2008 was full of suprises. The fall of the Yankees. The rise of the Rays and the Phillies finally winning the World Series.
With all the A-Rod drama and the steroids issues, the MLB needs a strong season to wipe the slate clean. This year in baseball will be exciting.
With the Yankees looking for revenge and the Rays looking to hold onto their title, there will be some new rivalries created this year.
The Rays last year embarrassed the Yankees. The Rays came out strong and exceeded all expectations and went way beyond. I dont think the fired up and outrageous Hal Steinbrenner will let that happen again.
And how does he solve his problem? The way the Yankees always do. They purchase the top pitcher (CC Sabathia) and possibly the top hitter (Mark Tiexira). A-Rod does remain a deciding factor though.
Although the Yankees have a strong team built around him, the success of A-Rod directly affects thier World Series Chances.
There;s much debate over the American League Central. The Tigers, who were the undisputed team to beat going into last season, fell apart. Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrera, who were busts, will not lead the Tigers past the twins therefore, the Twins are my pick to win the AL Central.
They have a solid lineup including Joe Mauer and Joe Crede and the always
dangerous, Justin Morneau. Their pitching is also strong with the returning Fransico Liriano and the exceptional Joe Nathan.
The Angels are definitely the team to beat in the West. Even without K-Rod or Tiexra they are still a devastating team.
They have an incredible offensive attack with Torii Hunter, Vlad, and the speedy Chone Figgins. Also look for Howie Kendrick to have a breakout year and really step up. The Angels aren't going to be stopped by anyone in their division considering the Mariners ballplay is to some level comical.
Is it possible for a team with Jonathan Papelbon, David Ortiz, JD Drew, Jason Bay, and Josh Beckett not make the playoffs. I don't believe so. This team does not have what it takes to defeat the Yankees, but they will certainly beat out any other team.