Baseball Predictions: 2009 Might Be Full of Surprises!

cubs-win

ATLANTA— Tonight begins the 2009 baseball season, with the defending champion Philadelphia Phillies playing host to my beloved Atlanta Braves on ESPN.  And so with the start of a new season, I want to go ahead and put my thoughts on the line and provide my predictions for the upcoming year.

Here are my predictions, by division, for the upcoming baseball season.  The teams with asterisks represent my predicted Wild Card winners.

National League East

  1. New York Mets
  2. Philadelphia Phillies*
  3. Florida Marlins
  4. Atlanta Braves
  5. Washington Nationals

National League Central

  1. Chicago Cubs
  2. St. Louis Cardinals
  3. Milwaukee Brewers
  4. Houston Astros
  5. Cincinnati Reds
  6. Pittsburgh Pirates

National League West

  1. Arizona Diamondbacks
  2. Los Angeles Dodgers
  3. Colorado Rockies
  4. San Francisco Giants
  5. San Diego Padres

American League East

  1. New York Yankees
  2. Tampa Bay Rays*
  3. Boston Red Sox
  4. Toronto Blue Jays
  5. Baltimore Orioles

American League Central

  1. Cleveland Indians
  2. Detroit Tigers
  3. Minnesota Twins
  4. Chicago White Sox
  5. Kansas City Royals

American League West

  1. Los Angeles Angels
  2. Oakland Athletics
  3. Seattle Mariners
  4. Texas Rangers

World Series Champion

Chicago Cubs over the Tampa Bay Rays in 7 games.

 

The Basis for My Surprise Picks

I have what I believe are some surprise picks in the above predictions.  First, in the American League East, I predict the Red Sox finish third, behind the Yankees and the Rays.  This is surely a disappointment to Red Sox Nation, so I feel I must explain.  Overall, I believe that the American League East remains the strongest division in baseball. In fact, I feel sorry for the Toronto Blue Jays, because they would be contenders in just about any other division, but languish in fourth place here.   I believe the wild card winner will definitely come out of this division, and that Boston, Tampa Bay, and New York will be battling for the top two slots throughout the entirety of the season.  The final results could go any possible way, I will concede that. 

However, I pick the Yankees, because like Ben Bernanke’s Federal Reserve, these guys have the power to address any problem by throwing gobs of money at it.  While highly risky and completely inefficient, Mr. Bernanke and the New York Yankees both gamble that ultimately some of the money will stick and produce positive results.  This method has worked with reasonable effectiveness over the last 15 years for the Yankees (for Mr. Bernanke, the jury is still out).  With that said, the Yankees have addressed their rotation issues with two upper tier (though not top tier) pitchers, in Sabathia and Burnett.  I believe these arms, coupled with an all-star lineup, will push them over the top.  The youth and vitality of the Tampa Bay Rays, coupled with an amazing five-man rotation, will help them outlast the Boston Red Sox for second place. 

I still like the Sox and believe them to be a talented team.  However, with David Ortiz evidently in a decline, they lack a single go-to power hitter in their lineup.  Further, while the top three slots of their rotation are very good, it falls off considerably after that in my view.  A weaker offense coupled with a suspect second-half of the rotation may spell trouble for these guys in 2009.

Second, I’m predicting a resurgent Detroit Tigers team that could finish second (or even first) in a mediocre American League Central.   I believe this division to be perhaps the most up-for-grabs division in the game.  I think the Tigers team is being overlooked because of it fell so far short of expectations last year.  But it still has talent in its rotation (e.g. Verlander, Galarraga, Bonderman) that, while disappointing last year, may be setting up for a comeback.  Additionally, they bring back a potent lineup, anchored by Miguel Cabrera and Magglio Ordonez.

Third, I have picked my own favorite team, the Atlanta Braves, to finish a paltry fourth place during the year.   I continue to believe the future is bright for the Braves, with mega-stars in waiting down in the minor leagues (Tommy Hanson, Freddie Freeman, Jayson Heyward).  However, I think the team this year is probably a .500 level team.  Barring some surprise injury for the Phillies, Mets or Marlins, I think this team will linger in fourth place for one more season. They made a lot of moves in the off-season to address starting pitching, which they needed to do.  But they landed guys with a heap of question marks (Lowe, Kawakami, and Vazquez).  Additionally, they did nothing to address a lineup that continues to be anchored by two people who will likely not be in it for 20 or 30 games during the season, either because of their position (Brian McCann, catcher) or because of bodily ailments (Chipper Jones, third base).  There is no stable power source in the line-up and no apparent ability to generate runs otherwise (through small ball, etc.).   In order for this team to excel, Jeff Francoeur simply has to have a break-out season, which is something I think is increasingly unlikely to occur.

Fourth, and finally, I predict the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series.  Ok – I must admit, this is a dream more than most anything else.  I enjoyed watching the White Sox and Red Sox break their respective curses this decade and I would love to see the most cursed team in the game (the Cubs) win one this year.  After all, they last won a World Series in 1908.   But this team is talented and I believe is fairly solid, from top to bottom.  While not overwhelming, I believe they have a reasonably solid starting rotation, batting line-up, bench and bullpen- something not many teams can say.  Additionally, they have a fan-base that loves them and is ready for them to advance.  I am going out on a limb and calling this one the year of the Cubs. 

My Dark Horse Team for 2009

My final thought in this upcoming year is, do not be surprised to see the Kansas City Royals pull out of last place and place themselves in the middle of the pack in the American League Central.  The division is a shambles, with no clear front-runner in my mind.  This team went a surpising 18 – 8 during September, the most wins they had in a single month since July of 1994.  Additionally, they are loaded up with a growing base of young talent.  They have a serviceable starting rotation, with Zack Grienke, Kyle Davies, and Gil Meche headlining it.  If a few of their hitters click and reach their full potential (namely, Alex Gordon), this team could make a surprise run for the division title.  While my World Series pick may not reflect this (given the bias I mention above), I believe young, athletic teams are the teams of the future, in a post-amphetamine world.  And this team is young, with a surprising amount of talent.

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38 thoughts on “Baseball Predictions: 2009 Might Be Full of Surprises!

  1. Simply wrong. You should know this. You picked the Cubs to win. You should have concluded with “I think hell will freeze over.” The Royals would have been more probable. It’s the stinking Cubs for crying out loud. They lose. That’s what they do.

  2. AL East
    Rays
    Red Sox*
    Yankees
    Blue Jays
    Orioles

    AL Central
    Indians
    White Sox
    Twins
    Royals
    Tigers

    AL West
    Angels
    Athletics
    Rangers
    Mariners

    NL East
    Braves
    Phillies*
    Mets
    Marlins
    Nationals

    NL Central
    Cubs
    Reds
    Astros
    Cardinals
    Brewers
    Pirates

    NL West
    Dodgers
    Diamondbacks
    Giants
    Rockies
    Padres

    AL MVP: Grady Sizemore – Indians
    AL Cy Young: Jon Lester – Red Sox
    AL ROY: David Price – Rays

    NL MVP: Manny Ramirez – Dodgers
    NL Cy Young: Edinson Volquez – Reds
    NL ROY: Jordan Schafer – Braves

    AL Playoffs
    Rays over Indians
    Red Sox over Angels

    Rays over Red Sox

    NL Playorffs
    Braves over Cubs
    Dodgers over Phillies

    Dodgers over Braves

    World Series

    Rays over Dodgers

  3. Is your prediction of third place for the Red Sox in the AL East sour grapes because John Smoltz chose the Red Sox over your beloved Braves? Cubs win?

  4. I read that the Yankees had thrown a lot of money around in the off-season, but I think the strategy has pretty much sucked wind over the past few years. Granted, I am not particularly keen to get embroiled in America’s pasttime at the level of you guys, but I think it is far more likely to be that Boston is second or first in the AL East than the Yankees.

    I think Larry David has taken George Steinbrenner’s place in the back office for real nowadays.

    There was a great article on the Red Sox today in the Boston Globe. I think it keyed in on the most important thing in that they play as a team – much less ego. Granted, ego made its exodus last year to the Dodgers and good riddance for that one.

    Yankees seem to have far too much on and off field drama to be effective.

    Again, this is me more as an outside observer than a true hardcore baseball fan.

  5. Arnold Thomas – interesting choices. Curious what you think puts the Braves over the Mets? Those guys have Santana, K-Rod, and a great line-up, for starters. Braves don’t have much of a line-up, etc. unfortunately.

    Also – Shafer for ROY may be aggressive. He had a great debut, but I’m still wait-and-see with this guy. He was a juicer just a year ago. I’m not sure I know what kind of player he is yet.

  6. Jorge- not quite sour grapes, I still like the Sox. And I’ll readily admit they could finish 1 or 2. I think that race will be that close again. But they are relying on some aging bodies in key positions. And a further decline from Ortiz could be bad. I just think the Yanks and the Rays are more solid, top to bottom this year. What are you calling- Red Sox win it all?

  7. BMM: Yeah, I’d say the Yanks have been “reasonably effective” though not resoundingly successful, with all their big money plays. Meaning, they haven’t won a World Series since 2000 and havent’ played in one since 2003. That’s not resounding success. But they have been consistently in the playoffs or near the top of their division, which says some manner of success can be bought (unfortunately). I think the same will be true this year, as much as I hate the Yankees.

  8. I very rarely if ever make predictions, but since you ask the Yankees will not make the playoffs this season and are in my opinion destined for third place in the AL East! Talk about a team of aging bodies! I like the Rays, but they aren’t going to sneak up on anybody this year! I’m not convinced that their starting five are going to perform up to the level of last year as a group either. Mind you a full season of a healthy, poised David Price could make up the difference! The Rays bullpen looks thin though and especially at the closer position which is never a good thing. That being said the Rays are a very young and a very talented team and the Durham Bulls are stacked, so nobody in their right mind would count them out (solid management too). Of course for all teams health is everything and especially in the starting five as you know! If Ortiz has the type of year he’s capable of (if he’s healthy) and the flame thrower and Daniel Bard is what they say he is (100 plus) and comes up in June (which is expected to do) and performs you better believe I think the Red Sox are capable of winning it all again. I hear too that Theo have been talking to JP Riccardi about acquiring some outfield help (Ales Rios) just in case the terrible JD Drew is his usual ineffective and injured self and do not count out Theo pulling the trigger on Salty if Varitek continues to look clueless at the plate! This Red Sox team is very deep and they have a ton of quality arms including an absolute stud closing for them. Do you really think their offense isn’t going to rank at the top of the league in runs scored? Do we really need to go back to last years AL MVP Race? Do the math!

    The F-16s just flew over my office and shook the building, it’s Opening Day in Boston (the best city in the USA for baseball), PLAY BALL!!!

  9. Chuck: I have a feeling the Salty deal is off now due to the Rangers trading their guys to make him their starting catcher. Nolan Ryan has been praising the new direction the team has been going in, young talent all over that field. They’ll only look to add pitching and trade from depth. Catcher depth is no longer present.

    However, I did read that Theo expects mega “sell-offs” at mid-season so I would not be the least bit surprised to see the Red Sox very active at the deadline. Some how though I don’t think pitching will be the target. They have a lot of guys scheduled for midseason returns, such as John Smoltz.

    I think you’re right about those Yankees. The one stat I keep hearing about that makes me happy is, no team has won it all with a short-stop as old as Derek Jeter. Jeter is a good guy, but I am happy when New York loses. They opened up 2009 on pace for 162 loses! Man I love early season stats. 😀

  10. Here ya go Van Nuys

    AL East
    Tampa Bay Rays

    AL Central
    Cleveland Indians

    AL West
    Los Angeles Angels

    AL Wild Card
    Boston Red Sox

    AL Champion
    Tampa Bay Rays

    NL East
    New York Mets

    NL Central
    Chicago Cubs

    NL West
    Arizona Diamondbacks

    NL Wild Card
    Atlanta Braves

    NL Champion
    New York Mets

    World Champion
    Tampa Bay Rays

  11. Stephen. Here is my basis for picking the Braves over the Mets and the Phillies. If Phillies loses its top starter (Cole Hamels), they arent as deep with starting pitching as the Braves are. The same applies to the Mets. My point is either of those teams losing their top starters puts more pressure on the back end of their rotations. The back end of Atlanta’s rotation is deeper than anyone else in baseball i believe. Remember at some point too that Glavine will pitch as will Tim Hudson and the secret or not so secret weapon in Tommy Hanson will at some point be up in the Bigs.

  12. Chief Crazy Talk,

    As you know the Sox have stockpiled a lot of arms (young to old) so they’ll have the bait to acquire a catcher to replace Varitek. Theo is nothing if not obsessive with some players and as such he has been prone to making mistakes (see Lugo and Drew). I believe that the Sox will have a scout watching Salty’s every move and especially because Theo is obsessed with him and solid young pitching is very hard to pass up. I think Toronto will be unloading some outfield talent too, these are two places the Sox need help and they have a lot of top shelf youngsters to get what they need. If Florida is tanking by the trading deadline look for the Red Sox to make a hard run at reacquiring Hanley Ramirez as of course he was traded to the Marlins from the Sox in the Beckett deal. They could offer Florida another solid young short stop with a wonderful glove in Jed Lowrie with a couple of quality young arms for Hanley, something I would very much like to see happen!

  13. Chief Crazy Talk,

    As you know the Sox have stockpiled a lot of arms (young to old) so they’ll have the bait to acquire a catcher to replace Varitek. Theo is nothing if not obsessive with some players and as such he has been prone to making mistakes (see Lugo and Drew) and he has his obsessive eyes on Salty. I believe that the Sox will have a scout watching Salty’s every move and especially because Theo is obsessed with him and solid young pitching is very hard to pass up. I think Toronto will be unloading some outfield talent too, these are two places the Sox need help and they have a lot of top shelf youngsters to get what they need. If Florida is tanking by the trading deadline look for the Red Sox to make a hard run at reacquiring Hanley Ramirez as of course he was traded to the Marlins from the Sox in the Beckett deal. They could offer Florida another solid young short stop with a wonderful glove in Jed Lowrie with a couple of quality young arms for Hanley, something I would very much like to see happen!

    1. Chuck, now you’re talking crazy. The Rangers will not trade their starting catcher. The Rangers also have a plethera of young high caliber pitchers on the cusp (Neftali Feliz being the most exciting).
      And the Marlins aren’t trading the best short-stop in the majors for Lowrie. Just not going to happen.

      Outfield depth can be had from the Nationals (I think they have about 7 outfielders under contract). The Rangers might also be up for trading their outfield depth aka Andruw Jones (3-5 yesterday). As you said, Theo keeps his eyes on his targets… he’s attempted to acquire Jones in the past (but wouldn’t deal young pitching to do it). Holliday from the A’s is probably up for grabs as well.

      Nevertheless, Salty and Hanely are not moving.

  14. Two words: Taylor Teagarden who can slip right into Salty’s place and they have a couple of solid young catching prospects in the minors, that is where the Rangers have depth. I mean, I don’t have to explain to you what the most valuable commodity in baseball is, do I? PITCHING!!!

    As for the issue of Hanley Ramirez did you read my post? Lowrie has gold glove potential, is the starting short stop for the Boston Red Sox, so he would make a more than adequate short stop for the Rangers, so if the Rangers can add a couple of high quality prospects (arms) to a gold glove potential short stop, and cut payroll, well, let’s look at their history for a minute, and ask ourselves, does that sound reasonable, and the answer is yes! Theo wants Hanley BAD and Hanley was a Red Sox product! In addition, Hanley was very vocal about his desire to return to Boston this off season. I think Hanley in a Red Sox uniform is only a matter of time CCT. Theo like everyone else in Boston is thinking of an infield of Youkilis (3B), Pedroia, Ramirez and they have a MONSTER first baseman in waiting at AAA named named Lars Anderson as their infield for years to come. That infield would have three perennial All Star/MVP types in it and that my fiend is what Theo is lusting after. The Red Sox spent nothing this Winter so you know they are getting ready to load up when the desperation of the deadline sets in and with a TON of cash in hand and a plethora of young arms in the minors, and of course a powerful desire to make the Yankees look stupid, well, you get the picture.

    Now back to the Rangers for a minute their farm System is nowhere near as deep as the Red Sox farm system and if Theo really wants Salty that too will happen. The rumor is that Theo really wants Mauer and Salty is just a smoke screen! Now the Twins understand the value of quality young arms (and are always looking to shed payroll and especially with HUGE contracts, see Santana), but of course Mauer’s back issues will need to be squared away first!

    As for outfield help you’re right it could come from several sources I mean quality outfielders came very cheap this off season, but I’ve heard recently that it most likely come from Toronto (Rios) with JP Riccardi trying to trim payroll to save his neck! They also said he JP will trade within the division should they be in bad shape by the trading deadline. We’ll see.

    Jones’ massive drop off in offensive production looks to follow a very well worn recent trend in MLB, no? You may not have noticed, but the Red Sox have not had a single player in their entire system accused of steroids use so there’s no chance someone showing tell tale sighs endng up on their roster and please spare me the BS that it’s because George Mitchell is on their payroll.

    Of course this is all speculation but you know my feelings, time will show us the reality.

    Play ball!

  15. As for the issue of Hanley Ramirez did you read my post? Lowrie has gold glove potential, is the starting short stop for the Boston Red Sox, so he would make a more than adequate short stop for the Rangers, so if the Rangers can add a couple of high quality prospects (arms) to a gold glove potential short stop, and cut payroll, well, let’s look at their history for a minute, and ask ourselves, does that sound reasonable, and the answer is yes! Theo wants Hanley BAD and Hanley was a Red Sox product!

    You get crazier with each salivating dream over Hanley. He plays for the Marlins not the Rangers. Hanley just signed the longest contract in Marlin history. The Marlins have been promised a new stadium (we’ll see though). I have a strong feeling that Hanley isn’t going any where soon. He doesn’t get expensive until 2012. The Fish have more young quality pitching than anyone in the game. And if Theo is going to get him, it will take more than Lowrie and a couple of arms. Hanley is the best short stop out there. He hits .309/ .380/ .528 with 30 HR, 50 SB, 80 RBI and 130 Runs scored.

    And if Lowrie is so good, why would Theo trade him? The answer is, Lowrie isn’t as good. Ramirez isn’t going to be had for a short-stop who hits .251/.332/.387 and a few arms. The Marlins know how to evaluate talent. That is the history of their team. And Lowrie for Ramirez isn’t a fair trade of talent.

  16. And as for this: The Red Sox have not had a single player in their entire system accused of steroids

    Let’s not forget Mota was a Red Sock and he has been outed. No one has accused Andruw of juicing, except you apparently. It’d be a real hard one to prove since Andruw’s massive production only occured AFTER the drug tests were implemented. Prior to that, when roids were rampant, Jones hit 30-35 HR’s a year. If you followed Andruw you would know that KFC holds the majority of the blame. The rest of it goes to personal comfort. He fell apart right when news came out the Braves, the only team he had known, drafted at age 16, put him on waivers and were in trade talks concerning him.

    Prior to the trade and waivers talks:
    .268/.343/.504
    After the trade and waiver talks:
    .214/.316/.406

  17. Yes of course I meant the Marlins I was just all pumped up on the Salty talk and because he is an ex Brave on his way to Boston! Do you think I don’t know where Ramirez and Sanchez went and Lowell and Beckett come from?

    I really just pointed out that Jones had a precipitous drop off and he was somewhat out of the blue a 50 HR threat! So Jones averaged 30 HR a season his first eight years in the league and then he hits 51 and 41 and then they impose strict steroid testing and he not only can’t hit for power he can’t hit at all. His bat speed is so slow he goes from being a 20 million dollar ballplayer to signing on as a fourth outfielder for 500K. Is it wrong to suggest that something smells fishy here CCT?! I know he’s one of your beloved Braves, but come on!

    Mike Lowell just hit a bomb! Let’s Go Red Sox!!! Best #7 hitter in MLB!

    The Red Sox are in Anaheim and there are more Red Sox fans in the ball park than Angels fans! The chant of Let’s Go Red Sox is loud and clear, well it’s like that everywhere they play as the Red Sox are America’s team! I wish you knew what that was like CCT!!! 😉

  18. By the way CCT, it’s nice to get along. 🙂

    BMM told me you’re big into music too, as I am.

    Maybe there is hope for us?

  19. My hidden identity is exposed – yikes! As if most of the folks who post on here didn’t know who I am anyways.

    As for you two getting along, nothing like a rousing game of Risk to make everyone closer.

    I know the location of a certain Risk board that was utilized in many college battles. Nowhere near me, but somewhere in Charlotte with a fellow that likes to keep his tidbits in Devilish pouches.

  20. I know all too well what it is like to be a fan of “America’s Team.” The Braves held that crown for quite some time.

    And you’re attempts at re-writing history are weak at best.

    In 2004 MLB implemented the Drug Testing Program. This was declared the end of the Roid Era. That was the year that all the fastballs got slow, and all the HR hitters hit fewer HRs.

    Jones had his best years at ages 28 and 29, The so-called prime years. Those dates: 2005 and 2006…. AFTER the drug testing came in.

    For your sentence to be accurate in recounting history it would have to read:

    “So Jones averaged 30 HR a season his first eight years in the league and then they impose strict steroid testing and then he hits 51 and 41 …”

    But when you are accurate with the course of the events your sentence and reasoning makes absolutely no sense.

  21. Well, no one can say I didn’t try Chief Crazy Talk, but like they say, a leopard can’t change it’s spots. Now knowing your mind set I want to be clear in my intention here that was not meant as a compliment.

    Your inability to recognize when steroid testing was REALLY enforced is contrary to all of the facts and as such completely inaccurate, but really how could I expect you to be anything but what you are, a closed minded person incapable any thoughts outside of your blind faith and beliefs and well for the lack of a better term, comfort zone.

    It will be interesting to go back and look at all of these posts in the future and see who really had a understanding of what was going on, but unfortunately for you and your obvious personality disirder, no matter what the reality you will bend it to suit your own needs, ego and arrogance, sad really.

    As Bob Dylan once said, “The answers my friend are blowin’ in the wind, the answers are blowin’ in the wind.”

  22. Check this one out Chuck:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2003/11/14/sports/results-of-steroid-testing-spur-baseball-to-set-tougher-rules.html

    This one is dated Nov. 14, 2003.

    Results of Steroid Testing Spur Baseball to Set Tougher Rules…From 5 to 7 percent of the 1,438 random, anonymous tests of players on major league teams’ 40-man rosters this year were positive, baseball said, triggering testing for the 2004 season that could result in penalties against players. The players would also be identified publicly.

    And then there is this one Chuck:
    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/2005-01-12-steroid-policy_x.htm

    Here is the Date of this article: Jan. 12, 2005

    Major League Baseball and the players union announced Thursday a new joint agreement on a stricter steroid testing program that includes random, offseason testing…The agreement, which has been ratified by the 30 clubs, will probably be voted upon by the players union before the start of spring training. It begins this coming season and runs through the 2008.

    And then Chuck, there is this one from Dec 8, 2005

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20051208&content_id=1279825&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb

    Three weeks after Major League Baseball’s owners unanimously ratified a new drug policy restricting the use of performance-enhancing drugs and amphetamines, the players association followed suit and made it official

    Andruw Jones hit his peak right when the stricter steroid testing program was put in place, hitting 50 home runs. Then, when everyone complained and made the punishements tougher, he followed up with 40 homeruns. He did not hit a ton of homeruns when there was no testing. He did hit tons of home runs when there was testing.

    These answers were written in the pages of history.

  23. Then how is it that ARods name has just come out this year from a test taken in 2003 and still it has still yet to be confirmed officially! In addition not only is ARod the biggest star in the game but it’s most controversial? Why won’t the commissioner release the infamous list?

    The numbers that I have questioned are textbook regarding this issue Chief Crazy Talk and if he was anyone other than a beloved Brave, well…

    Getting back to the question of America’s team wouldn’t it require them selling out their own ballpark first? The Red Sox are the biggest draw of any team on the road that distinction has never been the Braves!

    I’m a fan of the game so these weak quotes above mean nothing when everyone that is a fan of the game knows that it wasn’t until 2007 that they actually put teeth into the steroid policy, are you kidding?

    1. Chuck: “Weak quotes”? That is the course of events. Those aren’t simply quotes. Those are reports of happenings. That is what happened. And since the last event I listed, the sharpening of the “teeth” of the drug policy, approved on Dec 8th, 2005, no update has been made to the Drug Policy agreement since. Check it out Chuck: http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/news/drug_policy.jsp?content=timeline

      2007 was when the Mitchell report came out. That’s when 81 major leaguers were outed.

      But let’s run with this theory you have which is backed by no proof and conflicts with the chronological course of historical events…

      So, viewing the decline of power, a player could be safely assumed to be a roider if he hit 40 or 50 HR in back to back years in 2005 and 2006 and then two years later is struggling to hit half that much and has a low average.
      Would that be a correct assumption?

  24. I can find articles on the internet that say they have proof that camels can fly and the last time I checked Wikipedia was an open source web site that anyone can contribute information to which is the reason it can not be used as a source of reputation in college or anywhere facts are critical.

    I will say it again not only do the Red Sox have the major league record for the amount of consecutive sell outs at home they have established themselves and for several years now as the team that sells more tickets away from home than any other team in MLB. Hence the distinction as “America’s Team.” Again the Braves had trouble selling out their own stadium have never been a team to lead ticket sales away from home to my knowledge as before the Red Sox it was the Yankees, yet they were America’s team?

    The reasons I have listed as reasons to be suspicious of Jones’ precipitous drop off in power (HR, RBI) are completely, totally and absolutely the reasons everyone who has even a cursory interest in baseball lists as reasons to be suspicious. In addition by the Dodgers staff admission a precipitous drop off in bat speed! A rise of this magnitude in power after an eight year sample for just two years at the height of the steroid use in MLB then a massive decline in those same numbers coinciding with a stronger enforcement of the policy, well… Please will someone else contribute here?

    I am all ears though for you to give me an in depth understanding of a player averaging 30-31 home runs for his first eight years in the league and then all of a sudden hitting 51 then 41 then 26 and then 3 in 209 at bats, 3 in 209 at bats, that’s roughly 9 in 600 at bats !!! Look at that power curve!!! Some might suggest that that curve and during the steroid era is a lot like the curve of a number of ballplayers who have since been outed as steroid users, suggest mind you as I know there is no evidence? Jose Canseco said that Manny will be on thelist when it finally gets released and you know what he may be, he may be? Jones went from being a twenty million dollar player to signing for 500k as a fourth outfielder! I am a huge fan of Jones’ skill set! Jones is the best defensive center fielder I have ever seen play, but one quick google search will show you there are a lot of people suspicious Chief Crazy Talk.

    Again though I am completely open to your analysis (your analysis) to explain the curve.

  25. Chuck: You should have read the wiki article first…

    Click on this: http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/cover/featured/8809/index.htm

    The origin of the term:

    Bob Ryan, the Vice President and editor-in-chief of NFL Films, coined this for the Cowboys in 1979. After preparing and editing the team’s 1978 season highlight film he had to come up with a title for the film. [6] He was quoted as saying:

    I wanted to come up with a different twist on their team highlight film. I noticed then, and had noticed earlier, that wherever the Cowboys played, you saw people in the stands with Cowboys jerseys and hats and pennants. Plus, they were always the national game on television.

    During the Cowboys’ first game of the 1979 season, a nationally televised game against the St. Louis Cardinals (which Dallas won 22-21), the television announcer for CBS introduced the Cowboys as America’s Team and the name stuck.

    Dallas’s Hall of Fame coach Tom Landry originally did not approve of the appellation of America’s Team. He felt that it would give opposing teams extra incentive to play harder. Eventually he gave in and actually came to like the name.

    And again, revisionist history: “A rise of this magnitude in power after an eight year sample for just two years at the height of the steroid use”

    Everyone who has even a cursory interest in baseball knows the “height of the steroid era” was 1998-2001.

    You keep glossing over the fact that steroid testing was present and was strict, and then made stricter, during his prime years. He was not tested positive. During those years, positive tests resulted in suspensions and being publicly “outed.” See Mike Cameron

    You want to see steroid decline. Check out Marcus Giles. The guy went into his prime years with a thud.
    You want to see steroid use for a contract, check out Javy Lopez and Adrian Beltre (there are others, like Gange and so forth)

    As you attempted to spin the course of history on the output of internet articles (truth was though that I listed the NYTimes, USA Today and the MLB site, not some random fan with an idea). I did that AJ steroid search. Not one credible source. Not a single one.

  26. The MLB site, now that’s funny. The same organization that had a positive test on ARod in 2003 and it took until 2009 to be leaked, not admitted to mind you, leaked and then admitted to when they had no other choice!

    How you can routinely ignore what every baseball fan knows regarding when steroid testing actually gained teeth is, well, why I have dubbed you Chief Crazy Talk.

    You’ve done what you always do though and that is ignore every question you can’t answer without hurting your point.

    “I am all ears though for you to give me an in depth understanding of a player averaging 30-31 home runs for his first eight years in the league and then all of a sudden hitting 51 then 41 then 26 and then 3 in 209 at bats, 3 in 209 at bats, that’s roughly 9 in 600 at bats !!! Again though, I am completely open to your analysis (your analysis) to explain the curve.”

    So you understand completely I’m not interested in anyone else’s stats Chief Crazy Talk; I want you to analyze the numbers above and give me your insight into them.

    Again, and like I always say, these things will come out in the wash.

    I’ve heard rumors from a very close friend who knows an ex ballplayer who claims to be in the know regarding a couple of players that I would have never believed would do steroids. He said that the number of players that juice is enormous, regarding percentage. That is why people like Peter Gammons say this entire era is now suspect. I happen to be leaning that way more and more.

  27. I gather that you are completely unaware of the legal bindings on the 2003 tests. The very same tests that were originally to be destroyed but were seized by the Federal Government by warrant and have since been key evidence in an on-going trial. The subsequent “release” of this information to the public is a violation of the law. You understand that correct? That means it would be illegal.

    “We are prohibited from confirming or denying any allegation about the test results of any particular player(s) by the collective bargaining agreement and by court orders,” the MLBPA statement said. “Anyone with knowledge of such documents who discloses their contents may be in violation of those court orders.

    So yes, MLB, the very same organization that is bound by the law to not release the test results.

    I’ve already given my explanation. You’ve made it clear that you don’t accept it in addition to rejecting, the New York Times, USAToday, MLB, the written Drug Policy Contract, historical stats, historical events and the Collective Bargaining Agreement as credible sources.

    I will accept that Jones was a juicer when a credible source provides credible evidence against Jones.

  28. Wonderful avoidance once again Chief Crazy Talk, but it bears the question, do you have credible evidence against these so-called juicers (?) you name above and let me quote you here: “You want to see steroid decline. Check out Marcus Giles. The guy went into his prime years with a thud. You want to see steroid use for a contract, check out Javy Lopez and Adrian Beltre (there are others, like Gange and so forth).”

    And again isn’t it a contradiction to use MLB as a source regarding truth in steroid policy and steroid use in MLB when, “So yes, MLB, the very same organization that is bound by the law to not release the test results.” Let alone what an official release in those records could do to the bottom line of the game.

    But lastly what do the quotes from the NY Times and USA Today prove regarding what I have said, and the answer is a resounding, nothing. We all know when the policy went into place Chief Crazy Talk, but that has never once been the issue. The issue is when players actually started paying heed to the policy. This is what happens when you spend all of your time avoiding the issues in order to remain “correct you actually forget what the conversation is about. I’ve read a number of articles from the likes of Tom Verducci and Peter Gammons let alone numerous reports on ESPN, etc. and ex players that say clearly that steroids were still being widely used in 2006 and 2007 and specifically because the players did not fear the policy. This is why many of the suspected super star users have never been outed and most likely never will be. If that jackass Clemons like Bonds weren’t arrogant, lying SOBs who want to be correct always they wouldn’t be in the mess they are! Just see Andy Pettitte who admitted his use and is now pitching in MLB no longer a part of the dialog.

    The BALCO issue that ensnared Bonds, Giambi and track star Marion Jones has as much to do with it being a major lab and multi sport issue as well as a desire to nail the ultra arrogant Barry Bonds and especially because of his pursuit of the greatest record in sports as anything.

    This has gotten officially boring, I don’t know what news you watch and read but it is certainly not where I get my information. You using the New York times as a source is laughable, were you that hard up for a quote?

  29. One last thing steroids has become a word for me that covers all Performance Enhancing Drugs (ie: HGH, etc.), but that is not at all accurate. I don’t know exactly what MLB tests for outside of steroids, but I think it is much more accurate/appropriate to use the term PED instead of steroids.

  30. do you have credible evidence
    See the Mitchell Report, ESPN, SI, and the local teams papers.

    I’ve read a number of articles from the likes of Tom Verducci and Peter Gammons

    Please provide these articles. But why do I ask? You don’t even accept the New York Times report of an event occuring as proof said event occured.

    I think it is much more accurate/appropriate to use the term PED instead of steroids.

    Agreed. But alas it is simple to use the word “Roids”. I’ve assumed the discussion was covering the wide world of PED’s.

    I don’t know exactly what MLB tests for outside of steroids

    The details can be found in Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Abuse and Prevention Policy, Adopted December 8th, 2005 by unanimous vote of both the MLPA and the Owners. The drugs are specified in section 2.A and 2.B. The Testing methods are described in section 3.

  31. Man, what a day for sports in Boston yesterday (Patriots Day), the Boston Marathon (of course THE marathon of this great nation of ours), The Red Sox (America’s Team) waking up and pounding the Orioles for their first of what I imagine will be many sweeps this season, the Celtics (The Greatest Basketball Franchise ever!) winning in the playoffs with a last second shot (with their best player yet to play), the Bruins taking a 3-0 lead on their arch nemesis the Canadians, and a recently released poll that shows the Patriots to be the odds on favorite to win the Super Bowl again this year!

    Where else in the world can something like this happen!

    The (Sports) HUB of the Universe, The Athens of America, etc!

    Here we go Boston , here we go!!!

  32. Jorge – had to put this out here, but yeah – your Boston teams are doing a lot more right now than my Atlanta teams. But you’ll be hard pressed to get past LeBron in the Conference Finals (if you guys make it that far). LeBron is unstoppable right now- and may well be gearing up for a career that could surpass even that of Michael Jordan. I have been steadily climbing aboard the LeBron bandwagon in the last year or two, because he just such a tremendous talent.

    …and I hate to poke a stick in your eye, but as much as I like KG and some of the Celtics players, you have to admit they have bought their success this time around. This ain’t the 1980’s, or the 1960’s for that matter. Not really homegrown talent.

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