It's that time of the year once again when the 30 teams around Major League Baseball are breaking camp from spring training and heading north to get ready for the season openers this week.
Two teams (Seattle Mariners and Oakland A's) already started their season, playing two games against each other last week in Tokyo, Japan. Baseball legend Ichiro Suzuki (Seattle) played in those two games and then announced his retirement. The 45-year old outfielder will be a lock for the Baseball Hall-of-Fame in Cooperstown in a few years.
Last year, the Boston Red Sox dominated the game, winning 108 games in the regular season and then cruising past the New York Yankees and Houston Astros in the American League playoffs before they handled the Los Angeles Dodgers in five games in the World Series.
But that was last year and as the game proves year in and year out, repeating is always tough. The last repeat champion in the majors was the New York Yankees back in the 2000 season when they won their third consecutive World Series.
The free agency market was extremely slow again this past winter (collusion by MLB owners perhaps?) and the biggest names to switch teams were Bryce Harper (going from Washington to Philadelphia) and Manny Machado, who signed with the San Diego Padres after finishing the 2018 season with the L.A. Dodgers.
Several players (including Mike Trout- L.A. Angels, Chris Sale- Boston, Justin Verlander- Houston, Nolan Arenado- Colorado and Alex Bregman- Houston) have already signed multi-year extensions to avoid free agency in the future.
Once the games begin, fans and players alike put all that aside and go about the business of trying to win the World Series.
With that being said, here goes nothing as Heftyinfo predicts the standings and post-season winners for the upcoming 2019 Major League Baseball season.
1. Boston - The Red Sox are loaded and if they stay hungry, they could win it all again this season.
2. NY Yankees (wild card) - This team won 100 games last year and could unseat Boston this time around.
3. Tampa Bay - The Rays won't be sneaking up on any teams this season.
4. Toronto - Rebuilding mode in 2019 for the Blue Jays.
5. Baltimore - Major rebuild in the works for the Orioles.
1. Minnesota - The Twins stock piled a lot of talent for this season. It's a win now mentality.
2. Cleveland (wild card) - The Indians let too many players go in the off-season. Wild card contenders this year.
3. Chicago - The White Sox have good, young talent. Still a couple of years away.
4. Kansas City - The Royals are rebuilding.
5. Detroit - Tigers could finish as high as third place in this division.
1. Houston - Astros should cruise to another division title. World Series contenders for sure.
2. Seattle - The Mariners are wild card contenders this season once again.
3. LA Angels - Mike Trout will finish his career with the Halos.
4. Oakland - A's made the playoffs last season, not likely to do that again this year.
5. Texas - The Rangers have a lot of work to do to get back in the fold.
1. Atlanta - The Braves are a solid baseball team and could easily repeat as division winner.
2. Philadelphia (wild card) - The Phillies are loaded and could get to the World Series this season.
3. Washington - The Nationals have pitching and may get a wild card spot this year.
4. NY Mets - Lots of off-season moves, but will they pay off?
5. Miami - This team would do well to avoid losing 100 games.
1. St. Louis - The Cardinals could run away with the division this year.
2. Chicago (wild card) - Cubs are still a solid team and will be in the mix.
3. Milwaukee - A lot went just right for the Brewers last season.
4. Cincinnati - The Reds looking to escape the basement this year.
5. Pittsburgh - Pirates are decent, but they are in too deep in this division.
1. LA Dodgers - The Dodgers have been in the World Series two consecutive years. Solid team.
2. Colorado - The Rockies will be in the mix for the post-season again.
3. San Diego - The Padres signed some big names, but pitching still a question mark.
4. Arizona - The Diamondbacks are a likely .500 team, but that will be a challenge this season.
5. San Francisco - Swan song for long-time manager Bruce Bochy.
POST SEASON PICKS
Wild Card - NY Yankees over Cleveland
Division Series - Boston over Minnesota, NY Yankees over Houston
American League Championship Series - NY Yankees over Boston
Wild Card - Philadelphia over Chicago
Division Series - St. Louis over Atlanta, LA Dodgers over Philadelphia
National League Championship Series - LA Dodgers over St. Louis
Saturday, March 23, 2019
There has long been suspicion of Russian meddling in the 2016 United States presidential election and there could also be collusion with Trump's campaign team by the Russians to ensure he would win the election against Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
New Attorney General William Barr (who by the way was the AG when former POTUS George Bush, Sr. pardoned numerous people in the Iran-Contra scandal of the Reagan era) should make it public, but probably won't because then the people of this country would know just how bad it really was with these people.
When it comes to Trump and people of his ilk, they know absolutely no shame.
Eventually he will be gone and hopefully forgotten because he has done nothing to promote the good of this country. He is all about himself and that will be proven with the release of the Mueller report. Just say no to Trump and we all will be better off.
As for the 2020 presidential election, the Democratic party needs to get in gear and put forth a candidate who is solid and will not waffle at all on the issues and what they believe in. If they do that and the party is behind that individual, it's a no brainer Trump will be sent packing from the White House come January 2021.
Amen to that people.
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Sunday, March 17, 2019
Each year it seems the tournament gets more and more unpredictable as the teams go at it for nearly three weeks in late March and early April to win the national championship.
There will be the usual expectations and surprises and disappointments when the bracket pairings come out. Who will be the overall number-one seed (as if that really matters?) and which team could be this year's Cinderella like Loyola-Chicago was last year? The Ramblers were the number-11 seed a year ago and made it to the Final Four where they lost to Michigan in the national semi-finals.
It will be interesting to see which teams get in and who will be left out and sent to the NIT tourney instead.
That's why it's always great to see it unfold, even with all of the over analyzing by sports "experts" of the games that will take place in the coming weeks.
Let the (March) madness begin !