Opening Day Longishread: Baseball's Top 32 on 31/3/11 | Tipped by |
MLB Preview: AL Favorites on 31/3/11 | Tipped by Quickish |
This season the Red Sox need to avoid the abominable injuries they suffered last season... It seems a good bet since what happened to the Sox last season on the injury front probably won't happen to them again in the next 50 seasons. And yet somehow they managed to win 89 games, (via SBNation.com) , previewing the AL East (including Boston, the prohibitive favorites to win the AL altogether) as part of today's Opening Day (and the launch of SBNation's new "Baseball Nation" site, which is worth checking out.)
Baseball In Decline? on 31/3/11 | Tipped by Quickish |
But over the last 16 years, numbers for Little League Baseball, which accounts for about two-thirds of the country's youth play, have been steadily dropping. And there are signs the pace is accelerating. (via Wall Street Journal) . Back to traditional "preview" recommendations (always less gloomy, unless you're -- say -- a Mets fan) momentarily....
Service-y: Guide to Opening Day on 30/3/11 | Tipped by Quickish |
Tigers at Yankees Scouting Grade: 70 (out of 80). For the characters involved, the intrigue and the setting, it is the perfect opener. One grade knocked off for the weather. (via Yahoo! Sports) , with an essential guide to every game of baseball's two-day Opening Day extravaganza. Great read for night owls to get you ready.
MLB Preview: ESPN's Picks on 30/3/11 | Tipped by Quickish |
45 experts gave their picks: 34 picked the Red Sox to win the World Series (mostly over the Phillies). All that matters is Amy K. Nelson, who was the only ESPN expert a year ago to pick the Rangers to win the AL pennant. She picks Braves over Red Sox. Don't say you didn't get the early word. (via ESPN.com) . Here is the run-down of ESPN's picks for the various award-winners. Adrian Gonzalez remains a popular pick for AL MVP.
MLB Preview: MVP Picks on 30/3/11 | Tipped by Quickish |
AL MVP: Adrian Gonzalez (5 votes), Alex Rodriguez (2), Joe Mauer (2), Carl Crawford (2), Evan Longoria. NL MVP: Troy Tulowitzki (4), Ryan Braun (2), Albert Pujols (2), Buster Posey, Matt Kemp, Jason Heyward, Carlos Gonzalez. (via SI.com) . That's the range of MVP picks from a dozen SI folks, with their playoff picks and award-winners listed on a single page. 9 of 12 pick the Red Sox to win the AL; 7 of 12 pick the Phils to win the NL.
Recommended: Sheehan Newsletter on 30/3/11 | Tipped by Quickish |
24. Baltimore Orioles. I can see some improvement on both sides -- some of the dead weight on the pitching staff goes away, the Adam Jones/Nick Markakis/Matt Wieters group improves, shortstop is no longer a hole -- I just can't see enough to make this team relevant while playing the ridiculous schedule it has to play. (via The Joe Sheehan Newsletter) , in a snippet from his fantastic subscription-only email newsletter about baseball, the above clip taken from his ranking of teams No. 30-21, with 20-1 on the way and a season of regularly published insights ahead. Highly recommended, whether you're an avid baseball fan or just a casual one who wants some really smart topical commentary in your in-box a few times a week.
MLB Preview: New Concussion Policy on 30/3/11 | Tipped by Quickish |
After all that steroids begat, this is a small comeuppance. Itâ€™s an important one, though, and the next time a player gets beaned or runs into the outfield wall or takes a shattered bat to the skull, he can thank his juicing forbearers. (via Yahoo! Sports) , on MLB's new "7-day DL" for players who might have suffered concussions, a policy introduced yesterday to positive accolades all around.
MLB Preview: The Trendy Pick on 30/3/11 | Tipped by Quickish |
In Oakland, expectations spring from dominant young starting pitching, a deep and potentially airtight bullpen, solid defense and (they hope) enough offense that the bats don't get in the way. (via ESPN.com) , digging into why Oakland is the hot pick to win the AL West. (Spoiler: It's their four young SPs: Trevor Cahill, Brian Anderson, Gio Gonzalez and Dallas Braden.)
MLB Preview: Every Team on 30/3/11 | Tipped by Quickish |
Here are links to all 30 of HardballTalkâ€™s Springtime Storylines entries, cataloging the Big Questions, the Not so Big Questions the continuing nagging issues and dramas of each and every team and, of course, a prediction as to each teamâ€™s chances. (via NBCSports.com's Hardball Talk) , with a totally manageable analysis of every team in baseball. Check out your favorite, or -- actually -- catch up on all the ones you care less about.