Jan 19, 2010, 12:25 PM EST
He sounds certain, but will FOX’s Tracy Ringolsby bet his hat on it?
A month before spring training, fans of all 30 major league teams are
supposed to have hope about what the coming season will bring. Makes
for good marketing. Bottom line, however, is while there is reason for
hope with most teams, there’s no argument over which teams are the
First place in the six divisions is up for debate. Last place, however, is a slam dunk. Mark it down now.
place still belongs to the Royals in the AL Central, Oakland in the AL
West, Toronto in the AL East, Washington in the NL East, Pittsburgh in
the NL Central and San Diego in the NL West. These are not overnight failures. They have earned the distinction.
I take issue with Oakland in that group. Sure, they may very will finish in last place — I’d probably pick them to finish there this year — but they’re not an “earned failure” on the order of, say, Kansas City. They have some good young pitching. They are a battered, but perfectly respectable team in ways that the others in that crowd are not. They just happen to not be as good as the other three teams in the division. No shame in that.
I take less issue with the others, but still there is room to quibble. Toronto looks like a last place team, but they did finish 11 games ahead of Baltimore, so I don’t think anyone would die of shock if the O’s “beat” them out. Pittsburgh has to be the front runner for last place, but if you assume old players get worse and young players get better, Houston could easily fall below them this year. The Padres actually finished five games ahead of the Diamondbacks in 2009, so I don’t know that they’re a lock for last either.
I think the only rock solid locks for last place are the Royals and Nats. For everyone else: let’s play some games first, OK?
- Blue Jays sign Dayan Viciedo to a minor league deal 8
- Chris Sale will be sidelined for three weeks with foot fracture 11
- Aramis Ramirez says 2015 will be his last year 32
- Francisco Rodriguez re-signs with the Brewers 9
- If addiction is an illness — and it is — Josh Hamilton shouldn’t be suspended 299
- Pirates open to massive extension for Andrew McCutchen 18
- Report: Josh Hamilton had a relapse this offseason that “involved at least cocaine” 86
- Yankees don’t plan on having to pay A-Rod’s $30 million in home run milestone bonuses 51
- If addiction is an illness — and it is — Josh Hamilton shouldn’t be suspended (299)
- San Francisco — and all of California — will consider a smokeless tobacco ban that includes MLB parks (131)
- Report: The Yankees were “fuming” at how A-Rod handled his early arrival to spring training (114)
- Cuban prospect Yoan Moncada reportedly signs with the Red Sox for $31.5 million, plus $31.5 million in penalties (106)
- Brian Sabean says that California taxes are a hindrance to the Giants signing free agents (102)