Today I'm sitting and watching some spring training baseball (Red Sox vs. Reds on ESPN) and the topic turned to the American League playoff race and both John Sciambi and Rick Sutcliffe proceeded to hate on the Tigers chances to make the playoffs this year. The reasons you ask? Well obviously well thought out baseball reasons like...
- The Tigers made a big leap last year and since other teams that made big leaps fell off the next year, then the Tigers are due for this as well
- They were healthy last year and apparently that means they'll be a walking M.A.S.H. unit this season
I love how there really isn't a factual baseball reason included in there. Probably because you can't really come up with one. They are the same team that went to the World Series last year and they just got better by adding Gary Sheffield. So instead of finding legit baseball reasons why the Tigers won't make the playoffs, you get people who grasp at straws in trying to explain it. Now that's just the reasons the Tigers won't make it. They then went on to talk about the other teams in the AL Central and why they will make it instead of the Tigers. Here's what they had to say about the Twins...
- They have the best pitcher in baseball (Johan Santana), the AL MVP (Justin Morneau) and a great closer so if they are in the lead after five innings they will win.
Apparently having one good starting pitcher is all you need in baseball now. I mean if Johan Santana can win 20 games then the Twins should be set right? You only need 20 wins to take a division right? Excuse me if I don't think the Twins are going to be any better this year, in fact I think they'll be worse. Let's not forget that they were HORRIBLE at the beginning of the season until Liriano came up from the minors and saved that season. This year they are missing both Liriano (arm fell off) and Brad Radke (retired) and they replaced them with Sidney Ponson (!) and Ramon Ortiz. The problem with the Twins it that after Santana the rest of their starting pitching is either suspect or terrible. I guess if they just canceled the games between Santana starts they'd be set but I don't know if MLB will allow that.
Oh, and the White Sox?
- "I just like the White Sox" - Sutcliffe
Um, okay. Thanks for that thought provoking analysis. Is there a paticular reason you like the White Sox? Remember, this was a team that faded last season and all they really did this offseason was trade AWAY one of their better pitchers (Freddy Garcia).
In the end the Tigers are the only team in the AL Central (beyond possibly the Indians) who did anything to make themselves better in the offseason so I'm having trouble figuring out why no one is picking them to do anything. I guess I can be happy though for the Tigers to prove them all wrong again and make the playoffs. GO TIGERS!