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Message #2121 of 6634  *NEW*
To:  All
From:  
Jaydawg  
Subject:  Who Will Win The N.L. Central?
Date:  2/16/06, 7:35pm
This topic was discussed in last week's Podcast #6. Reedster predicted the Cubs as the winner and FamilyMan said it will be the Cardinals. I'll agree with FamilyMan on this one. The Cards have the best all-around pitching in the majors led by Cy Young champ, Chris Carpenter. Their offense isn't too shabby either with the likes of Pujols, Rolen, and Edmonds. Besides the Reds, all of the teams in the N.L. Central have made improvements during the offseason. The Cubs should be the favorite for the Wild Card with the new additions of Juan Pierre and Jacques Jones. Houston added Preston Wilson, but they don't have a chance at the Wild Card this year, unless Clemens comes back in May. The Brewers and Pirates have some up-an-coming young talent led by Prince Fielder and Zach Duke, respectively. Plus, Pittsburgh has a great manager in Jim Tracy. Cincinnati will probably be the only team in the division with a losing record, but things are starting to look up for them with a new owner who is serious about putting together a winner.

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Message #2124 of 6634  *NEW*
To:  Jaydawg
From:  
bigticket  
Subject:  Re: Who Will Win The N.L. Central?
Date:  2/17/06, 7:27am
> This topic was discussed in last week's Podcast #6.
>Reedster predicted the Cubs as the winner and FamilyMan said
>it will be the Cardinals.

Yeah, what did he say about the Cubs being healthy this year? Wood is already going to miss the first 2 weeks of the season. But Wade Miller has always been the picture of health, right?

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Message #2128 of 6634  *NEW*
To:  bigticket
From:  
Reedster  
Subject:  Re: Who Will Win The N.L. Central?
Date:  2/17/06, 9:34am
Hey bigticket (from Indiana):

You're supposed to be on MY side (Chicago IS closer to you than St. Louis, isn't it?)!!!!

As for the Cubs' health, I am relying on the law of averages. I mean, even J.D. Drew had a completely healthy year. Prior and Wood have to have one at some point, right?

I think 2006 is ripe for it.

Wood can miss his two weeks (which means, what, 2 starts?), and then he can be stellar for the next 25 or so.

/yes, I know, wishful thinking

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Message #2132 of 6634  *NEW*
To:  Reedster
From:  
bigticket  
Subject:  Re: Who Will Win The N.L. Central?
Date:  2/17/06, 11:52am
>Hey bigticket (from Indiana):
>
>You're supposed to be on MY side (Chicago IS closer to you
>than St. Louis, isn't it?)!!!!
>
I am in Southern Indiana and about 2 1/2 hours from STL. It's about 7-8 hours from Chicago. Go Cards!

I don't think the Cubs pitchers will ever be totally healthy as long as Baker is their manager. Which is fine. Cubs fans are tough to deal with when they have a small taste of success.

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Message #2872 of 6634  *NEW*
To:  bigticket
From:  
Jaydawg  
Subject:  Re: Who Will Win The N.L. Central?
Date:  4/1/06, 3:25pm (Last Edited: 4/3/06, 10:19pm)
1. Cardinals
2. Cubs
3. Astros (My gut feeling is that Clemens
will be back in May, but if he
isn't, then the Bucs may have the
edge)
4. Pirates (top young pitchers, such as Zach
Duke and Oliver Perez should give
them the edge over Milwaukee)
5. Brewers
6. Reds (Could turn out to be a surprise if
Griffey puts up similar numbers
that he had in the WBC and gets
500 AB's)

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Message #2875 of 6634  *NEW*
To:  Jaydawg
From:  
drrubb  
Subject:  Re: Who Will Win The N.L. Central?
Date:  4/1/06, 5:21pm
This is not a prediction, but I will say this! Lookout for the Brewers! I think they will surprise a lot of people this season.

This division is hard to predict in my opinion.

Every team has strengths & weaknesses.

The Cardinals have solid starting pitching, & a decent bullpen. Outside of Pujols & maybe Rolen, I question their hitting a bit. We all know Pujols will tear it up! Rolen could bounce back very well also. Edmonds isn't bad but he is aging & he is a injury risk. I'm not really sold on their other 2 starting outfielders. To me, their middle infield is pretty weak at the plate. Yadier Molina is a good defensive catcher, but really just an average hitter.

The Cubs starting pitching is shaky. Zambrano is a STUD! However, with the injury plagued Prior & Wood, their starting pitching is shaky. Rusch isn't bad, but he's not going to scare anybody. Jerome Williams could be decent, but he is still a wild card. Dempster out of the bullpen is fairly solid. Their hitting is their strength. Derek Lee & Aramis Ramirez might be the best hitting combination at 1st & 3rd in the game. Barrett is an underated catcher. Their average at 2B & SS. Their outfield will be pretty good with Pierre, Jaque Jones, & Murton.

The Astros starting pitching is pretty good with Oswalt & Pettitte, but they are without Clemens most likely if he most likely retires. Lidge is as solid as it gets as a closer. Their hitting is decent. They have Berkman, who is very solid. Ensberg, Preston Wilson(if he can stay healthy will help), the speedy Tavares & Jason Lane. Biggio is aging however. They no longer have Bagwell. Ausmus just sucks at the plate. Everett in my opinion is very overated & meteocre at best.

The Brewers are much improved. Their starting pitching is decent, but not great. Their bullpen is decent with Turnbow, but not great. Their hitting is pretty damn good! Fielder will be awesome this year. Weeks, Hall, & JJ Hardy rounds out a very good infield, which will be powerful at the plate. Carlos Lee is one of the best hitting outfielders in the game. Jenkins & Clark will both be pretty good, but not great. Damien Miller will be the weak bat in their line up. He is meteocre at best.

The Reds lack somewhat at starting pitching. Harang should be pretty solid. Their bullpen could be a mess. Pitching is somewhat of a weakness for the Reds. Hitting will be awesome! Dunn will hit a lot of home runs this season. Felipe Lopez is a solid all around shortstop who will hit. Encarnacion will surprise some people this season. Look out! I think losing Wily Mo Pena will come back to haunt the Reds, however, Griffey Jr. has seemed to reserect his career. He will be solid this year if he doesn't pull a hammy. Kearns will have a very solid year. Freel isn't a bad player. Larue & Valinten will platoon well behind the plate.

The Pirates have good young starting pitching. I think their bullpen is decent. Oliver Perez is the key to their starting pitching. Will they get the Perez of 2004 or 2005? Hitting will be decent, but not great. Jason Bay is definately their best hitter. He is very good! Burnitz will be okay. Casey will be okay. Jack Wilson & Craig Wilson will be okay. Their rookie catcher, Doumit(did I spell that right?) could surprise some people this season, but he could also be a bust. I guess the Pirates are just, well, "okay".

I have no predictions for this division, but these are my opinions about these teams strengths & weaknesses. I think all 6 teams have a little of both, atleast to some degree.

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Message #2876 of 6634  *NEW*
To:  All
From:  
drrubb  
Subject:  Re: Who Will Win The N.L. Central?
Date:  4/1/06, 6:03pm
Here's how I would rank each team in this division.

Hitting:

1. Brewers (Carlos Lee, Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks, Bill Hall, JJ Hardy, Brady Clark, Geoff Jenkins)

2. Reds (Adam Dunn, Felipe Lopez, Edwin Encarnacion, Ken Griffey Jr., Austin Kearns) I may have ranked them number 1 if they still had Wily Mo Pena.

3. Cubs (Derek Lee, Aramis Ramirez, Micheal Barrett, Juan Pierre, Jacque Jones) Also look out for Matt Murton! Todd Walker is okay.

4. Astros (Lance Berkman, Morgan Ensberg, Preston Wilson, Willie Tavares, Jason Lane, Craig Biggio)

5. Cardinals (Albert Pujols, Scott Rolen, Jim Edmonds) Juan Encarnacion is okay. I'm not sold on anybody else from a hitting standpoint on the Cardinals.

6. Pirates (Jason Bay is the only stud here. Burnitz, Casey, both of the Wilson's are okay. Doumit? Everyone else there kind of sucks! Maybe they should resign Randall Simon? Atleast he was good at hitting jogging sausages!

Pitching:

1. Cardinals (Carpenter, Mulder, Marquis, Suppan) Very solid! Isringhausan from the bullpen is very solid.

2. Pirates (Zach Duke, Oliver Perez, Kip Wells, Pat Maholm) Pretty good! Mike Gonzalez & Solomon Torres are pretty good also.

3. Brewers (Ben Sheets, Doug Davis, Chris Capuano, Tomo Ohka, Dave Bush) Underated! Turnbow out of the bullpen is pretty good.

4. *Cubs (pending Prior & Wood) I would have ranked the Cubs number 1 or 2 in pitching in this division if Prior & Wood were both healthy & not such a constant injury risk. (Carlos Zambrano(Stud), Rusch, Jerome Williams). Depster from the bullpen is pretty good.

5. Astros would be ranked higher if Clemens was definately returning. (Oswalt(another stud), Pettitte, Backe). Lidge is very solid!

6. Reds (Harang, Arroyo, Milton?) THAT'S REALLY ABOUT IT! No closer really.

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Message #4189 of 6634  *NEW*
To:  All
From:  
Jaydawg  
Subject:  Re: Who Will Win The N.L. Central?
Date:  10/22/06, 2:28pm
It's interesting to see Reedster predicting the Cubs for this division. Hmmmm... But, how about the premonition from yours truly for the Wild Card Cubbies. Ouch!!!!!!!! The Cards were obviously a no-brainer pick, despite some of their troubles during the season.

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