TMS MLB Preview '08 - AL East

12:00 AM | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

Just like last season, TMS is previewing the upcoming 2008 baseball season division by division. This year we're starting with the AL East. So strap in and get ready for some of the worst analysis and lack of insight that only we can provide. I hope to have more bartenders involved with future installments. This week only Chaim was kind enough to help me out. I bribed him with toast.

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST

1. BOSTON RED SOX
2007: 96-66 (1st)

So Long: P Matt Clement, P Brendan Donnelly, P Eric Gagne, 1B Eric Hinske

Welcome: 1B Sean Casey, P Bartolo Colon

PROJECTED LINEUP
1. Dustin Pedroia 2B
2. Kevin Youkilis 1B
3. David Ortiz DH
4. Manny Ramirez LF
5. J.D. Drew RF
6. Jason Varitek C
7. Mike Lowell 3B
8. Coco Crisp/Jacoby Ellsbury CF
9. Julio Lugo SS

Starting Rotation - Josh Beckett, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Tim Wakefield, Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz
Setup - Julian Tavarez, Hideki Okajima
Closer - Jonathan Papelbon

Hey remember when I idiotically picked the Sox to finish 4th last year? No? Oh, well never mind I mentioned it. Anyway while I originally picked them to finish 2nd this season, I was overruled by some other bartenders so here they are, at the top of the AL East. The cock of the walk if you will, emphasis on cock.

OK, so why are they on top? Aside from being the defending champion? Well they did rid themselves of Clement, Gagne, and Hinske, which is some fine addition by subtraction if you ask me. They've got a solid rotation with Beckett and Dice at the top of the rotation and Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz looking to make a name for themselves. The bullpen looks good, although having Pineapple Head Tavarez in a setup role is always a potentially volatile situation. The starting lineup is going to be tough with the exception of Nancy Drew in the 5 spot.

PRESEASON AWARDS
Mr. Sexy Time: CF Jacoby Ellsbury - Ellsbury was mentioned in the Santana trade rumors and fans reacted as if the Red Sox were putting their family dog to sleep. Jacoby emerged late last season and unseated Coco Crisp from the CF spot during the playoffs. Ellsbury has since become a cult hero in Boston and favorite with the female fans. Currently ranked as the #2 Boston prospect by Baseball Prospectus, Ellsbury is the first ballplayer of Navajo descent to play in the Major League.

Wake Me When It's My Contract Year: OF J.D. Drew - Seriously, if anyone was going to write their masters thesis on ballplayers magically playing way better then they usually do when they're in a contract year, Drew would be the ultimate case study. Him and about every NBA center.

I Got My Dance Moves From Joakim Noah: RP Jon Papelbon - Seriously, this guy.

FOR MORE READING
Surviving Grady
Out in Center Field


2. NEW YORK YANKEES
2007: 94-68 (2nd)

SO LONG: P T.J. Beam, P Matt DeSalvo, 1B Doug Mientkiewicz, P Ron Villone, P Luis Vizcaino

WELCOME: 3B Morgan Ensberg, P LaTroy Hawkins, OF Jason Lane, P Heath Phillips, 3B Chris Woodward

PROJECTED ORDER
1. Johnny Damon DH
2. Derek Jeter SS
3. Bobby Abreu RF
4. Alex Rodriguez 3B
5. Hideki Matsui LF
6. Jorge Posada C
7. Jason Giambi 1B
8. Robinson Cano 2B
9. Melky Cabrera CF

Starting Rotation - Chien-Ming Wang, Andy Pettitte, Phil Hughes, Mike Mussina, Joba Chamberlain, Ian Kennedy
Setup - Kyle Farnsworth
Closer - Mariano Rivera

So maybe some of them are old, or a bit overrated, or not the same since they stopped roidin' up. Nonetheless that batting order still makes me poop myself. There's really no discernible way you can pitch around that shit.

The rotation once again has a few question marks as Andy Pettitte and Mike Mussina are just about ready to get their AARP cards, and it remains to be seen what Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, and Ian Kennedy can do over the course of a full season.

Oh yeah, there's also that new guy in the dugout. Certainly familiar to us Cub fans, Joe Girardi comes in as the new skip. Girardi's no bullshit attitude 2 years ago in Florida was good enough to whip up a bunch of ragtag youngsters to a near .500 record. We'll see what kind of impact he'll have with this star-studded team.

PRESEASON AWARDS
Mr. Sexy Time: RP Joba Chamberlain - Joba is probably the biggest X factor this season. He's training as a starter this spring, but it's likely he'll start the season as a reliever to limit the number of innings he throws this season. In the bullpen or in the rotation, the amount of buzz around this kid is pretty intense. Also his dad was born on a Winnebago Indian reservation. Apparently the Mr. Sexy Times can only have Native American connections.

The Walking Oxymoron, a Likable Yankee: 2B Robinson Cano - Let's face it, you can name off most of the Yankees starting lineup and there's at least a 50/50 chance that each name will invoke negative feelings from folks. Robinson Cano is the exception. If you say Robinson Cano, most people will say, "Yeah, he's alright." Cano is like nachos. Honestly, who the hell has anything against nachos?

Overrated, Like Belgium: OF Johnny Damon - I'm not saying he sucks but with the decline of Jim Edmonds he clearly takes the top spot of most overrated outfielder in the majors.

FOR MORE READING
Paul Katcher
Lady at the Bat


3. TORONTO BLUE JAYS
2007: 83-79 (3rd)

SO LONG: 3B Troy Glaus, P Josh Towers

WELCOME: C Rod Barajas, P Shawn Camp, OF Buck Coats, SS David Eckstein, P Ryan Ketchner, P John Parrish, 3B Scott Rolen, SS Marco Scutaro, OF Shannon Stewart

PROJECTED LINEUP
1. David Eckstein SS
2. Alex Rios RF
3. Vernon Wells CF
4. Frank Thomas DH
5. Lyle Overbay 1B
6. Scott Rolen 3B
7. Aaron Hill 2B
8. Adam Lind LF
9. Gregg Zaun C

Starting Rotation - Roy Halladay, A.J. Burnett, Shaun Marcum, Dustin McGowan, Jesse Litsch
Setup - Scott Downs, Jason Frasor, Casey Janssen
Closer - Jeremy Accardo, B.J. Ryan

Poor Toronto. Just being in Canada automatically makes them somewhat irrelevant to most Americans, but then they have to be in the same division with New York and Boston. The good news is they definitely have a leg up on Tampa Bay and Baltimore. This year, the Blue Jays aim to be the best damn 3rd place team in the league!

Not much has changed this year, except for the left side of the infield, where two former Redbirds have taken over at 3B and SS. Scott Rolen and Scott Rolen's pisspoor attitude were acquired for Troy Glaus and Troy Glaus' shitty batting average, and they also picked up everyone's favorite scrappy shortstop David Eckstein. I've come to realize that when the word scrappy is being thrown around a lot, it means said player is probably scrawny and not as good as we think/hope they are. For example, Ryan Theriot is scrappy. This blog is also probably scrappy.

PRESEASON AWARDS
Mr. Sexy Time: 3B Scott Rolen - Your incessant whining got you exiled to Canada. Way to go. Also playing on that great artificial turf will do wonders for your nagging injuries. Dumbass. Also Scott Rolen gave blankets infected with smallpox to Native Americans.

I'll Go Up There and Hit the Ball, And Then Someone Can Run the Bases For Me: DH Frank Thomas - Dude hasn't even stepped on a field to play defense in nearly 4 years. He did leg out 30 doubles last season. I'll just assume they were all ground-rule.

Underrated, Like British Women:
SP Dustin McGowan - People seem to have a boner for this kid. His numbers after the All-Star Break last year (3.67 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, and .217 BAA) definitely justify the "Prospect Priapism".

FOR MORE READING
All Your Base Are Belong to Rios
Drunk Jays Fans
The Tao of Stieb


4. TAMPA BAY RAYS
2007: 66-96 (5th)

SO LONG: P Shawn Camp, OF Elijah Dukes, SS Brendan Harris, OF Delmon Young

WELCOME: SS Jason Bartlett, P Mike DiFelice, OF Cliff Floyd, P Matt Garza, 1B Eric Hinske, P Trever Miller, P Troy Percival

PROJECTED LINEUP
1. B.J. Upton CF
2. Carl Crawford LF
3. Rocco Baldelli RF
4. Carlos Pena 1B
5. Jonny Gomes DH
6. Akinori Iwamura 2B
7. Evan Longoria 3B
8. Jason Bartlett SS
9. Dioner Navarro C

Starting Rotation - Scott Kazmir, James Shields, Matt Garza, Edwin Jackson, Andy Sonnanstine, Jason Hammel
Setup - Al Reyes, Gary Glitter, Dan Wheeler
Closer - Troy Percival

They dropped the "Devil" as well as some of their problem kids and now look like a pristine new team that even Jesus would approve of. Asinine Chip Wesley Prediction #1: The Rays will finish above .500. Hey, why the hell not? They've pieced together enough top prospects together, they're bound to improve eventually right?

**crickets**

PRESEASON AWARDS
Mr. Sexy Time: OF B.J. Upton - This guy was left to wallow in the minors long enough, and finally got his chance to shine last year. Upton certainly didn't disappoint either, batting .300 with 24 HR and 82 RBI in 129 games. While B.J. isn't Native American, he does like to frequent casinos run by them.

Hey Asshole, Didn't You Retire?: RP Troy Percival - When asked why he came back, he said he needed to notch a few more saves to "get back ahead of that son of a bitch Roberto Hernandez on the all-time list again."

I'm Pretty Sure He's Also Having Sex With Tony Parker: 3B Evan Longoria - How the hell can I take you seriously with that name?

FOR MORE READING
DRays Bay
Rays Index
Rays of Light


5. BALTIMORE ORIOLES
2007: 61-101 (5th)

SO LONG: C Paul Bako, P Kris Benson, SS Miguel Tejada

WELCOME: P Matt Albers, P Greg Aquino, P Lance Cormier, P Roberto Novoa, OF Luke Scott, P Steve Trachsel

PROJECTED LINEUP
1. Brian Roberts 2B
2. Luke Scott LF
3. Nick Markakis RF
4. Melvin Mora 3B
5. Aubrey Huff 1B
6. Ramon Hernandez C
7. Adam Jones CF
8. Kevin Millar DH
9. Luis Hernandez SS

Starting Rotation - Jeremy Guthrie, Adam Loewen, Daniel Cabrera, Garrett Olson, Matt Albers
Setup - Chad Bradford
Closer - George Sherrill

There are times I look at people and see nothing worth liking. Case in point, this team.

PRESEASON AWARDS
Mr. Sexy Time: The Wire - I don't know, people really seem to love this show, and it takes place in Baltimore. Are there Native Americans in it?

Hopefully He Doesn't End Up Like That Other Adam Jones: OF Adam Jones - At least he just came from Seattle, where "making it rain" probably has a more literal meaning.

Holy Shit, Really?: Davey Johnson - He was manager the last time the O's finished with a winning record. That was 1997.

FOR MORE READING
Oriole Magic
Oriole Post
Camden Chat

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