Apparently, the Cubs have already wrapped up the division in the minds of reporters around the country. As I hear these predictions, I am reminded of a phrase by legendary broadcaster Chris Berman.
"That's why they play the game."
No truer words have been spoken. Sports are always unpredictable, and as we saw last season, teams who look to be a shoo-in for the postseason often end up watching October baseball with the rest of us.
MLB "experts" already have the Cubs winning the NL Central by 15 games, and while a pitch hasn't even been thrown yet, many fans choose to sit back and take these predictions as fact.
Given the season that a certain team from Tampa had, no knowledgeable baseball fan should write their team off.
Given last years predictions, the Tigers should've been contending for a championship against the Cubs, the Yankees should've been AL East champs again, the Rays should've remained in the cellar, and the Mets should've ran away with the NL East.
Last time I checked, none of those predictions came true.
Just because you stack your team with high-caliber players who cost a fortune doesn't guarantee you a spot in anything.
That being said, the Brewers start this season with a lot of questions that need to be answered.
This doesn't mean that they don't have a chance at getting back to the playoffs. They will just have to find an alternate route.
After losing a great deal of pitching, the Brewers will need their current rotation to produce. Don't be fooled though.
While guys like Suppan and Parra aren't CC or Ben Sheets, they are major leaguers and will step it up. It seems that often times, players step up their game when they know they will be counted on.
Too many times last season, fans looked past the three rotation spots after CC and Sheets. That had to have a lot of effect on the psyche of the rest of the staff, trying to contend with the likes of an all-star and a former Cy Young. Expect players like Parra and Suppan to relax and have an easier time on the mound.
The Brewers offense will also have a bearing on how things play out this year. Even today's Chicago Tribune had either Prince Fielder or Ryan Braun winning the NL MVP.
That being said, the Brewers have an uphill battle on their hands. But the big names and expensive contracts don't always win the games.
Teams that play together as a unit have an even better chance at winning, and the Brewers will have to do that get to the postseason.
So forget the raking and predictions, lets just play the game and let the cards fall where they may.