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Gary.

2010 MLB Season Thread

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The Twins could be interesting this year. Offensively, they should be solid: Mauer, Morneau, Cuddyer, Kubel, Span, Hudson. If Hardy can come back and/or Young can be part of what he's supposed to (with Thome sharing in DHing), they should be formidable. Only 3B is weak, but Punto can play the position as well as anyone (while hitting .200).

The starting pitching will not be spectacular, but could be solid. Baker, Slowey and Blackburn should be solid. Liriano is a wild card. I've kind of given up but I know he's gettin' it done down in winter ball.

Ironically, for the Twins, the 'Pen is not very strong. The middle relief is not what it was a few years ago and I have to admit, I am very worried about Joe Nathan. He faltered down the stretch last year. But if he can stay true to form, the pen should be at least average in the AL.

I could see the Twins winning the division and, as Tank alludes to, actually making some noise in the post season.

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The only thing that scares me about the Twins is that they usually end up opposite to what the magazines/experts predict. At least in the last couple years. So every magazine that I've read so far has the Twins finishing first which isn't a good sign for Twins fans.

But they do look good. The top 6 or so hitters (Span, Hudson, Mauer, Morneau, Kubel, Cuddyer) should be reliable, whereas the bottom three (Young, Hardy, Punto) will be question marks. But having Thome off the bench will be great, especially with the depth we have at the infield positions (Harris, Tolbert, Casilla) which is where Thome will usually pinch hit. It won't hurt to have him DH once in a while either. Like mentioned before, Baker, Slowey, and Blackburn should be reliable. Pavano has one of the spots as well, and there will be a battle for the 5th spot between Liriano, Perkins, Swarzak, and Manship. I expect Liriano to win that job, and I will be surprised if Perkins will be on the team for very long this year. The bullpen is shaky, but once Neshek is back to 100%, the bullpen will be greatly improved if he can keep his form. Guerrier is a great setup man, and Mijares is pretty good as well. We don't want to have to rely on bringing in Jesse Crain too often, though. Watch out for Wilson Ramos. He could be starting the year as the backup catcher with Jose Morales being hurt. Ramos is one of the Twins' top prospects, so that could be interesting. Overall, I am expecting big things, and the only thing that could hold us back are injuries.

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Here is my early 2010 shocking prediction, well not too shocking given my screen name....

Jeff Niemann will win 20 games and the American League Cy Young Award.

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Jays will make a strong push to stay in the Wild Card hunt till about the end of August when they will fall out of the race.

Only if they decide to play in the International League and even if they did, I'm still not sure they'd compete. :D

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Johnny Damon is a Detroit Tiger. 1 year/$8 mil.

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I thought the Tigers were cutting costs. How do you cut costs by wasting that much money on Damon?

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I think I'll just put this in here, since I don't think it really needs its own thread. Anyway, one "goal" I'd like to have this season, is to understand pitching better. I never did it much when played, and I was cheated out of a high school baseball experience so I never really learned advanced pitching. Does anyone know of any websites or books that can help explain it? What I'm basically looking for is what pitch to throw and where to throw it. Thanks to anyone that has any information.

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Didn't Thome sign in Minny? Why aren't you guys pumping him up too?

He might not be the threat he once was, but he's still good for 25-28 homers as a DH. If I were a bigger Twins fan, I'd be pleased as punch.

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Not that it's MLB, but the Cuban National Series regular season is over, the play-offs will begin shortly. It's a good chance to see some quality baseball before the Major League season starts.

In the West, the first games will be on Friday

(1) Sancti Spíritus vs. (4) Industriales

(2) Cienfuegos vs. (3) La Habana

In the East, the first games will be Saturday

(1) Villa Clara vs. (4) Santiago de Cuba

(2) Guantánamo vs. (3) Ciego de Avila

Baseball de Cuba streams a game a day online.

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I still hold out hope that one day Havana will have a team in the American League.

EDIT: Hey, want to waste a couple more minutes? Read the Wikipedia article on Havana's baseball stadium.

Provided that be spoken of the "Latin American" as also call popularly the Cubans, we will not be able to stop mentioning the dead Armandito the dry Cleaner, their more faithful host, arisen of the popularity of our town and symbolic figure that arrived to be remained in the hearts of the Cubans, though the sports spectacles that were witnessed they were formidable, more formidable they were those of Armandito in the steps encouraging so much to sportsmen Upon I publishing existing.

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In an unprecedented display of cockiness, the Yankees have signed Chan Ho Park to a one-year contract, effectively spotting the rest of the American League approximately 33 games this year.

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In an unprecedented display of cockiness, the Yankees have signed Chan Ho Park to a one-year contract, effectively spotting the rest of the American League approximately 33 games this year.

Hopefully the Yankees Repeat.

I find these two statements to be hilarious.

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In an unprecedented display of cockiness, the Yankees have signed Chan Ho Park to a one-year contract, effectively spotting the rest of the American League approximately 33 games this year.

Park was the MVP of the Phillies bullpen last season, and was the only one who I ever really trusted when he came in to a game. I wished that they could have brought him back, but his unrealistic contract expectations and desire to (at least before he realized that nobody would give him a shot again) again be considered as a starter forced the Phillies to move on without him.

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I was not going to make a prediction in that thread, but for all of you who picked the Rangers to at least get the Wind Card, remember these issues:

1-The ownership issue which was supposed to be resolved and taken to the owners in January still has not been brought to them. The Greenberg/Ryan group was selected on Dec. 15, 2009; an agreement with Hicks Sports Group (HSG) was made on Jan. 23, 2010, yet the MLB owners have not moved in this sale. A holdup remains the 40 lenders to whom HSG is in debt for $525 million. The lenders recently asked Hicks to restructure some aspects of the deal to better facilitate their recovery of the debt.

2-This who scored less than 800 runs for the first time in 14 seasons, lost 62 HR and 198 RBI in Marlon Byrd, Andruw Jones, and Blaylock. Combat that with the losing of Millwood's 198 IP and a defense who committed the 5th most errors in MLB, it is amazing they won as many games as they did last season.

Davis, Andrus, Teagarden, and Saltalamaccia should improve, but can they replace those numbers? The injuries with Hamilton are something which should be taken in consideration at all times now with this injury a week ago from a pop-up drill on Day 2.

3-Their rotation may consist of Harden, Feldman, Colby Lewis (last 2 season in Japan), Nefi Feliz and CJ Wilson (bullpen guys last year) does not sound great compared to Seattle or LAA. The Danks for McCarthy trade still looks worse and worse by the year. But the still have the best minor league system in terms of talent according Baseball America.

As for SF, their backup C could be Buster Posey, who has never called a game behind the plate in his NCAA or minor league career.

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