21 February 2011
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Today’s Focus: TEXAS RANGERS
2010 Record: 90-72 (AL Champion; Division Champ; 4th Best Record in AL)
Last season ended with a 5-game World Series loss to the San Francisco Giants. Not bad for a once dazed-and-confused team out of Spring Training that saw Josh Hamilton fall off the wagon (or is it on the wagon?) and Manager Ron Washington test positive for cocaine. Despite the adversity, Washington finished 2nd in AL Manager of the Year Voting and Hamilton won his first MVP Award even after missing much of September.
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10 February 2011
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Today’s focus: Toronto Blue Jays
First, the good news! You know how people always toss around terms like “immovable contract”. Well when you have team owners like Arte Moreno trying to make a splash, there is no such thing. This was proven beyond the shadow of a doubt when Toronto was able to unload Vernon Wells deal this offseason with a trade to the Angels. Alex Anthopolous has now catapulted to the top of my genius GM list. Between ridding the Alex Rios contract and now Wells, the Jays now have considerable financial flexibility in the future.
Other than that, I’m afraid there’s not a lot of positives. The Jays will continue to compete in a loaded American League East that’s been a 3 team race for several seasons now. They will still have their breakout star from last year in Jose Bautista, but counting on 50+ home runs again is probably a stretch.
Notable Losses Include: Vernon Wells, Shaun Marcum, Scott Downs, Brian Tallet, Kevin Gregg, John Buck and Lyle Overbay .
Notable Pick Ups: Frank Francisco, Juan Rivera, Chad Cordero, Brett Lawrie, John Rauch, Octavio Dotel, Carlos Villaneuva, Rajai Davis and Manager John Farrell
Not exactly a who’s who list in baseball on the pick up side, but some serviceable players. While the team has been able to build up the farm system and add financial flexibility, realistically they are looking at 2012 before they could truly be competitive. I see no more then a .500 team at this point.
27 January 2011
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As Napoli gets passed around like the village bicycle once again, what does this mean for all parties involved?
Mike Napoli IMO rockets up the C rankings. Why? This guy can hit HR on the Moon and now he heads to the friendly confines of Rangers Ballpark. He might even bat higher than .260 this year too. To go along with 30 bombs and the opp to get tons of R and RBI in that lineup, Napoli could wind up being a Top 5 Catcher. Yeah, I said it. TOP 5 CATCHER!
Neftali Feliz I believe is locked in now as the closer. Silence the crowd that wants him in the rotation. Feliz will be elite once again.
Yorvit Torrealba will back Napoli up – well, he’ll be oohing and ahhing watching from the bench.
Frank Francisco heads to Minimal Fantasy Valueville in Toronto. I guess Frank Frank could get a shot to close, but I’m not banking on it.
J.P. Arencibia is relevant once again. He’s Napoli-lite, but will have to fight off the other-other Molina. Take a flier on him – he could be Napoli, or he could be Iannetta…