>I fail to see how people are already handing the Blue Jays the
>Wild Card. They have yet to play one game. AJ Burnett is as
>much a risk as Josh Beckett, if not more. Glaus hits for
>power, something the Jays need, but his average is anything
>but good. They don't have a Shortstop. The only good
>[guaranteed] acquisition they made was BJ Ryan.
You make some good points here. The bottom line is that the Sox really do not have a SUPER pitcher on their squad. Good, yes. But Halladay would have likely been the best in the Majors if he did not get sidelined for half the season by a fluke Kevin Mench line drive.
Following this kind of stellar pitching, I think it will make A.J. Burnett and Gustavo Chacin better. I expect a career year from Burnett this year.
>The Sox on the other hand, replaced surplus offense for some
>much needed defense and pitching. While it seems we created
>holes in the lineup with Lowell and Gonzalez, we just replaced
>the old holes, Millar and Bellhorn, while at the same time
>upgrading our defense immensely. We acquired Mark Loretta, a
>.300 hitter, in the cheapest deal of the offseason. Trying out
>Youk at first, same way Jays are trying out Hill and 2nd.
>Replaced Damon with Crisp, two players of similiar statistics,
>while saving a ton of cash.
Loretta was a great pickup. I am not convinced by Crisp. I would also be concerned about Manny Ramirez. I suspect that he will be unhappy and continue with his trade demands. The Spring will be a good indicator of his attitude.
I am also hesitant to jump on a Bosox bandwagon when they will be relying on a pitcher who is making a league switch, and an old timer who was horrendously bad last year (Schilling).
Alex Gonzalez and Mike Lowell, offensively, were nothing to cheer about last year.
>Our pitching was so bad last year, it can only get better.
>Schilling is looking to come back from his injury [he had a
>couple of bright spots last year, 1Run games], we traded for
>Beckett [Yankee Killer], and brought up Jon Papelbon. As for
>relief corps, we traded for David Riske, signed Julian
>Tavarez, signed Rudy Seanez, re-signed Timlin, and Foulke
>appears to be in the best shape of his life.
Tavarez was a good pickup. Foulke should scare the hell out of you after last season. Timlin faltered in the second half, and I think that will continue.
My picks (reiterating BaseballGeeks Podcast #5):
2) BlueJays (wildcard)