch, Mussina throws Baldelli a great knuckle-curveball for a swinging strike three. I'm really surprise more people don't throw the knuckle-curve because it isn't hard to throw and really makes for a very sharp break. Yankees 2, Devil Rays 0.
Ruben Sierra seems old, but he is a big, strong man who can still hit. His batting stance hasn't changed since his debut in 1986. He grounds out to 2B. Enrique Wilson pops up to RF on the first pitch. Wilson used to be a top prospect with the Indians before eventually being traded to the Yankees where he has been a solid utility infielder. Kenny Lofton is batting ninth for the Yankees. On a 1-2 pitch, Lofton slaps a ball right down the left field line for a triple. Carl Crawford bobbles it just a little bit, allowing Lofton to reach 3B. After getting behind 3-1 to Derek Jeter, with some real wildness, Zambrano paints the outside corner with a fastball and gets Jeter to strike out on another great curveball. You know, Zambrano may not put up great numbers today, but just from seeing him pitch two innings, it is easy to see how he put up decent numbers last year, and how the Rays feel he could be an "ace." He has good stuff. I'm sure it's just a matter of putting it all together and then being more consistent. Yankees 2, Devil Rays 0.
Aubrey Huff leads off the 2nd for the Rays. With his weight on his back leg, he explodes into a first pitch fastball and lines it off the fence in right field. He hit it so hard that he could only get a single. Jose Cruz steps to the plate for his first Tampa Bay at bat. He started last season very well, hitting a lot of home runs and ended with 34 homers, but really struggled with his batting average. That said, he also walks a lot. He flies out to the warning track in left field. for the first out. Tino Martinez drills a line drive single to right field on the curveball. Julio Lugo flies to left field on the first pitch. Kenny Lofton played it pretty lackadaisically and Huff advanced to 3B. Toby Hall steps to the plate and takes two curveballs for balls. One a 2-0 fastball, Hall is out front a little bit and grounds to SS for a fielder's choice to end the inning. Yankees 2, Devil Rays 0.
Hideki Matsui leads off for the Yankees, to another loud ovation. Fastball inside corner. Split finger outside corner. Curveball tapped back to Zambrano for the first out. Excellent pitch selection. Alex Rodriguez is now up. First pitch fastball away. Curveball looking. Curveball swinging. Fastball right down the middle for a called third strike. A-Rod looks like he isn't seeing the ball well, but Zambrano is making some good pitches, in good locations, in good sequence. Jason Giambi stands straight up and takes a big swing; this time he pops up to shallow left field for the third out. Yankees 2, Devil Rays 0.
Rey Sanchez singles to right on the first pitch. The Rays must have a strategy of hitting the first pitch off Mussina. We know Mussina doesn't walk a lot of hitters and wants/needs to get ahead of hitters to be able to really use his other pitches. So, the first pitch may be their most hittable pitch. Carl Crawford pops up to Jeter. Damion Rolls, on an 0-2 pitch, grounds weakly between short and third. A-Rod makes a nice play. Had the ball made it to shortstop, Rolls probably beats it out. So, with two outs, Rocco Baldelli steps into the batter's box. Like all the previous batters, he swings at the first pitch, a curveball that hits the dirt. He grounds up the middle to Derek Jeter, for the third out. Yankees 2, Devil Rays 0.
I almost miss the first pitch of the fourth inning to Gary Sheffield because Britney Spear's Toxic video is on MTV. Zambrano falls behind 3-0 before walking Sheffield. Jorge Posada swings at the first pitch and is out in front of a get-it-over fastball. He is then jammed on a good fastball on his hands and pops up to 3B Rolls. Ruben Sierra pops up to the catcher for the second out. Enrique Wilson gets behind 1-2 and takes another pitch before lining on a rope to right field for the third out. Yankees 2, Devil Rays 0.
Cold Pizza commercial announces that Jim Bowden and Warren Cromartie will be the guests. At first, that seems pretty random, but after playing ten years in the big leagues for the Expos (1974-1983), Cromartie spent some years playing in Japan and was a star there. He played in a few games with the Royals in 1991 before retiring.
Aubrey Huff leads off the inning by drilling a line drive to centerfield. Jose Cruz walks on 5 pitches. On 3-1 pitch to Tino Martinez, Cruz steals second base to get into scoring position with less than two outs. On the second full-count pitch, Martinez takes a close pitch for ball four. Julio Lugo hits a slow roller down the 3rd base line. A-Rod charged it nicely and made the good throw to first for the second out. I'm sure every play that A-Rod makes at 3rd will be analyzed excessively, but I think he has looked good in the three plays he has made. Toby Hall got jammed but blooped it into right field to score both runs, tying the game. He was thrown out trying to take 2nd base on the throw. Yankees 2, Devil Rays 2.
Kenny Lofton, hitting 9th in the order, leads off the 5th inning. In other words, the leadoff hitter is only the leadoff hitter in the first inning. After that, anyone can lead off. Lofton hits the first pitch on a line that Baldelli runs down in right center. Derek Jeter fouls off two 3-2 pitches before rocketing a one-hopper to short for the second out. On a 2-0 pitch, Hideki Matsui grounds out to 2B for the third out. Victor Zambrano is pretty impressive. Good fastball, good curveball and a good changeup. Despite being a Devil Ray, he may be worth drafting in your fantasy league. Yankees 2, Devil Rays 2.
Rey Sanchez leads off the fifth against Mike Mussina. He bloops a single to center on a 1-2 pitch. Rey Sanchez is 2-2!! Carl Crawford misses on a bunt attempt on the first pitch. This is part of why I love the Rays. They bunt, steal and hit-and-run, all in an attempt to make things tough on the defense. It is so fun to watch! Crawford fouls off the second pitch in a bunt attempt as well. On 1-2, he strikes out on a nasty knuckle-curve. Damion Rolls grounds down the 3B line. A-Rod played the ball like a SS going into the hole. He made the throw to second, but because Rey Sanchez was running with the pitch, he was safe at 2B. However, the play by A-Rod was impressive. I really don't think moving to 3B is going to be a problem, and I really think it is best for the Yankees that he is the one who switched positions. Rocco Baldelli flies out to CF with Sanchez advancing to 3B. Good at bat by Baldelli, making Mussina throw a lot of pitches. ESPN is choosing to show a lot of slow-motion looks at the Mussina pitch grips. It is interesting to see the grips and the movement as it approaches the plate, but they are doing it too often. Aubrey Huff lined out to RF for the third out. I think he just missed. The Rays strand two. Yankees 2, Devil Rays 2.
On a 2-1 pitch, Alex Rodriguez doubles an outside fastball down the RF line for his first Yankees hit. Maybe Jason Giambi will bunt him to 3B? Yeah, right!! Harold Reynolds talks about "winning baseball" and Giambi giving himself up. My thinking? He's left-handed, let him try to knock him in. Worst case, he grounds out to 2B and A-Rod advances. On 3-2, Zambrano makes a great pitch with a moving fastball on the outside corner. Giambi taps back to the Zambrano for the first out. On an 0-2 pitch, Zambrano came up and in on Gary Sheffield. Shef in an attempt to protect himself almost, hits a double down the right field line. He didn't even mean to swing. A-Rod scores the go-ahead run. The game is not always fair!! On 3-1, Jorge Posada grounds out to 2B, Sheffield advances to 3B. Ruben Sierra breaks his bat and Julio Lugo makes a great, over-the-shoulder sliding catch for the 3rd out. I am sure that Zambrano is done, but I just have to say that I am fully impressed by him and his "stuff." Yankees 3, Devil Rays 2.
Mike Mussina remains in the game. Jose Cruz, on a 2-2 pitch, launches a hanger deep into the right field bleachers to tie it up. Tino Martinez hits a ball right down the 1st base line for a double. Julio Lugo hit a drive to centerfield that somehow Kenny Lofton didn't catch so Lugo is credited for a double and an RBI as Martinez scored as well. George Steinbrenner wanted Kenny Lofton to play CF for the Yankees for defensive purposes, and Lofton is not half the centerfielder that he once was (although he is still better than Bernie Williams is). Joe Torre visits the mound, probably just to get the bullpen ready. Toby Hall rips a shot past a diving A-Rod for another double to score Lugo. Hall now has 3 RBI. And on that note, Mike Mussina's game is done, and lefty Paul Quantrill is in. The Yankees bullpen prior to Mariano Rivera was the lone weak spot of of their team, and Quantrill will help them out dramatically. He gets a grounder back to himself out of Rey Sanchez, a hard grounder to second off the bat of Carl Crawford and a two hopper to shortstop by Damion Rolls (on three total pitches) to get out of the inning. Yankees 3, Devil Rays 5.
Lance Carter, an "All-Star" last year for the Rays, comes in to the game to replace Zambrano. After pitching so well for 6 innings, Zambrano is now in line to pick up a win if the bullpen can hold the lead. Tino Martinez makes a nice leaping catch on an Enrique Wilson liner for the first out. Kenny Lofton pops up in foul territory to shortstop Julio Lugo. After getting ahead 0-2 on Derek Jeter, Carter gets him to ground out to 2B on a full count for the third out. Now, Danys Baez is the Rays closer. He will probably pitch the 9th inning if they still have the lead. But, for my money, I want my best pitcher pitching the 8th inning. Why? Because the Yankees will have Matsui, A-Rod, Giambi and Sheffield coming up that inning. We'll see what Lou Pinella chooses to do. I don't think that Baez is their best pitcher (I would say either Carter or Chad Gaudin would be), so it may be a mute point. Yankees 3, Devil Rays 5.
The Toxic video is on MTV again! Rocco Baldelli doesn't even try to hide it, but he lays a bunt down the 3B line. Quantrill tries to field it instead of letting A-Rod make the play. It probably didn't matter as Baldelli would have beaten it out anyway. However, a bump between the two and some awkward steps seems to injure Quantrill's knee, and he is forced to leave the game. Felix Heredia enters the game and before even making a pitch, he throws to first base and Giambi let it go right between his legs, allowing Baldelli to advance to 3B. On the next pitch, Aubrey Huff singled to right field, driving in Baldelli. Jose Cruz, now batting right handed, nails the first pitch to deep right centerfield for the inning's first out. On a 3-1 pitch, Tino Martinez unloads on a fastball right down the middle and hits it well into the right field bleachers to give the Rays an 8-3 lead. The blast is Martinez's 300th career homer. (Have you see the Kanye West video with Stacey Dash? Unbelievable! We like Stacey Dash! Although, I'm not a fan of the sunglasses!) Anyway, Julio Lugo grounds out to short. First pitch swinging, Toby Hall singles to leftfield for his 3rd hit of the game. Rey Sanchez then grounds back to Heredia for the 3rd out. Yankees 3, Devil Rays 8.
Lance Carter remains in the game to face Hideki Matsui. Matsui pops in foul territory to Damion Rolls. With a 5 run lead, Carter is able to challenge Alex Rodriguez with a 2-0 fastball. A-Rod knows it is coming and probably gets too anxious and pops up to short. Jason Giambi doubled off the centerfield wall. Baldelli almost made a great catch, but just ran out of room and into the wall. Carter walks Gary Sheffield on four pitches. On a 2-2 pitch, Carter strikes out Jorge Posada on a tough split finger fastball. Yankees 3, Devil Rays 8.
Carl Crawford grounds out to shortstop of Heredia. Damion Rolls rips a shot off the left field wall for a double. Rocco Baldelli walks on four pitches. Aubrey Huff strikes out on three tough pitches. Jose Cruz lines another shot, this one right at RF Sheffield for the third out. Yankees 3, Devil Rays 8.
Danys Baez comes in for the Devil Rays for the 9th inning, in a non-save situation. Ruben Sierra strikes out on a split-finger after a seven pitch at bat. Enrique Wilson lined out to Crawford in left field for Out #2. Kenny Lofton coaxes a walk and takes second on the next pitch, on catcher's indifference. Derek Jeter grounded out to 3B to end the game.
I am not a Yankees-hater, but I am happy to tell everyone that the Yankees have the worst record in all of baseball. And, being a fan of the Devil Rays, I am happy to tell everyone that the Rays have the best record in all of baseball! I was very impressed with Victor Zambrano. Lance Carter looked good. The Rays offense was very aggressive, which really helped them. I'm sure it wasn't a SABRmetricians way of winning, but it worked for the Rays today. And because of that, the game was done in about 2 hours and 45 minutes. Of course the Rays won't win the division. Of course the Yankees will make the playoffs. But for this day, it was all Devil Rays. But ,since it is the only game around that 'means something,' the Yankees loss will be over-analyzed, instead of just realizing it is just one game. The same teams play at the same time tomorrow. And... I'm afraid I will be sleeping through it! I guess the next full regular season game I will watch will be the Baltimore Orioles and the Boston Red Sox on Sunday night.
If you have any questions or comments, please e-mail me. This game will be re-aired on ESPN this afternoon. So, find someone who doesn't realize that the game is tape-delayed, and impress them with your ability to "Guess" which happens each play!
TWINS WIN BIG
MONDAY - Twins 13, Blue Jays 7
The Twins won a high-scoring game against the Blue Jays yesterday. It was a good day for the offense, and not just the usual names. Sure, Matthew Lecroy had a two run double. Joe Mauer had an RBI double. Nick Punto played some RF and went 3-6 with a double and 3 RBI. Alex Prieto even hit, going 2-2 with an RBI.. Luis Maza, a minor league second baseman came in and was 2-3 with a HR and 2 RBI. Brian Simmons, yet another AAA outfielder for the Twins, wears #61, but went 2-5 with 2 RBI with a long HR that looked impressive on SportsCenter. Seth Griesinger was given another opportunity to impress the coaching staff. He gave up two runs (one earned) in 3 innings. JC Romero pitched two scoreless innings. Aaron Fultz, Pat Neshek and Sean Douglass each pitched one shutout inning.
TUESDAY - The Twins will play the Cincinnati Reds at noon today. The big news for the Reds was Ken Griffey leaving the game in the 2nd inning with a strained calf. It is not believed to be too serious, but he will have to sit out a few games.
OTHER TWINS NOTES -
Joe Nathan Diary - The Twins closer Joe Nathan wrote up a quick diary entry for MLB.com. In it, he discusses coming to spring training with the Twins, some adjustments, and how close to ready he is. It's an interesting read.
Mientkiewicz Article - Doug Mientkiewicz has been playing and hitting well this spring. He's healthy. He's ready for the season. SportsCenter showed him making two diving plays from yesterday's game. So what could possibly be upsetting to him these days? Well, after getting his second hit in his second at bat on Sunday, he was pinch run for... by Matthew Lecroy. This is another great Jim Souhan article!
Twins Geek Article - Check out the Twins Geek article today. He discusses Luis Rivas, and actually isn't all that negative. I like reading that, because I do think there are a lot of positives about him. I don't think he's reached his potential, or even that his potential is very high. However, he is far from the reason the Twins would ever lose.
Five Questions: Minnesota Twins - Aaron Gleeman wrote an article for The Hardball Times asking, and then answering, five questions about the Twins heading into the 2004 season. And, if you're interested in checking out the Twins opponents, be sure to check out:
Studes Five Questions: Chicago White Sox.
Bryan Smith's Five Questions: Kansas City Royals
Robert Dudek's Five Questions: Cleveland Indians
Joe Dimino's Five Questions: Detroit Tigers
Jody Gerut's Weblog - Jody Gerut has written another installment of his website. This one deals alot with the steroid issue and presents some information that I did not know before. Check it out.
If you have any thoughts on the Twins, their roster, or the upcoming season, please e-mail me. You will notice that is a part of the Discussion Questions.
Here are how former Twins players did for their new teams on Monday. Mark Guthrie and Orlando Merced were both released by the Pittsburgh Pirates yesterday. Warren Morris was sent down by the Tigers.
Greg Myers, DH, Toronto Blue Jays (2-4, RBI, 2-2Bs)
Chris Gomez, SS, Toronto Blue Jays (0-1)
Denny Hocking, 2B, Colorado Rockies (1-4)
Chad Moeller, C, Milwaukee Brewers (0-3)
David Ortiz, 1B, Boston Red Sox (1-3, 2 RBI, 7th spring HR)
David McCarty, 1B, Boston Red Sox (0-1)
Mike Jackson, RP, Chicago White Sox (1 IP, 2 H, 0 R)
Bobby Kielty, LF, Oakland A's (0-3)
Quinton McCracken, PR, Seattle Mariners (0-1)
Mark Redman, SP, Oakland A's (5 1/3 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K)
Damien Miller, C, Oakland A's (2-4)
Todd Walker, 2B, Chicago Cubs (0-3)
LaTroy Hawkins, RP, Chicago Cubs (1 IP, 2 K, 0 R)
Todd Jones, RP, Cincinnati Reds (2/3 IP, 1 H, 1 K, 0 R)
Javier Valentin, 1B, Cincinnati Reds (0-1)
Matt Lawton, LF, Cleveland Indians (1-5)
Casey Blake, 3B, Cleveland Indians (1-3, RBI, HR, SB)
Last night, the Wolves traveled to Houston to take on the Rockets, a team that they don't match up well with, however, could match up with in the first round of the playoffs.
It was a closely contested game throughout. The Wolves were down by one point at halftime, and the game was tied at the end of the third quarter. Then, the game was tied with less than a minute to play. But as usual, Kevin Garnett took over. He assisted Sam Cassell on a three pointer. He then knocked down two free throws and a short jumper to give the Wolves the lead. Latrell Sprewell and Sam Cassell each made a pair of free throws in the last 15 seconds to ice the game, and a 94-88 win for the Wolves.
Kevin Garnett led with 17 points, 11 rebounds, 9 assists, 2 steals and 3 blocked shots. Latrell Sprewell added 15 points and 7 assists. Sam Cassell had 24 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists. Wally Szczerbiak scored nine, but no one else had more than 6 points for the Wolves. The Rockets used a very balanced attack as all five of their starters had either 16 or 17 points.
The win was very important because the Spurs beat Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers last night. Had the Wolves lost, they would have had just a 1/2 game lead on the Spurs. Now, the lead stays at 1.5 games. Next up for the Wolves is a matchup with the Seattle Supersonics Wednesday night at Target Center. Every game is going to be big the rest of the way out.
Any Wolves thoughts? Can they hold on to win the Midwest? E-mail me.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK - Part 1
This week, there will actually be dual questions of the week, but both will be similar. On Friday, I will post your thoughts on the upcoming baseball season. It's that time of the year, and predictions need to be made. I will post my thoughts and predictions that day as well. Here are the questions:
1.) Who will win each of the six divisions??
2.) Who will win the AL and NL MVP Awards?
3.) Who will win the AL and NL Cy Young Awards?
4.) Who will win the AL and NL Rookie of the Year Awards?
5.) Name one team that you think will surprise people the most (positively)?
6.) Name on team that you think will be the biggest disappointment the year?
7.) Who will win the AL and NL Batting championships?
8.) Who will win the AL and NL Home Run championships?
9.) Who will lead the AL and NL in Wins/Saves?
10.) Who will play in and win the World Series?
11.) Are there any storylines that are really exciting to you as the season begins? What headlines are you looking forward to reading (Example - Yankees Lose 100, The Boss Fires Himself)
So, I guess that is 11 Questions of the Week. Your responses will be posted on Friday (with you permission, of course), so please, simply send me an e-mail with your answers to the above questions. Be as specific or general as you want to be.
DISCUSSION QUESTION OF THE WEEK - Part 2
The results of Part 2 will be posted next Monday. The Twins will be opening their season next Monday night against Cleveland, so it seems like an appropriate time to talk about the Twins. Please answers these questions by sending me an e-mail.
1.) How will Joe Mauer do in his rookie season?
2.) Who will lead the Twins in (and how many):
a.) Batting Average
b.) Home Runs
d.) Stolen Bases
3.) Who will lead the Twins in (and how many):
4.) Will Jacque Jones stay with the team all season?
5.) Which minor leaguer(s) do you think will have the most impact on the Twins season?
6.) What, in your opinion, is the X-Factor for the Twins this year?
7.) How many games will the Twins win, and what place will that be in the AL Central?
8.) What storylines will you be following throughout the Twins season (example - Rivas Wins HR Title, or Bartlett Replaces Guzman)
There you have it. Eight Twins related questions for you to answer for next Monday. Again, be as specific or general as you'd like. If you want to project the stats for each Twins player, feel free to do so. I will post these thoughts on Monday, so please think about an answer. I can't wait to read your responses, so, e-mail me.
That's it for today. I hope you enjoy what you have read. I hope you enjoy the Yankees/Devil Rays game thoughts. If you have any questions or comments, suggestions or opinions, E-mail me.
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