Well, it's FINALLY time for the 2010 baseball season. No more winter, no more spring training....time to see how this goes down....how my predictions (and everyone elses will stand up over the season).....and also how Chedderhead/My Razzball team and the random Cbssports.com fantasy league i'm in that I haven't talked about does.......
Yankees vs. Red Sox
Sunday (Sabathia vs. Beckett) ESPN 2
Tuesday (Burnett vs. Lester) MLBN
Wednesday (Pettite vs. Lackey) ESPN 2
On a scale of 1-10 my interest is a: 1
Like a bad TBS movie that they "give you 3 chances to watch" you get 3 chances to watch the Yankees take on the Red Sox. The Sunday game stands out because its the first game of the season that actually counts. In the context of this season, this series is fairly insignificant but i'm pretty sure ESPN is hyping it like the ALCS because to them, the other 28 teams might as well be Triple-A teams for all they care.....as evidenced by this 2007 expose by the Onion.
In all seriousness, I don't care who it is...baseball is back. You have ex-Brewer Sabathia taking the hill against Beckett who is currently in negotiations for a massive extension (will this keep him in contract year blow the world away mode?)
On Tuesday, MLB Network gets in on the fun as they show game 2 of this series. MLB Network gets a pass on the Red Sox-Yankees criticism I give ESPN as they are taking the step of showing all 30 teams within the first 30 days of the season.
Wednesday marks the first Red Sox start for John Lackey....does he justify the piles of money thrown at him last summer or not? We begin to find out Wednesday
Cardinals (Carpenter) vs. Reds (Harang) Monday ESPN
On a scale of 1-10, my interest is: 6
A few interesting things here:
1) First look at a couple of NL Central rivals: The first look at a Cardinals team that just about everyone (except myself....and I don't see them missing by much) against a Reds team that is a perpetual sleeper in the NL Central
2) A first look at whether Chris Carpenter can replicate his strong 2009 season. Talent isn't the issue, the ability to stay healthy....well that's a completely different story......also he's one of my starters in the CBS league (Baseball, Beer and Bahkas) so i'll be a bit more interested in the results
3) Day 1 of Jay Bruce's breakout season: With Cliff Lee and Huston Street injured, someone is going to have to carry Cheddarhead on their shoulders, it might as well be Jay Bruce.
Indians (Westbrook) vs. White Sox (Buerhle) Monday ESPN2
On a scale of 1-10 my interest is a: 4
The Indians have lots of potential in 2010.....to be as bad or as worse than the Royals. If the Indians have any hope of making that last sentence sound horribly wrong, they are probably going to need Jake Westbrook to make more than 5 starts.
The White Sox on the other hand, have reasonable playoff expectations. They may not be a great team but then again they aren't in the strongest division either. Despite Joe Nathan being shelved for the season, I still think the Twins will win the division (barely.)
Another fun fact is that this game matches up 2 of the 3 pitchers who tied for the league in Hits Allowed in 2006. (The third player, Jon Garland gets the opening day nod for the Padres).
Cubs (Zambrano) vs. Braves (Lowe) Monday ESPN
On a scale of 1-10 my interest is a: 8
Well, the Cubs are involved so if nothing else I have a team to root against. Also, with Carlos Zambrano pitching you never quite know what your getting although this tends to equal itself out over each season as his ERA+ the last few years have been eerily similar (117,118,119) Usually an interesting and harmless experience unless you happened to be dressed like a Gatorade machine and Zambrano doesn't like the umpiring on a given day.
For the Braves, the have Derek Lowe taking the hill here. Lowe is coming off his worst year as a starter but I see him coming back strong in 2010....i'm confident enough in this assertion that he ended up on Chedderhead.
Giants (Lincecum) vs. Astros (Oswalt) Monday ESPN
On a scale of 1-10 my interest is a: 7
Good pitching match-up. Anytime Lincecum takes the hill, it's worth watching (right now he's my favorite non-Brewers player) because you never know whats going to happen. The Astros are looking to Roy Oswalt to anchor their staff this year.
From '01-'07 this would have been a fairly sound strategy. However, Oswalt's performance and his health have regressed a bit in the last couple years ......pretty much a microcosm of the Astors as a whole.
Twins vs. Angels
Baker vs. Weaver Tuesday MLB Network
Pavano vs. Santana Wednesday ESPN 2
On a scale of 1-10 my interest is a : 6
It should be interesting to see how the Twins come out of the gate. Will their saavy winter moves and the momentum of locking up Joe Mauer be the catalyst towards another playoff appearance. Or will the downgrade from Joe Nathan to whoever they have closing games bring them back to the pack.
For the Angels, will they rack up another AL West title or will the Mariners off-season moves allow them to overtake Los Angeles of Anaheim of North America of the Northern Hemisphere and be top of the class. To answer some of these questions but raise more questions than are actually answered, stay tuned to find out.
Brewers vs. Rockies Wednesday MLB Network