LAST YEARS RECORD: 87-75
LAST YEARS PREVIEW: Something went horribly wrong in San Diego. Wish it were a one-time thing, but it looks like every year someone is going to step up and punch them in the nose every year from here on out. The offense and defense for this team is jumbled and pitching won’t save it. You heard it here first…the Padres fall this year and fail to make the playoffs for the first time since season 15.
OUT: SP’s Javier Gonzalez, Sal Shea, Allen Roosevelt, Furio Becker
IN: Hugh Taylor, Stan Cheney, O’Connor, Oliver Cole, Chick Fassero, Javier Toregas, Cy Bruntlett
Kinsella was saddened to see sermonauthor leave Kinsella, but all good things must come to an end. At this point, the entire NL West has turned over all ownership. This is a good thing in a healthy league. You never want to see owners leave, but sometimes fresh ideas and approaches to the game is a good thing.
Jeanpaul22 takes the reigns and brings a stellar record with him. In 60 seasons, he has made the playoffs 25 times, and won the division 14 of those. Another thing that has really impressed me is the knowledge brought to the team. In jeanpaul’s conversation with me, he stated “I think last season we had a very bad defense,” he said. “We were first in bad plays with 71 and only 36 good plays(27), and an offense base only on power.”
The team is completely retooled, with the defense AND offense improving.Ivan Megias, and Benny Guerrero returning as possibly the best 1-2 starting combo in the league. Plin Olivares is possibly the best setup man in the business. Angel Ferrer returns to the closer role, which he lost back in season 20 after 8 blown saves. Previous ownership never let him pitch more than 65 innings. Olivares would be a better fit, but that is just one bloggers opinion.
Overall, I’m not sure if the Padres can hold on to their crown. But I like what I see.
Los Angeles DodgersLAST YEARS RECORD: 78-84
LAST YEARS PREVIEW: The Dodgers had a season to forget. The stadium looks awfully empty when no one shows up. The people let go were the right people, and I’m impressed those decisions were made. Finally, a Dodger teams that seems to be constructed properly. Good defense, fast enough on the basepaths, and good enough pitching. The only thing missing is depth off the bench which you need in the NL.OUT: Trevor Condrey, Trevor Lewis, Ray Kirwan, Willie Castilla
IN: Virgil Valdes
The Dodgers almost met the projected w/l by only four wins. The Dodgers had higher expectations, but its baby steps especially with a younger team. The offense finally improved, as they scored 685 runs. On the opposite side of the ledger, they only allowed 659. Quite an impressive turn around.
Can the Dodgers turn the corner? They didn’t add any new offense, even though they wanted a right handed slugger and didn’t get one. There are some young guys that should appear throughout the season as wvwc mixes and matches to get the best production.
If the Dodgers can find the right combo and up their run production to over 700, they will win the division. If not…they could lose ground. I’m betting on the improvement.
PREDICTION: 85-77, 1st place
LAST YEARS PREVIEW:New Owner Beanpole brings very little HBD experience, but has been successful already. He’s inherited a good situation, with the exception of the Ozzie Jordan situation (elbows blowing out everywhere!). I think the one year anomaly of the Padres being knocked out of the top spot was a one year proposition. The Diamondbacks have fallen back to mediocre. They are still good, just not good enough.
OUT: No one important
IN: No one that can turn this around
Overnight, the pitching staff imploded. By seasons end, the DBacks gave up 801 runs. Things don’t look to be getting any better. Tony Sasaki and Harry Pena were promoted, and really aren’t ML quality. They will fit in. The rest of the pitching staff isn’t ML quality either.
The offense, Raymond Taylor could contribute significantly and play CF at a very high level. Benji Castro is a good 3b, and no slouch at the plate. Jose Pizzaro is a terrific power hitter, but is a 1B not a LF. Santiago Amaro is the teams best hitter, but is a well below average SS. Something will have to give at some point between him and Castro in order to improve the defense. It should cost Albert Castillo his job since he isn’t really a right fielder.
Overall, this teams strength is offense. But it won’t make up for the lack of pitching and defense. Expect a LONG season in Arizona.
PREDICTION: 68-94, Last Place
LAST YEARS PREVIEW: This pitching staff is not nearly as bad as they look at first glance. First off, they strike a lot of people out. The defense which hasn’t been so good (2nd worst in Kinsella). Several players join the Giants to make them less of a joke. Bonilla and Newson FINALLY give them players that will get more than 5 War and 100 rc. Pitching got better with Choi as the new Ace. Now that’s five good pitchers. To add up…compared to last season the offense, and fielding HAVE to be improved. So are they truly improved after all the changes? With a player like Alex Gabriel (zero range, 22 glove, almost no arm) playing in rightfield I just can’t take the Giants seriously. PREDICTIONs: with the right players in the right places 85-77. Continuing to play people out of position or misusing players: 68-94
IN: Rico Alvarez
The predicted win/loss was exactly on point. I’m not going to say I told you so. That’s not appropriate. What I will say, is that this team could be a whole lot better.
The same proposition applies this season. Play players the right way, win. Play players in the wrong spots…lose.
PREDICTION: 66-96, Last place