Well I stumped you guys. The question was, “Since 2005 name three players that have been traded from the Houston Astros and have gone to a World Series the following year or the same year.” Three possible answers were Preston Wilson (2006 Cardinals), Willy Taveras (2007 Rockies), and Brad Lidge (2008 Phillies). My friend over at Short Porch in Right Field Got two players but Jose Vizcaino was not correct.
To see my A.L. East predictions click here. What the was not good enough for you. 🙂 Okay click here the if your not satisfied with my prediction.
1. Kansas City Royals 93-69
Every now and then people make bold predictions. This may be the biggest yet. The Royals have all the tools to be a good team. They have power, starting pitching, a good bullpen, speed, and defense. The only thing they are missing is the fans. Okay I know by now some of you might be about to call me stupid but wait. Member how there where people who said the Rays were going to go to the World Series? Well you probably thought they were stupid and guess what, they were right!
The Royals made quite a few changes this offseason. They traded for slugger Mike Jacobs and speedster Coco Crisp. They upgraded their bench by bringing in Wille Bloomquist. Then the improved the bullpen by adding Kyle Farnsworth and Juan Cruz.
The Royals want to make it a six inning game and they can. Right now it was already a eight inning game with closer Joakim Soria now I believe it could be a six inning game. Juan Cruz throws fast but is wild. Kyle Farnsworth is just overpaid but could prove us wrong.
Last year the Royals current three, four, and five batters hit a total of 67 home runs. This year Baseball Prospectus predicts that Mark Teahen, Jose Guillen, and Mike Jacobs will hit a total of 45 home runs. However it also says that D.H. Billy Butler and third baseman Alex Gordan will hit 38 home runs together.
The main thing to look at this season will be the Royals pitching. Led by Gil Mench and Zack Greinke the Royals have many “interesting” pitchers. In the third spot is righty Kyle Davies. Davies has played five major league season in which all he has had an ERA higher the 4.00. However I see him winning twelve games (which would be a carer high) and having a 3.80 ERA. Now that may not be the best season but he is a main part to the Royals success. If Davies and Sidney Ponson do bad then the Royals finish second behind the Indians.
In the fourth spot is journey man, Sidney Ponson. Ponson has played eleven major league seasons for six different teams. Ponson has never finished with an ERA lower then 3.70 and he will not this year. However he will get ten wins, the most he has had since 2004. My one concern about Ponson is is he ready? Ponson “auditioned” for a job in the World Baseball Classic this spring with the Netherlands and only pitched 10.1 innings this spring. In the WBC he pitched nine innings. I believe the Ponson will be shaky in his first few starts but will end up as a big steal for the Royals.
The only thing Kansas City needs is the fans. Most of the time the only games that get sold out is Opening Day and when Boston or the Yankees come to town. In 2008 the average attendance was 19,986. Which is higher then the past few years but still low. The highest attendance per game was in 1989 when about 30,589 people came to one game. The total attendance for 2008 was 1,578,922. The American League average was 2,464,986.
So now you see why the Royals of all people will make the playoffs for the first time since 1985. It seems kind of fitting on the 40 year anniversary Kansas City make history.
All right here is today’s trivia question. The 1971, 1972, and 1973 Oakland Athletics had three different players with the same last name. What was their last name.
Hint- No of them were on the A’s at the same time
First- I’m sorry I didn’t blog yesterday I am taking this boring five day test over math, writing, reading comprehension, science, and tons more.
Second- The real news in baseball isn’t the World Baseball Classic, it is Barry Bonds! Click here to read this shocking story about him.
Third- Jeff Kent the legendary second baseman retired today. Kent has a pretty good shot at getting into the baseball hall of fame. More on that soon hopefully.
Forth- Jonathan Pabelbon avoided arbitration by signing a one year, $6.25 million dollar deal. Boston also signed Javier Lopez. Theo Epstein has yet to go in to arbitration with any player since becoming G.M. of the Red Sox. More on that soon.
Fifth- The Dodgers signed Jonathan Broxton and Russell Martin avoiding arbitration.
Sixth- The Red Sox traded David Aardsma to the Mariners for Fabian Williamson.
The Boston Red Sox have eleven major league players and five minor league players on the World Baseball Classic provisional rosters.
Jason Bay- Bay played for Canada in the 2006 World Baseball Classic. In three games Bay hit .455, with zero home runs, drove in none, and had five hits. Last season Bay hit .286, with 31 home runs, drove in 101, and had 165 hits. Bay will be a great move for team Canada. While he didn’t have great stats in 2006 I think he will have a good 2009 World Baseball Classic.
George Kottaras- Kottaras will join Jason Bay on team Canada. Kottaras didn’t play in the 2006 World Baseball Classic. Last season in three games with the Red Sox he hit .200, had one hit, with no home runs, RBI’s, or stolen bases. The Red Sox will watch Kottaras carefully as a test to see how he does against major league talent.
Javier Lopez- Lopez will play for team Puerto Rico. Lopez did not participate in the 2006 World Baseball Classic. Last season with Boston he had a two and zero record, with a 2.43 ERA, and 38 strikeouts. Lopez should help team Puerto Rico. He would give team Puerto Rico a pretty good relief pitcher.
Mike Lowell- Lowell will join Javier Lopez on team Puerto Rico. Lowell will play in the World Baseball Classic for his first time. Last year with Boston he hit .274, with 17 home runs, 73 RBI’s, and had 115 hits. The Red Sox will watch Lowell closely to see how his hip is. If it gets bad they may tell Lowell to sit out a game or sit on the bench for the rest of the tournament. I think his hip will be fine though.
Daisuke Matsuzaka- Dice-K will play for team Japan. Dice-K played in the 2006 World Baseball Classic. He had three wins no losses, an ERA of 1.28, and ten strike outs. Dice-K was a vital part in helping Japan win in 2006. He also won MVP in the 2006 World Baseball Classic. Last year with the Red Sox he had a record of 18-3, with 154 strikeouts, and an ERA of 2.90. I think Dice-K will do fine in the 2009 World Baseball Classic.
Hideki Okajima- Okajima will join Dice-K on team Japan. Okajima didn’t play in the 2006 World Baseball Classic. Last season he had a three and two record, with an ERA of 2.61, 60 strikeouts, and one save. Okajima will be great playing for Japan. he could help them to win another title, but the USA will win.
David Ortiz- Ortiz will play for team Dominican Republic. In 2006 while playing in the 2006 World Baseball Classic he hit .150, with three home runs, five RBI’s, and three hits in twenty at bats. Having three hits and three home runs means that all of his hits were home runs. In 2008 with the Red Sox he hit .264, with 23 home runs, 89 RBI’s, and 110 hits. Ortiz has a hurt wrist so he might not be able to play. He also is listed on the list of Red Sox players in the classic but not on the list of players for team Dominican Republic on MLB.com which is strange.
Dustin Pedroia- Pedroia will play for my favorite team, team USA! Pedroia did not play in the 2006 World Baseball Classic. Last season he hit .326, with 17 home runs, 83 RBI’s, and stole twenty bases. He also won a golden glove, a silver slugger, and a MVP. Pedroia should be a upgrade for team USA. In 2006 the USA had Chase Utley at second base.
Ramon Ramirez- Roman Ramirez will possibly join David Ortiz on team Dominican Republic. Ramirez didn’t play in the 2006 World Baseball Classic. Ramirez was traded from Kansas City to Boston for Coco Crisp this offseason. While with the Royals last year he had a record of three and two, with a 2.64 ERA, one save, and 70 strikeouts. The Red Sox will look at him if David Ortiz plays to see if any chemistry forms between them. As we all know ( Well not the Y*****s) chemistry wins championships.
Kevin Youkilis- Youkilis will join Dustin Pedroia on team USA making the left side of the infield all Red Sox. Youkilis did not play in the 2006 World Baseball Cassic. Last season Youk hit .312, with 115 RBI’s, 29 home runs, and stole three bases. He also started at first base in the 2008 all star game at Yankee Stadium. Youk will be a great ascent to team USA in 2009.
The World Baseball Classic is a time where Cubs and White Sox, Dodgers and Angels, and even Red Sox and Y*****s (Hey I’m serious about not putting the Y word in my entries) unite and cheer for Pedroia, Jeter, Derrek Lee, Carlos Quentin, Joe Saunders, and Jonathan Broxton on team USA.
David Cone, No, Never
David Cone is up for election for his first time. His carer record is 194-126, with an ERA of 3.46, and 2,668 strike outs. He played 18 seasons with the Royals, Mets, Blue Jays, Yankees, and Red Sox. He played with the Mets two different times and the Royals two different times. If Cone does go in he will probably go in as a Met. Cone was traded twice in midseason. After playing with Boston in 2001 he didn’t play again till 2003 with the Mets. Cone won a Cy Young and four World Series. Cone was pretty good but only 194 wins as a starter. Yes, he was a relief pitcher his first few years in the bis but still. he doesn’t have 3,000 strike out or an ERA under 3.00. Cone will get 5% of the votes this year and at his best 25% of the votes.
Andre Dawson, No, Eventually
Andre Dawson is up for election for his eighth year. He hit .279, with 438 home runs, 1,591 RBI’s, had 2,774 hits, stole 314, and was caught stealing 109 times. Dawson had 93 carer errors in the outfield with a rocket for an arm. He played 21 years with the Expos, Cubs, Red Sox, and Marlins. He will probably go in as the last Expo in the hall of fame. If not an Expo then a Cub. In 1987 he hit 49 home runs, with 137 RBI’s, and 178 hits as a Cub that year. That year he also won MVP. Dawson was so close to 500 home runs and 3,000 hits. Last year he got 65.9% of the vote this year he will get around 70% of the vote. In 2010 he will get in with 76% of the vote.
Ron Gant, No, Never
Ron Gant is up for election for his first time. He hit .256, with 1651 hits, 321 home runs, drove in 1,008, stole 243, and was caught stealing 102 times. Gant played 17 seasons with the Braves, Reds, Cardinals, Phillies, Angels, Rockies, A’s, and Padres. He played with the A’s two different times. Gant was a great hitter before the dirt bike accident where he broke his leg before the 1994 season then he never was his old self again. Gant had back to back 30-30 seasons joining Willie Mays and Bobby Bonds as the only players to do that. Gant will probably get 5% of the votes this year and at his best 15% of the votes.
First- Pedro could be a Marlin! It would be great for the Marlins but Pedro won’t go there any time soon.
Second- The Braves signed Kenshin Kawakami, a top Japanese ace.
Third- Look for more Hall of Fame Winners and Losers as the day goes on.
Harold Baines- No, Never
Baines is up for election for his third year. He hit .289, with 384 home runs, 2,866 hits, and 1,628 RBIs. He also stole 34 bases and got caught stealing 34 bases. He played 22 years with the White Sox, Rangers, A’s, Orioles, and Indians. He played with the White Sox on three different occasions and the Orioles two different occasions. Baines will probably go in if he does go in as a White Sox. Baines was traded 5 times in midseason. Baines was a D.H. and played outfield in 1,061 games where he made 47 errors. While Baines was a dominating hitter he doesn’t have 3,000 hits or 500 home runs, or even a batting average over .300. Last year he pot 5.2% of the vote. Baines was a great player but he won’t go in and probably will get around 7% of the votes this year and at his best 55% of the votes.
Jay Bell- No, Never
Bell is up for election for his first time. He hit .265, had 195 home runs, drove in 860, and had 1963 hits. Bell stole 91 and was caught stealing 60. Bell played 18 seasons with the Indians, Pirates, Royals, D-Backs, and Mets. Bell had great glove work, winning a golden glove in 1993. He had a .976 carer fielding percentage. He made 220 errors at second, shortstop, third, and first. Bell was never traded in midseason. If Bell does go in he will probably go in as a Pirate. He won the 2001 World Series against the New York Yankees with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Bell will get 5% of the votes this year and at his best 45% of the votes.
Bert Blyleven- No, Eventually
Bert Blyleven is up for election for his 12th year. He had a carer record of 287-250, a 3.31 ERA, and 3,701 strike outs. Bert made 30 errors at pitcher. He played 22 years with the Twins, Rangers, Pirates, Indians, and Angels. He was with the Twins two different times. He is fifth on the all time strikeout list, behind Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens, and Steve Carlton. He pitched 60 shutouts in his carer and in 1973 he pitched nine. He also pitched 242 complete games and in 1973 he pitched 25! That year he didn’t win the Cy Young though, Jim Palmer won it. Last year he got 61.9% of the vote this year he will get 70% and next year he will get 77% and get in next year.
Happy New Year’s eve. On the last day of 2008 I thought I would look back at the year of baseball.
5-The Red Sox Come back Against the Rays
This game the Red Sox trailed by seven runs and then came back to win. J.D. Drew hit a walk off ground rule “single” to win the game for the Red Sox. He had hit a two run home run to bring the Red Sox within two with one out in the bottom of the eighth. This game forced game six where the Red Sox won that game and then lost to the Rays in game seven sending Tampa bay to the World Series.
4- Yankee Stadium Goes Away
I’m a Red Sox fan, but this was a little sad. Think of all the memories the Red Sox have had at Yankee Stadium, good and bad. Remember trailing three games to zero and then winning the World Series and breaking the curse in 2004? Do you remember Aaron Boone’s home run? Babe Ruth hit the first home run and Jose Molina’s hit the last home run at Yankee Stadium. I don’t get though if it’s so great then why didn’t they try to turn it in to a museum?
3-Josh Hamilton’s Home Run Derby
This was the last great Yankee Stadium moment. Josh Hamilton, who overcame drug addiction hit a record 28 home runs in the first round and three over 500 feet, the crowd even started chanting Hamilton’s name. Hamilton lost though to Twins first baseman Justin Morneau in the finals, in a derby that didn’t have a Yankee, Red Sox, Cub, Dodger, Angel, Cardinal, A’s, or Met. This was Yankee stadiums final WOW moment.
2-Jon Lester’s No Hitter
This was an inspiration to many people, kids, parents, and athletes. Lester came back from cancer to win game four of the World Series, throw a no hitter and other amazing things. He struck out ten and walked just two throwing a no hitter against the Royals. I remember turning on my laptop and seeing that he was six outs away. I went to a TV and watched the rest of the game. This was a great moment for anyone Red Sox, Yankee, Met, Dodger, Angle, and Royal who he threw the no hitter against.
1-Phillies Win It All
This was the Phillies first title since 1980. Brad Lidge was perfect when he droped to his knees and screamed. This was a team you couldn’t count out till it was over. It put Philadelphia back on the sports map. They beat a team of rookies, who made it all the way here, beating the Red Sox and Yankees. Hey Phillies fans you might get to party even more because some say the Eagles could win the super bowl.
Roco Baldelli returns to the majors
Junior hits 600
Manny hits 500
Ryan Braun sends the Brewers to the playoffs
Big Z’s no hitter