MLB: Q&A With Ben Weixlmann

Ben WeixlmannSenior Writer IJune 21, 2008

Here are some questions I figured I'd pose, and answer, halfway through the season:


1) Who has been the most surprising player in baseball thus far?

Joe Saunders. After two decent years in 2006 and 2007, Saunders has put together a Cy-Young caliber 2008 season. He is 11-3 with a 3.03 ERA for the AL West-leading Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Sure, Ryan Ludwick and Carlos Quentin have had very surprising years, but I'm pretty sure no one expected this out of Saunders. Josh Hamilton also deserves an honorable mention for this nomination.

2) Who is your World Series matchup as of June 21, 2008?

Out of the AL, although it is beginning to get cliche, I'm going to say the Boston Red Sox. Their pitching, even without Curt Schilling, is deep as Mariana Trench. As far as the NL is concerned, I am going to pick the St. Louis Cardinals. Yes, I know some of you might call me biased, but once this team is fully healthy, watch out!

3) What are your thoughts about the Tampa Bay Rays?

I think this is the story thus far in the MLB, team-wise. The Rays have never made the playoffs in their organization's history, but I can feel a Wild Card berth this season. Scott Kazmir and James Shields form one of the best one-two pitching tandems in the AL. I think their hitting will come around, especially once they can feed off a hot bat from Carlos Pena.

4) Will Chipper Jones hit .400?

Unfortunately, I'm going to have to say no. I am absolutely rooting for him, but I think he will hit a slump pretty soon and come back down to earth. He also has admitted that he doesn't get enough infield hits to accomplish the feat. Ted Williams may be safe resting in his cryogenic chamber for a little bit longer.


Thanks for reading! This is Ben Weixlmann signing out.