2009 Baseball Preview

Yes, folks, the 2009 season is underway; there’s further talk of steroids, a bad economy, and ticket prices resembling monthly rent payments–yes, those made in the HIGH RENT district.  Here’s how they’ll finish this season:

N.Y. Yankees        Minnesota Twins         L.A. Angels
Boston Red Sox       Cleveland Indians            Oakland A’s
T.B. Rays                Chicago White Sox           Texas Rangers
Toronto Blue Jays     Kansas City Royals          Seattle Mariners
Baltimore Orioles      Detroit Tigers
AL EAST–  Flip a coin between New York and Boston;  it’ll all come down to who stays more healthy–but I think Teixeira’s impact will be huge.  Sox’ staff deeper, but Yanks will have a sense of desperation with their older core players–and make the most of it.  Rays’ young staff to blow out come September.  Halladay in Toronto doesn’t get enough help from his fellow starters.  Orioles have a totally new pitching staff–but it won’t matter; yes, poor Brian Roberts.
AL CENTRAL– I like the Twins starting pitching better than Cleveland’s–and Joe Nathan is still Joe Nathan; however, Mauer must return to full strength.  I’m not crazy about Chicago’s bullpen–and there are health concerns.  Royals low on-base percentage will hurt them–but they could surprise somewhat.  Tigers’ young, talented arms of ’06 now a distant memory; if they were to win this division, then yours truly could be dating Charlize Theron come October.
AL WEST– Angels just too talented in an otherwise weak division, but will they get enough production out of the 1B and DH spots?  Giambi will test cleanly and Oakland will score more runs–but their pitching is suspect.  As usual, Rangers’ pitching is “iffy,”–to say the least.  Mariners start the season without Ichiro, and their “big” off-season acquisitions were an over-the-hill Griffey, Jr. and Russell Branyon–telling you all you really need to know.

N.Y. Mets                   Chicago Cubs             L.A. Dodgers
Philadelphia Phillies     Milwaukee Brewers    Arizona D’Backs
Atlanta Braves             St. Louis Cardinals     S.F. Giants
Florida Marlins             Houston Astros         Colorado Rockies
Washington Nationals   Cincinnati Reds         S.D. Padres
Pittsburgh Pirates
NL EAST– Mets’ acquisitions of Putz and K-Rod put them over the top–but WHICH Oliver Perez will show up every five days?  Phillies will score, but starting pitchers like “Father Time” Moyer will disappoint.  Braves lack power–and will have trouble closing games.  Marlins may make more errors than the Bush administration did; Nationals located in D.C.–where NOTHING good happens these days.
NL CENTRAL– Cubs starting pitching still excellent–and Milton Bradley helps the offense.  Brewers will simply try to outscore opponents–but this isn’t bowling.  Cards will have trouble closing games–and they have no bench.  Houston has too many #5 starters; I don’t like the Reds outfield.  Pirates’ only hope is that SOME people show up in person to see them finish last once again.
NL WEST– Infielder Hudson helps Dodgers a lot, but will Manny quit come September?  Haren and Webb may win 40 for Arizona–but they’ll fall short.  Giants’ lack of power puts too much pressure on a decent staff.  Rockies can’t outscore people like they used to and will miss Holliday too much.  If you can name the Padres lineup, you have WAY too much time on your hands.
*Postseason: I’ll say the Yankees’ off-season money machine propels them to yet another World Series appearance–despite A-ROID appearing on the cover of the New York Post at least a half-dozen times this summer.  Cubs make up for the embarrassment of last postseason (and the past 100 years!) and win the World Series in early, bone-chilling November.

Enjoy the season, everyone!

About the Author

Bob Lazzari

Bob Lazzari is an award-winning sports columnist for both Connecticut's Valley Times and NY Sports Day--where his "Sports Roundup" column is featured weekly. He is a member of the Connecticut Sports Writers' Alliance and host of "Monday Night Sports Talk" www.mondaynightsports.net --a cable television show on CTV/Channel14 in Connecticut. A Fordham grad, Bob is a regular contributor to ESPN Radio's "Inside Yankee Baseball"; he can also be heard weekly every Tuesday morning on WXLM/104.7 FM in New London, CT. He has a popular blog www.boblazzari.blogspot.com where many of his past columns have been archived.

Get connected with us on Social Media