The Long Offseason Is Over; It’s Time for Baseball to Resume

The 2009 MLB season is finally under way, and while the anticipated has given way to excitement, this also means that baseball fans start to lose half of their time awake following scores and tracking their fantasy baseball team. Anyway, here are some random thoughts, and predictions for the season.

One of the most entertaining aspects of baseball in early April is the standings. We all know that the Red Sox, Yankees, and now Rays are all supposed to contend for the American League East title, right? Well, they currently happen to be the three bottom teams in the division, behind… the Orioles. Similarly, we find the Royals, Mariners, Marlins, and Padres in first place in their respective divisions… let’s see how long they can keep it up.

And about the Mariners: they might actually be able to make a run for the playoffs this year. (I say this every season, but still… let me bask in my false hope, alright?) They finally got rid of their grossly incompetent front office, found a new manager, brought back Ken Griffey, Jr., and now they’re 6-2, even without Ichiro in the lineup. If Erik Bedard can stay healthy and live up to his hype, then they would have the best No. 1 and 2 starters outside of New York and Boston — past that, though, things get hairy. (Carlos Silva, anyone?) It’s not easy being a Mariners fan…

At least I can take comfort in the fact that no matter how bad they are, the Mariners still suck less than a few other teams. Take the Washington Nationals, for instance: as of Friday morning, they still haven’t managed to get a single win. Might they take a page from the Detroit Lions’ book and try to go 0-162?

Speaking of failing, let’s digress to my fantasy baseball draft… two of my top four picks are on the DL right now, I’m practically dead-last in saves despite having five closers, and as it turns out, I thought we were playing a completely different format than we actually are… but enough of my rambling…

And now, my picks for the division champions this year:

A.L. East: Boston Red Sox — Their slow start is a fluke, and they should be able to hold off the Rays.

A.L. Central: Chicago White Sox — The Twins and Tigers could make things interesting though…

A.L. West: Seattle Mariners — Bias? What bias?

A.L. Wild Card: Tampa Bay Rays — I just want to see the Yankees miss the playoffs, again — especially after all that ridiculous offseason spending.

N.L. East: New York Mets — A much-improved bullpen will prevent another September meltdown.

N.L. Central: Chicago Cubs — And the curse continues…

N.L. West: Los Angeles Dodgers — Manny can carry the Dodgers again in the league’s weakest division.

N.L. Wild Card: Philadelphia Phillies — They will have to earn a playoff spot this time, instead of being gifted by the Mets.

More predictions (or random guesses) to come next time, when I actually don’t have a bunch of tests or problem sets due the next day…