Behind the Mic: Take Me Out to the Ballgame

 

After the first week of major league baseball, I have a very clear (yeah, right) understanding of how the entire season will shake out. As far as I am concerned, there is no need to play any more games – let’s just get right to the Divisional Playoffs. I thought I would be so kind to tell you who will win the Divisions, the Pennants, and the World Series. I also think if you use any of these predictions, you are flat-out crazy.

American League

West
1. Oakland – I loved “Moneyball” and the system still seems to be working for GM Billy Beane.
2. LA Angels – Pujols, Trout and Hamilton could carry this team to the top, but won’t.
3. Seattle – Robinson Cano has to help.
4. Texas – The pitching staff is a huge question mark with all the injuries.
5. Houston – Manager Bo Porter told the team to “shock the world”. They would like to, but not with this lineup.

Central
1. Detroit – Tigers had the second-most wins (93) in AL last year. Another Miguel Cabrera season like last year and they could win more.
2. Kansas City – This team is on the rise – third last year means second this year.
3. Cleveland – They may have the best manager in the division; won 92 games last year; and could win it all. I am picking them third for no apparent reason.
4. Chicago White Sox – 63-99 last year. They should be better because they can’t be worse.
5. Minnesota – $24 million for former Yankee pitcher Phil Hughes – enough said!

East
1. Tampa Bay – I really like Joe Madden, the Rays’ manager – so much so, I have lost my reasoning power and picked them to win the Division.
2. Boston – Isn’t “Big Papi” now “Big Grand-Papi”? I do not think the Red Sox can possibly have the year they had last season.
3. New York Yankees – I wish the Blue Jays and Orioles were better so I could pick them lower!
4. Baltimore – Not bad last year – not good this year.
5. Toronto – Finished last in the East last season; they are better, but will still finish last in the East this year.

Tigers will win the AL pennant.

 National League

West
1. San Francisco – I know everybody is picking the Dodgers here, but Bruce Bochy is the best manager in the Division and he still has a good pitching staff.
2. LA Dodgers – Clayton Kershaw will win almost every five days and this team is solid. They are everybody’s choice (not mine) to win the National League West.
3. San Diego – In this spot last year; in this spot this year.
4. Arizona – Goldschmidt and Trumbo are not household names, but are good hitters and could move the D’backs higher in the standings.
5. Colorado – They will not improve on last year’s position because they did not improve on last year’s team.

Central
1. St. Louis – Great pitching; solid lineup; great organization. Nuts!! I wanted to pick the Pirates.
2. Pittsburgh – Needed more hitting prowess, but did not get any in the off-season. It’s hard to fathom that they will improve on last year’s record.
3. Cincinnati – They won 90 games last year and finished third. Could easily do the same thing this year. They need to switch divisions.
4. Cubs and Brewers will tie for the worst teams in this division.
5. See #4.

East
1. Washington – They do not seem to win the big games when they have to. However, they do have the best pitching staff in the League. If they don’t choke…
2. Philadelphia – Don’t ask me why. I just have a hunch and I think Ryne Sandberg will motivate this team the right way. Hold your breath, Phillies fans, that the old men stay healthy.
3. Atlanta – They always seem to find a way to win, but their depleted pitching staff will hurt them.
4. New York Mets – Hey, they’re the Mets and they can count their lucky stars that the Marlins are in this division.
5. Miami – Once again, they kept the payroll and the talent very low.

Dodgers win the Wild Card and the NL pennant.
The Dodgers will win the World Series, their first since 1988!

You heard it here first!

ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS)
1. “A tradition unlike any other”. That’s The Masters! And it will be unlike any other at least for the last 20 years because Tiger Woods will not be playing in it. Woods, due to his bad back, has played just 10 rounds on tour this year, breaking 70 just three times. So who will win? Well, Russell Henley, Patrick Reed, John Senden, Matt Every, and Matt Jones all have tour wins this year. Who???

2. I am writing this before the championship game, but how about the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship featuring Notre Dame and Connecticut? The two teams go into the final with combined 76-0 records. No final has ever featured two undefeated teams. Connecticut has won 44 straight, since losing on March 12, 2013 to Notre Dame.

3. “This first week of baseball will give us an indication of how bad the Phillies are or how good they just might be.” I wrote this in my blog last week. Well, the conclusion after the first two series with the Rangers and the Cubs is “no clue”. I thought they should have won every game against the Rangers (1-2) and did just fine against the Cubs (2-1). So, they were not so good and then pretty good. Stay tuned.

4. In case you are beating yourself up about your NCAA pool (and I am, for sure, since my administrative assistant TIED me!), let me offer a little solace. Out of 11 million brackets submitted to ESPN, only 612 had the Final Four. That is 0.00005%. I don’t even know how to SAY that percentage!

5. This year three teams were added to the Blue Mountain League and one left. Two of the new ones came over from the Tri-County League, which broke up after last season. They are the Northern Yankees and the Limeport Bulls. In addition, the Roseto Bandits entered as an expansion team. The Vynecrest Reds dropped out. The teams will each play 30 games, with six teams making the playoffs. Martins Creek won it all last year. RCN TV will cover the BML again this summer, assuming summer EVER gets here.

 

Gary Laubach About Gary Laubach

Gary began his broadcasting career with Twin County in 1972. Twin County eventually became C-TEC and then RCN. Gary holds the dual role of Director of Media Services and Sports Director/Broadcaster. He currently broadcasts about 140 sports and entertainment broadcasts a year, and oversees the scheduling of all sporting events for RCN.

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