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Friday, February 20, 2009


Okay. Jason the commercial is laugh out loud funny. In re: your article

If you ain't dutch, you ain't much.

It's interesting: in the Zolecki article on Hewitt, everyone--Charlie, Gillick, LaMar--seems to take comfort from the fact that Hewitt has barely at all played baseball--at all. Does anyone else find that strange? It's as if, because someone hasn't done something in the past, they're assured to do it the future. Speaking from my own experience I can say that that's rarely, rarely the case.

Jason, you make an excellent point about Utley.

YOu mention the Phillies long-term investment in Utley, but I would add that I'm not even concerned about any other season than 2009.

I think the goal should be to make it through this season unscathed and without reinjuring himself.

If he can do that the rest of those years will take care of themselves.

sorry if this has been posted here before, but i just saw this jimmy rollins commercial i thought you people might like:

im a little nervous about a let-down this season, especially considering all the media attention these guys have gotten. it;ll be on manuel to keep that in check and i guess hes as good a candidate for that job as anyone.

another thing im worried about is the departure of jimy williams. perhaps it was the manuel/williams combo that deserved a lot of the credit for the successes of the past two seasons.

im also worried the musical-chairs-style phillies broadcast schedule will annoy and disappoint me for yet another season.

all worrying aside, im still psyched as butt to get this thing going.

Klaus, from last thread: "It's interesting: in the Zolecki article on Hewitt, everyone--Charlie, Gillick, LaMar--seems to take comfort from the fact that Hewitt has barely at all played baseball--at all. Does anyone else find that strange? It's as if, because someone hasn't done something in the past, they're assured to do it the future. Speaking from my own experience I can say that that's rarely, rarely the case."

Klaus, here's what you don't understand. Hewitt is an athlete. He's strong, has a great arm, runs like the wind and he looks great in a uni. He's got all the tools. Does he have any baseball skills? Will he develop any? In the anti-quant scouting ideology those questions are irrelevant.

nice article on Pennsylvania dutch. I wish I knew the language, I might have to take that course. I know lots of people here in Lebanon, Lancaster who still know some.

The chance of Hewitt figuring out how to unlock his toolshed is probably around 5%...but if he does, you could have another Ken Griffey Jr. If he doesnt, you have another bust.

Interesting excerpt from Gammons' article today on the Phillies. Could mean a few different things though for how they plan to use him.

"The manager loves the addition of 24-year-old rookie Jason Donald, who put up an .889 OPS at Double-A Reading and played well in the Olympics. "He reminds me of Craig Biggio," Manuel says. "He can run. He's got that attitude. He's going to help us at third, short and second.""

If he even comes within shouting distance of Biggio's career, that would be awesome.

I think 132.5 mil will still be around 10th in the league by the time Opening Day rolls around. Dodgers will burn another 25 mil alone on Manny.

I'd like to know how many times the team with the #1 payroll actually won the World Series. Would be an interesting stat.

Was Griffey Jr. such an utter novice? It's just bizzaro to me to construe an almost complete lack of baseball experience as a plus.

No, I didn't mean it that way...Griffey was practically born with a bat in his hands. I meant that as a possibility of his high end possibility if everything actually fell into place, not a one for one comparison.

Re: Hewitt. Wouldnt ever compare a player to Ken Griffey JR. Would have been the best ever if he had'nt hurt himself running into walls in Seattle early in his career... I've heard Ron Gant comparisons for Hewitt. Which would be pretty good.

I don't think you try to change Utley's game. Utley plays baseball hard. His iron man approach to the game is really refreshing to see where players are coddled to the DL for "soft" injuries. Utley goes on the DL when he breaks something or requries surgery. Flashback Rowand and Utley collision. He's a tough guy let him play the game he wants to.

Hopefully, Utley doesn't rush coming back. Whether he changes his style to preserve his health, I have my doubts.

ON the Dutchies, not sure how much role German aggression played in the eclipsing of the language. My Nana grew up in a German speaking house. She had a mean accent and could ahten the lightst, oncet, with the best of them. By the time I took some German in college, though, she claimed she cuoldn't speak it anymore. She was adamant that people who spoke the language in their homes were backward, and doing their children a disservice. This from a woman whose last education was 4th grade. Anyway, it used to p!$$ her off to no end when her Puerto Rican neighbors would speak to their kids in Spanish for the same reason.

Also, in re: the dutch thing
I wonder if any music by this guy ever made your play list. He kinda had a following back when I lived in the LV.

****Re: Hewitt. Wouldnt ever compare a player to Ken Griffey JR. Would have been the best ever if he had'nt hurt himself running into walls in Seattle early in his career... I've heard Ron Gant comparisons for Hewitt. Which would be pretty good****

I merely mean it as a tribute to what level of athlete Hewitt is supposed to be. Griffey Jr was my favorite player growing up. Ron Gant would be a great career for Hewitt to have. And I'd say that Griffey is still one of the top OF of all time even with the injuries. Remember how awesome he was in the 90s...back when he was a guaranteed 40 HRs, .300 avg, 100+ RBI and GG defense in CF? Hell, I'd be happy if Hewitt turned into a Griffey Sr...Well, honestly I'll be happy if he pans out at all into any level of MLB player. The odds are greatly against him though...despite the athleticism.

Yeah, I'm just worried about Utley rushing his comeback. What happens during the season is going to happen, I don't think you can change his game. But you can do everything in your power to prevent him from coming back too early and re-injuring something--I hope Charlie and the FO are extra cautious there.

I agree with you that Utley shouldn't rush this. On a selfish note, it just wouldn't seem right to me for the defending champs to take the field on Sunday Night Baseball without our All-Star second baseman.

You guys are idiots if you think the Phillies and their associates didn't rip the Mets and Reyes AFTER you won the World Series.

Those watching the World Series parade at home heard Mitch Williams for no reason say, "I wonder if Jose Reyes is watching this right now."

So, please, Reyes may have long drawn out handshakes which really piss people off, but he doesn't talk, ever. He was simply wondering why Philly players and announcers (boring Harry Kalas included) were so fascinated with the Mets after they had won the title.

Reyes did point after that HR against Philly last year. The night before, Shane Victorino stood on home plate clapping for at least five seconds after Philly came back from a 6 2 lead in the ninth. Get a grip.

Look at it from both sides.

Say what you will about the Phillies organization, but you are obviously an idiot if you find one of the greatest broadcasters of all time boring. Keith Hernandez is sooooo much better, right? Sickening.

You really can't be dissing Harry, right?

Anyway, I just lived in New York for a couple of years and actually really enjoyed listening to Keith and Ron call the Phils and Mets games, they are honestly as unbiased as anyone.

The best was the game when Werth stole 2nd and 3rd on consecutive pitches during choke '07, remember that one?

Harry Kalas puts me to sleep. It's ok to say you don't like someone or something even though everyone else does, guys.

I don't think Keith is particularly good. He serves a completely different role than Kalas (generic former-player color vs. play by play) but you can't say Hernandez is biased. I mean he got in a fight with Jose Reyes over criticism.

But that doesn't change the fact that the Phillies have an obsession with trash talking the Mets. I have never seen a team win it all and focus so much time dissing a team that didn't make the playoffs.

Phils Suck - Because the Mets are arguably the closest thing the Phils have a rival in the NL East and vice versa unless you count the Braves who have only been in the NL East since 1995.

It is largely typical NY media/fan BS to insist the Phils are more fascinated with Mets. Both teams have been filled with back-and-forth banter/comments the past 2 years in particular because of the really tight division races.

As for Reyes, you have to be kidding me. The long-drawn out handshakes are one of just several things he does that are cocky/showboating. If he did that crap 20 -25 years ago he would have gotten drilled on the back a few times a season until he largely knocked it off.

Doesn't mean that Vic showboats nearly as much as Reyes if not as much at times. Plenty of other players do the same too on other teams.

Funny thing is that there is a good chance that the final season at Shea was marked by failure and that the first season at "Nationalized Bank" Field turns out to be one too especially if the Phils win the division again and the Yanks do their nearly annual job of upstaging the Mets again in NYC.

Phils Suck - I would imagine you are a bit younger. Kalas can drift a bit but it greatly depends on who he is announcing with.

If it Larry Anderson, the banter is lively and conversation is pretty free-flowing. If it is Wheeler, then it basically is much more dry and solely focused on the game because the two guys just don't have a great personal repetiore with one another.

Hernandez is pretty good although he can be a bit over the top/pompous at times but then again he is Keith Hernandez.

I generally like really listening to the Mets' announcers. Certainly much better than the Yanks'.

Hudson signed for a base of 1 yr/$3.4M with plenty of incentive upside. Still, for a guy who was seeking 3 yr/$8-10M that is a staggering drop off. Compare that to the Furcal deal the Dodgers did just 2 months earlier at 3 yrs/$30M. It won't be the best INF in the NL but if Furcal can actually stay healthy, it will be one of the more solid ones with Blake, Furcal, Hudson, and Loney. Get ManRam back in LF and the Dodgers probably have enough to win 84-85 games to clinch the NL West again.

Amazing at how low the bar is set though and that 84-85 wins likely takes the NL West again.

Wow, Mitch Williams made one comment about the Mets during a parade broadcast that lasted about 6 hours? Who's a tad sensitive?

Victorino 'stood at the plate for five seconds' is totally inaccurate, and it takes way more than five seconds for Reyes to do his choreographed routines every time he scores a run.

You've got to understand, PhilsSuck has a huge hole in his life that he can only try to fill by trolling...

Keith Hernandez won the MVP in 79 - he can do whatever he wants to...he's Keith Hernandez

Hernandez co-won the MVP. If they tested for cocaine, he wouldn't have won.

JW: Good piece on the PA Dutch, did the editors cut out any mention of Mose and Dwight Schrute?

This, Jerry Manuel insisted, is what will restore your dignity. Because, he didn’t have to say, Cole Hamels was right when he said the Mets had choked again. Indeed, Manuel laughed at a reference to Hamels in his daily meeting with reporters and on his way out of the room said in that gravelly, got-it-all-together voice, “Cole Hamels. My man.”

Whether for its makeup or leadership or both, the Mets are not winners. They are stars, but not winners. They are rich, but not winners. Not yet.

Mets can't afford cheap trash talk with Phils

****Wow, Mitch Williams made one comment about the Mets during a parade broadcast that lasted about 6 hours? Who's a tad sensitive?****

Um,...the NY Media?

I'll give you that Keith Hernandez is probably a better 1B than Harry K ever was (being that Kalas didn't ever play 1B) but Kalas is/was a fantastic announcer. He's not half the guy he was 10 years ago (getting old sucks) but he is still a HoF announcer.

Were there any guys on that Mets team that weren't high on coke?

Under/under on Utleys' HBP this season?

I say 23.

Over/under on Utley HBP this season?

I say 23.

Articulate and well-though out article by Glanville on how players operate with the media and are subjected to some intense pressure. I agree about having to talk about the personal on-field issues that can be very sensitive and difficult. Anything though on the field and related to the game is open territory though and it amazes that there are ballplayers who don't think they have to talk to the media/fans. It would be like a doctor who didn't want to talk to his patients. Integral part of the job.

MG, I'll take the over on that...

Speaking of bizarro, how weird is it to interject apropos nothing a topic into discussion, in order to argue that the people on the thread are unduly obsessed with said topic?

Similarly, I'm always reminding my friend of his old drinking habit, so as to get him to stop thinking about his old drinking habit.

MG: Take a look at the Dodgers pitching and then say if you still think they can only win 84-85 games if they sign ManRam.

Yes - Hernandez co-won the MVP in 1979 - I was just quoting him from the Seinfeld episode - funny he didn't mention he split the award...

Hernandez shared the MVP when he was with the Cardinals.

Mets have never had an MVP. Or a no-hitter.

But they didn't lose as many games in the 19th century as we did, so they can always hang their caps on that.

Will Carroll on Utley (not sure this has been said). He says the concern isn't the stability of the hip but pain management, which was corrected by the surgery. He also notes, and this is something that I hadn't kept track of, that this would be Utley's last arbitration year had the Phils not signed him long-term.

That's very true...

So is anyone else here completely addicted to MLB Network? I found my self up 2 am watching a replay of the 1995 WS...followed by Tom Seaver's 300th win (That was on this morning). I think I have a problem.

Bro and I were at the Seaver game. Same game where they had Phil Rizzuto ceremony and the joke cow they brought out stepped on Rizzuto's foot and toppled him comically to the ground.

Yeah, they showed a little bit of that but not the whole ceremony unfortunately. I think its gonna be repeated later in the day.

I'm loving this Peter Gammons article.

Myers, Howard and Blanton in the best shape of their career? great news


Anyone know why Madson changed his number to 46?

Joe, I didn't realize he has changed his number.

What number is Ibanez wearing? Maybe he has Mad Dog's old number.

Someone somewhere said he changed it so his locker in spring would be near the veteran pitchers instead of the kids.

EF, bte, that was a great link you posted above to the Mets schedule.

Awesome! LMOA.

The at was suppposed to be "BTW".

The locker change idea sounds legitimate I guess. It just seems weird for a veteran to change his number this many years into his career and especially after such a good year. I guess it doesnt much matter, but I was just wondering. Thanks

EF - I agree with AWH. That was brilliant.

I bet if Chase charged the mound for once after getting plunked these HBP's would decrease. Pitchers around the league have him labeled as "soft". He is still the man though and hope he doesn't over do it by coming back for opening day.

Check out this Phillies fan forum

It was the locker change. He mentioned it in an interview a couple weeks ago...he was sick of being with the non-roster invitees.

On Chase...or our pitchers could retaliate once in a while with the other teams' star. Say every time Chase is plunked, we put one in either David Wright or Jose Reyes' ear...doesn't matter if we're even playing the Mets....we can just tally up the beanings till the next Mets series.

Nepp: I agree. This year I want to see at some point myers use his boxing skills on reyes or delgado.

I highly doubt there is a single player in the league that thinks Utley is "soft." Also, most of his HBP are self-inflicted to a greater or lesser extent. He avoids outs when he can. Charging the mound makes little sense.

Nepp: I agree. This year I want to see at some point myers use his boxing skills on reyes or delgado.

That's ridiculous. They're not his wife.

...I'm sorry you left that one wide open.

On Chase...or our pitchers could retaliate once in a while with the other teams' star. Say every time Chase is plunked, we put one in either David Wright or Jose Reyes' ear...doesn't matter if we're even playing the Mets....we can just tally up the beanings till the next Mets series.

Posted by: NEPP | Saturday, February 21, 2009 at 10:14 PM

Nepp: I agree. This year I want to see at some point myers use his boxing skills on reyes or delgado.

Posted by: mvptommyd | Saturday, February 21, 2009 at 10:37 PM

Gentlemen, the quotes above do not exactly display great baseball knowledge.

Clout - You said take a look at the Dodgers pitching. Well, I see a rotation that struggled to keep starters healthy and penciled in Wolf for Lowe. They are also counting on Schmidt coming back healthy this season too. They may have a very talented top part of the rotation but I bet there 4/5 are pretty shaky most of the season.

Plus, take a look at their bullpen. I see a disaster in the making. Broxton is one of the most overrated closers in the game. Throws hard but isn't really a pitcher. Plus, look at the rest of the bullpen. Beimel, Saito, and Park are gone. Wade looks like he now has a bum shoulder that might need major shoulder. All points to a middle relief that is going to be pretty lean.

My bet is that Torre leans hard on Mota, Kuo, and Broxton because the rest of the bullpen will be retreads and journeyman unless they put a guy like McDonald in there. It will inevitably lead to their back end bullpen getting blown out by August (a nearly annual tradition with Torre) and any one of those guys is going to be ripe for a trip to the DL with the way Torre abusers his relievers.

Sorry maybe they score plenty of mores runs but I don't see them having more than an average pitching staff this year.

I wasn't being serious, AWH. Sorry if I wasn't clearer with the sarcasm.

MG: Lotta "ifs" in that post. I'll give you one "if." If the Dodgers sign Manny Ramirez and their key players remain healthy, they will win 90 games. You read it here first.

"Were there any guys on that Mets team that weren't high on coke?"

Ha. JC Romero tested positive for a banned substance after the year in which the Phillies won the World Series, basically because they had a better bullpen than the Mets, and you want to talk about the 86 team.


"I bet if Chase charged the mound for once after getting plunked these HBP's would decrease"

Great quotes by you guys today. Utley leans into pitches, always has. There is a reason he ALWAYS leads the league in HBP. He is not disliked around the league, no one would want to hit him to pitch to Ryan Howard, anyway. He leans into pitches, guys.

Any BTW, anyone hear that Mike Schmidt said A-Rod's persecution is ridiculous because everyone in his era abused amphetamines?

Was there anyone on that Phillies team who wasn't high on amphetamines?

Clout - 90 games? Nah. I would definitely take the under there. If anything, this Dodgers team looks more like the '06 version with a strong offense and some decent starting pitching/bullpen but well short on depth in both areas.

I will give you a few reasons why they won't:

1. Healthy Furcal - Dodgers really need Furcal to be healthy to give them the guy at the top of the lineup and to be the lynchpin of their defense up the middle.

Like point guards in basketball, SS age incredibly quickly. Now maybe he can squeeze out one or two more decent season but I would hate to have invested $30M in a 31-year old SS who is coming off a meaningful back procedure/been plagued by injuries the past 2 years. Then again it is Ned Colletti (my nod for worst GM in the NL right now).

2. Joe Torre - Anybody who watches Torre knows that he is a below average tactician. Unlike McCarver who worships every move that Torre makes regardless of how inane or foolish, Torre often gets out managed. Hell, even Cholly clearly out managed him last year in the NLCS. Not often that you can say the Cholly does that.

Torre rod his bullpen pretty hard last year. Yeah they were only 7th in IP in the NL but this is kind of deceiving. Every bullpen with more IP was generally because each one of them had crappy or below average starting pitching (Pitt, Atl, DC, SD, Col, Cin).

Unless Joe changes, he likely is going to use his bullpen hard and that is going to be a mess.

3. Bullpen - Dodgers had the 2nd best bullpen by ERA last year in the NL. Of the top 6 relievers by IP, only Wade, Broxton, and Kuo are back. Now that it looks like Wade might have a bum shoulder. Dodgers did pick up Mota in FA but I would be stunned if the bullpen finishes 2nd in ERA this season.

4. Starting pitching - Dodgers had the 3rd best starting rotation ERA last year. They have essentially swapped Lowe for Wolf this offseason. Kershaw might improve but my bet is that again 4/5 starters for the Dodgers are a crap shoot for much of the year.

5. Defense - Dodgers were an average defense team by every nearly every measure last year. Yeah the defense might be better this year if Furcal can stay healthy and Hudson at 2B. Still if the Dodgers resign Manny that means they have the worst LF in the game defensively. Plus, a full season of Blake at 3B will mean a fair share of misplays too.

Defense likely won't lose a ton of games for the Dodgers but it won't win a bunch either.

6. NL West foes - To win at least 90 games, the Dodgers will need to go at least ten games above .500 against one of the divisions in the NL. Doubt it will be the East or the Central. Means it likely has to be the West.

Last 3 seasons, the Dodgers generally have had above average but not good teams. When the NL West has been a bit weaker (as in '06 and '08), the Dodgers have generally fared pretty well against their brethren in the NL West. In '07 when the NL West was stronger and had deeper teams, the Dodgers basically treaded water.

I don't think the NL West will be strong this year but I also don't think that SD and SF will be as bad again either. Not saying they are .500 or better clubs but the bottom of the division should be a bit better. Likely above .500 in the NL West but doubt it is 10 games or more above .500.

7. Interleague play - If you think the Phils have been poor in Interleague play the past couple of years, the Dodgers have been worse. They have gone 5-10 the last 3 years. Part of this is having to play the Angels 6 times a year who generally have owned the Dodgers.

Yeah Dodgers get to play 3 against Seattle but Oakland is improved this season and their series in Texas won't be a cakewalk either. My bet is that they won't go .500 again in Interleague play this year.

Phils Suck - You bring up one point in 3 and even then it really isn't correct. Utley doesn't lean into pitches. That would get you a warning and a potentially an objection from the game.

He does however at times not make an effort to get out of the way of pitches. This too is a clear violation of baseball's rules but there is generally much more leeway here afforded by an ump.

How come the Mets fans who come on here generally make the most idiotic points?

RE: 'The Dodgers will win 90 games.'

The Dodgers will win 90 games because of the unbalanced schedule and the rest of the division stinks. Not because they are that good. In fact, if Manny would sign with the Giants, they would be a much better team than the Dodgers with Manny.

Wow. Mikes and clout agreeing. Was that rain outside, or fire from the sky?

mikes - You reference the ease of the Dodgers schedule. I don't think there's much debate that the NL West is, on the whole, an easier division than the East; but I was wondering if you've seen any data on the comparative 2009 schedules (before I dig in myself too see what interleague, etc. looks like this year).

Mikes - what you said. I would not be surprised, at all, if the Giants scoop up Manny.

Winning 90 games in a season is pretty hard to do unless you have a pretty good team in the NL:

2002 - 4 teams (Atl, Ariz, SFL, LA)
2003 - 3 teams (Atl, Flor, SF)
2004 - 5 teams (Atl, StL, Hou, LA, SF)
2005 - 2 teams (Atl, StL)
2006 - 1 teams (NY Mets)
2007 - 2 teams (AZ, Col)
2008 - 3 teams (Phil, ChiC, Mil)

Basically the NL was a bit weaker the past few years and really didn't have the dominant teams (teams that win 95+ games). In fact, only 2 NL teams have won more than 95 ore more games since '06 (Cubs in '08 and Mets in '06).

Are the Dodgers likely to be one of the 2 or 3 teams in the NL this year that wins 90 games even if they sign Manny, I say no.

The argument that the Dodgers will win 90 games just because they play again in the NL West is kind of a loaded statement. Like I said, the Dodgers likely will need to go at least 10 games above .500 against the NL West to win 90 games and moderately improve on their annual pathetic Interleague play record.

Combing through the Phils numbers, it was pretty remarkable how with the exception of their generally annual poor performance in Interleague play, the Phils were generally pretty successful against most of their foes last season.

If the Phils win 90 or more games, they are a shoe in for the playoffs again.

Last NL team to win 90+ games and NOT make the playoffs: 2004 SF Giants finished with 91 wins, 1 game back of the wild card Astros and 2 behind the NL West champ Dodgers.

I think Manny is that good, where he could tip the scale for either the Giants or Dodgers if he ends up with one of those teams.

I'll take the under on 90 wins for the Dodgers if they sign Manny. Billingsley, their best pitcher, is coming off a broken leg. I see Kershaw throwing more innings and better, which is an upgrade, bu the loss of Lowe is big, especially because Randy Wolf is gonna hit the ground hard. I like their young guys, Kemp and Ethier especially, as much as anyone, I just think too much has to go right for them to win 90 games. The smart money is on the under.

Also, for everyone ripping on the NL West, I think the Dbacks are better than people are giving them credit for, and the Giants are much improved as well.

"If the Phils win 90 or more games, they are a shoe in for the playoffs again"

Don't think that is true. The NL East is stronger than the other divisions. The Wild Card team could easily come out of one of the other divisions. Just as they did the last 2 seasons. The Cubs will win 95-100 in that division and the Cardinals could fatten up on the Brewers, Pirates, Houston and Cinncinatti as well.

I'd probably take the under on the Dodgers winning 90 games...though they will get to beat up on the Rockies and Padres for 36 games over the length of the season. The Dbacks should be better than last year as their young guys (Drew and Upton especially) get better and they still have good pitching. Its not out of the question for them to do so but I wouldn't put money on it...they lost alot of pitching in the off-season.

I'd go gay for Utley. Not really, because I'm not into that stuff, but you get the point.

Jack: You missed the part where I said "if their key players remain healthy." Obviously if their key players are hurt, the will win fewer games. How many games would the Phils win if Hamels was out for 2 or 3 months?

Clout: I thought I gave pretty clear baseball reasons why I didn't think the Dodgers would win 90 games, but I guess you didn't feel like responding to those. That's fine.

Obviously health is important for every team. But who do you define as "key players"? I mean, you can't just make a prediction and then if Cory Wade misses a month use injuries as an excuse for why you were wrong. I mean, every team is going to have some injuries. When making predictions, I'd just as soon take injury concerns into consideration. I think the Dodgers win less than 90 games, and I don't need to use injuries or lack thereof as an excuse.

Jack: That's a safe bet for every team in the league. Way to go out on a limb!

Clout - I think the Dodgers could remain pretty health (with the exception of Furcal and I stated why I think he is a big risk), resign Manny, and still not win 90 games.

The Dodgers' pitching is over rated. Their everyday lineup is much better than everybody else in the NL west IF they sign Manny. However, if the Giants sign Manny, their lineup is as good as the Manny-less Dodgers. The Giants pitching is potentially far superior to the Dodgers.

Clout: I didn't make a prediction about every team. I made a prediction about the Dodgers, in response to yours. Unlike you, I didn't purposefully leave a gaping wide loophole in case I was wrong. Presumably somewhere around 4-6 teams will win 90 games this year. I don't think the Dodgers will be one.

FWIW, I think the Red Sox are a much better bet than the Dodgers to win 90 games, even with serious injury concerns.

MG: I know, that's what started this. You predicted they'd win 84-85 games with Manny.

OK Jack, you name the 6 teams that will 90 games and I'll take the under on each one. How's that?

Kuroda, Kershaw and Billingsley should all be better than last year. Wolf is a downgrade from Lowe, but Schmidt is healthy and so is Furcal. here's your lineup:

Broxton will be better, not worse, at age 25, Troncoso is a good prospect and Kuo is one of the better lefties in the league. Injury or not Wade pitched over his head last season and is unlikely to repeat it. The bullpen may take a step back, but the offense will be better and the rotation just might be as well.

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