This is the time of year when I make semi-bold predictions. I have started to call them "semi-bold" predictions, because I think truly BOLD predictions would be things like:
• The Washington Nationals will reach the World Series.
• The Washington Nationals will reach a local television audience larger than the average crowd at a
Point is, my bold predictions are not that bold. Last year, I predicted that the Tampa Bay Rays would be in contention late in the season, that
So, here are some semi-bold predictions for 2009.
Anyway, I love Sabathia, but I have been going back and forth on how he will pitch for the Yankees. On the one hand, he's a great pitcher who looks to be going right into his prime. On the other hand, he has pitched about a million innings already and he does not have a great history at Yankee Stadium. On the other hand, this is the new Yankee Stadium, and anyway his history at Yankee Stadium was AGAINST the Yankees, which is a whole different thing. On the other hand, three bad starts in a row and he will feel like he's pitching AGAINST the Yankees again.
And so on.*
Anyway, Sabathia isn't the reason I think the Yankees will miss the playoffs again. And
No, the simple reasons are that I think that Tampa Bay will be better than last year. And I think Boston is a more complete team than the Yankees. In my view, those are three of the five best teams in baseball, and one is going to miss the playoffs. I think it will be the Yankees.
Now many people seem to think that the Rays will fall off this year -- and I guess that's logical -- but I can't help but think the opposite. Now, they have
I don't know how much better a team can be than the Rays of 2008. They won the American League East and went to the World Series. It's hard to improve on that. But I think, all in all, the Rays are a better baseball team now.
But I don't get it. I really don't. I do not understand this team at all. I have no idea how they are going to win games. I'll be happy to be wrong and then read all about it in
But everywhere he goes, baseball teams win. And he's one of the best hitters in baseball history. Just goes to show you: Winner can mean many different things.
Now, I don't think Beltran will be the best player in the National League in 2009. That is always