Official 2008 Baseball Thread

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by Bruce, Mar 8, 2008.

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  1. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    Spring training is heating up, and the predictions from the pundits are fast & furious. This is the place to make predictions, discuss trades, and trash-talk about your favorite team.

    Of course I believe my beloved Red Sox will repeat as World Series Champions. Losing Curt Schilling for most of the year will definitely hurt, but I think signing Bartolo Colon for short guaranteed money and an incentive-loaded contract was brilliant.

    The team that worries me this year in the AL are the Tigers; I really think Dontrelle Willis will flourish into a bona-fide #1 ace at the top of their rotation.

    The Yankees are going nowhere this year.....again. :D
     
  2. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    I think that in this day and age it is very difficult to win back to back World Series Championships. Still, it's hard to imagine that the Red Sox won't be in the race as we move from the Summer into the Fall.

    I'm curious to see what will happen to Roger Clemens. I never had any reason to dislike him but I also don't have any reason to feel sorry for him. I don't really care too much about it either way as most of my curiosity has to do with seeing how the system will work in such a high profile case. It was on my mind a bit today because I heard that Marion Jones started her six month prison sentence today. Clemens is in virtually the same situation that Jones faced a while back (I think that's right) and so I'm just curious about whether Clemens will do some time. Maybe he can afford better lawyers than Jones (although they don't seem to be doing him much good so far).
     
  3. Dr. Gina

    Dr. Gina New Member


    My bet is that the Mets will though! :)
     
  4. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    Adding Johan Santana will certainly help, but I still have my doubts about Pedro Martinez' durability. They have the roster to make a good run, but need to get past that crushing collapse at the end of last year.
     
  5. novemberdude

    novemberdude New Member

    Hi Bruce,

    You mentioned Pedro. I watched him in Montreal (I was one of the 27 baseball fans left in the city by the end) and thought he had incredible stuff. As a Boston fan, what did you think of him?
     
  6. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    I saw both Roger Clemens and Pedro Martinez in their primes, and I think Pedro was far & away the better pitcher; he had the overpowering fastball that Roger did, but also a biting curve and an absolutely devastating changeup. He just had a shorter prime than Roger did.

    In the 1999 All-Star Game, Pedro started off the game by striking out Barry Larkin, Larry Walker, and Sammy Sosa in a row. He then opened the second by fanning Mark McGwire (in his steroid prime), Matt Williams reached on an error, then Jeff Bagwell struck out & Williams was caught stealing second for a double play. The most dominating pitching performance I ever saw against a Hall of Fame lineup.
     
  7. novemberdude

    novemberdude New Member

    It's a shame about Pedro's short prime. Granted, it has been argued that his prime was the most statistically dominating few years for any pitcher in baseball history.

    I watched him pitch many, many times in Montreal, and then I followed his career in Boston. He was a great pitcher and a great competitor, and by all accounts a good guy in the clubhouse. There was a point when he would have signed a reasonable 5 year deal with Montreal, the Expos wouldn't for it, he won the Cy Young and got traded. I still want to cry.

    I remember after the trade some Boston fan's complaining that they (Boston) had traded the next Clemens (Carl freakin' Pavano) for a little guy who wouldn't last. Pedro lasted better than Pavano, and we don't even have to discuss the next Clemens prediction.

    How about Roger, do you think he was clean?
     
  8. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    You would have to put him up there with Sandy Koufax in that regard.

    You have to understand the mindset of Red Sox fans before 2004; everything was a conspiracy to make sure we never won the World Series. That still exists to a very minor extent (listen to our sports talk on weei.com), but two championships in the last 4 years has pretty much wiped that out.

    No way. The really sad thing is that I think he's actually convinced himself he never used any banned substances. He and Barry Bonds can share a cell in federal prison.
     
  9. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    Neither of the two Bay Area teams are going to be factors this year.

    The Giants are going into rebuilding mode as they enter their post-Barry years. They need to get younger and stop offering mega-contracts to aging fading stars. That's going to be a multi-year project. They might be lucky to finish 500 this year.

    But the clubhouse chemistry (no, not that kind, but that too) will only get better without a single star dominating the whole clubhouse with his attitude and his entourage. (You could almost hear the music-video sound-track playing.)

    The A's? Same thing as always. A small-budget team with an exceptional farm system, who keeps bringing up unknown kids who are thrilled to be playing in the bigs, giving them a stage to make names for themselves, then losing them to wealthier teams in free-agency. (Sometimes the A's seem like a super farm-club for the Yankees.)

    Oakland's usually entertaining though, if you like pure no-frills baseball without all the attitude across the bay. There's a David-and-Goliath aspect to it too, and its always fun to see the kids play well and beat teams like Boston or those damn Yanks. People look forward to those matchups. The A's year will be successful if they make the post-season.

    Here in California, the Pods, Angels and Dodgers look to have more potential this year. But Homeland Security investigates Northern Californians who like Southern California teams, so I'd better shut up.
     
  10. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    The two main baseball columnists here in San Francisco are predicting that the Mets will sign Barry Bonds. As one said, a refrigerator playing left field would cost a lot less and catch as many fly balls. Since he seems determined to play, I'd expected him to end up in the American League, since 'designated hitter' is really all that's left for him (assuming he stays out of prison).
     
  11. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated did a story on just that subject;

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/writers/jon_heyman/03/10/heyman.giants/index.html

    What's the buzz out there concerning the Dodgers/Red Sox game at the old L.A. Coliseum? Word back here is that over 100,000 tickets will be sold, which I believe will make it the highest attendence for a baseball game ever, at least in the United States.
     
  12. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

  13. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    There are lots of people within a pro baseball organization that no one knows about or thinks about. For example, there is a guy who serves as the catcher in the bull pen. He's not on the roster and he never will be. He's a low paid guy who loves the game and loves just to be involved with the club. Last year, the guy who plays that role for the Red Sox left the clubhouse after a game to discover that his car had been stolen or wrecked or something. Like many of us, without a car, life gets very difficult very quickly. Schilling and Beckett chipped in and bought the guy a new pickup truck. You can say that it's small change to them but there are many people who could make similar gestures but it never even occurs to them to do so. The Sox threatened to boycott the Japan trip unless MLB paid all the coaches (as they had promised). These coaches might make 100K per year and so a 40K payment means a lot to them. The players did a good thing.
     
  14. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    Does anyone think the Cleveland Indians will do well this year?
     
  15. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    They'll do well, provided Eric Wedge doesn't burn out the starting rotation by Labor Day. Their pitchers were shot by the playoffs.
     
  16. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    Bruce: "What's the buzz out there concerning the Dodgers/Red Sox game at the old L.A. Coliseum? Word back here is that over 100,000 tickets will be sold, which I believe will make it the highest attendence for a baseball game ever, at least in the United States."

    John: There were over 115,000! And here are the two 'back story' facts that I love:

    (1) The previous game played at the L.A. Coliseum was in 1961 and attracted 12,068 people . . . who got to see Sandy Koufax pitch all 13 innings in a 3-2 Dodger victory. Will we ever see his like again?

    (2) The previous biggest crowd to watch a ballgame was 114,000 . . . in Melbourne, Australia, as part of the 1956 Olympics.
     
  17. SPandalai

    SPandalai New Member

    Go Mets!!
    I hope they do well.
     
  18. Tireman 44444

    Tireman 44444 Well-Known Member

    Dont underestimate my Atlanta Braves. My boys maybe a factor. My other team, the Houston Astros....not sure what will happen. They could be a wildcard or be a bust, who knows.
     
  19. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    The Braves are always in the race, but always seem to choke at crunch time....kind of like the Red Sox used to be. :D

    The Astros are just awful; look for them to trade Roy Oswalt to the highest bidder by the trading deadline.
     
  20. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

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