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The HardballTalk Season Preview

Apr 3, 2012, 6:00 PM EDT

Wilson Opening Day

Opening Day is upon us.  Well, one of them anyway. We had one in Japan last week. And then the Cardinals-Marlins game and then more staggered Opening Days across Thursday and Friday. It’s all a conspiracy, you know. The red, white and blue decorative bunting industry and its high-powered lobbyists are what made that happen. More “Opening Days” means more of those banners and that means more money for Big Bunting. Alas.

But baseball is back, and that’s good. And to hold you over until the Cardinals and Marlins face off, here are links to all 30 of HardballTalk’s Springtime Storyline posts.  Read all of these and you’ll be able to talk intelligently about every team in the game.

Unless the predictions are all wrong, of course. In which case this will still be useful as a quick-reference for our collective ignorance and folly.  We believe, however, that we did a pretty darn good job with these.

AL EAST

Are the Yankees the best team in baseball?

Does anyone remember that the Boston Red Sox were really good last year?

Do the Tampa Bay Rays have the best rotation in baseball?

Have Toronto Blue Jays brought in enough help for Jose Bautista?

Can Dan Duquette lead the Orioles out of the wildnerness?

 

AL CENTRAL

Can anyone in the AL Central beat the Detroit Tigers?

Will the Cleveland Indians build on last season or take a step backward?

Are the Kansas City Royals finally ready to contend?

Are the Chicago White Sox rebuilding or contending?

Can the Minnesota Twins get back on track after 99 losses?

 

AL WEST

Can the Rangers win the AL once again?

Did the Angels buy themselves the A.L. West?

Who are the Oakland Athletics?

Can the Seattle Mariners score any runs?

 

NL EAST

Are the Phillies still a juggernaut?

Will standing pat get the Braves back to the playoffs?

Are the Marlins the most interesting team in baseball?

Are the Nationals ready to contend?

 How long will the Mets spend in baseball purgatory?

 

NL CENTRAL

Will the St. Louis Cardinals survive the loss of three legends?

Is there life after Prince Fielder in baseball’s smallest market?

Have the Reds built themselves a World Series contender?

Are the Pittsburgh Pirates getting any closer to breaking .500?

How will year one of the Cubs’ rebuilding plan fly in The Friendly Confines?

What will the Astros’ final year in the National League look like?

 

NL WEST

Was 2011 a fluke for the Arizona Diamondbacks?

Are the San Francisco Giants going to give Brandon Belt a chance?

Will the Rockies make us all look like suckers again?

How long until new ownership puts the magic back in the Los Angeles Dodgers?

What did the Mat Latos deal do for the San Diego Padres?

  1. yankeesfanlen - Apr 3, 2012 at 6:18 PM

    Woodrow Wilson was indeed our best Baseball President.
    And, indeed, the New York Yankees are our best baseball team.
    You can look it up.

    • aceshigh11 - Apr 3, 2012 at 6:36 PM

      But…but Woodrow Wilson was an EEEEEEVIL PROGRESSIVE who started us on the road to tyranny!!!!!11

      Hi, my name is Aces High, and I’m a Glenn Beck watcher.

      • jimbo1949 - Apr 3, 2012 at 7:57 PM

        That’s a good first step, only eleven more to go.

      • cur68 - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:06 AM

        Prayin’ to Jobu for ya, man. Anyone got a chicken?

    • sdelmonte - Apr 3, 2012 at 9:22 PM

      But Wilson never saw the Yankees in their prime. He did, however, see the Cubs in theirs.

  2. pestiesti - Apr 3, 2012 at 6:31 PM

    No.
    Yes.
    Maybe.
    No.
    You’re kidding, right?
    No.
    Both.
    No.
    Neither.
    Yes.
    Yes.
    Probably.
    Is this a trick question?
    Literally? Yes. Figuratively? No.
    Possibly.
    Possibly.
    Possibly.
    Possibly.
    FOREVER!!!! BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!
    With fewer runs/pitching changes.
    Yes.
    No.
    Yes.
    Good.
    Bad.
    Yes.
    Reply hazy, try again.
    No.
    *sigh* Really, puns?
    Nothing.

  3. Cre8tive YouTh*ink - Apr 3, 2012 at 6:31 PM

    Reblogged this on cre8tive sports*ink.

  4. cogitobaseballergosum - Apr 3, 2012 at 8:08 PM

    I thought “Big Bunting” was Mark Teixeira’s much-discussed new strategy against the shift.

  5. cur68 - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:08 AM

    And so it begins. As I ended last regular season with hate, darkest hate, I open this season with . . . The Lords of Beaver Town will own you ALL! Beaver power, mo-fos!

    • Jonny 5 - Apr 4, 2012 at 8:36 AM

      Your Beavers will bring my team sustenance after they are marinaded in loss and cooked over the open flames of defeat. And they will taste good.

      • cur68 - Apr 4, 2012 at 8:42 AM

        Ah, so the smack talking begins, eh? Fine, fine. Man should have dreams. Dreams and ambition. You keep dreaming ’bout that slow cooked Beav. Meanwhile, back in reality-ville, the Lords of Beaver Town will be fixin’ to butter the parsnips of the AL East. C’mon, lets play some ball….

      • Jonny 5 - Apr 4, 2012 at 9:41 AM

        It’s the Beavers Lumber squad I speak of. Eastside!!!

  6. wj4122 - Apr 4, 2012 at 3:31 AM

    That’s what I love about baseball always funny speculation!!! Always a different and surprising ending! Sorry Craig you are very good but you do not know teams as well as die hard fans know the teams they love! It makes you look like a fool sometimes but only to those who really know not to everyone.

    • sportsdrenched.com - Apr 4, 2012 at 10:06 AM

      How is general speculation any better than rabid fanbase speculation?

    • foreverchipper10 - Apr 4, 2012 at 3:06 PM

      Craig did not do all of those write-ups. All of the HBT staffers contributed.

  7. sportsdrenched.com - Apr 4, 2012 at 10:05 AM

    As a new season is upon us I think we need to set some new season resolutions.

    I challenge each and every one of you to attend more games, watch/listen to more innings, talk better smack and drink more beer this season.

    • yankeesfanlen - Apr 4, 2012 at 10:30 AM

      And that be the program!

  8. stackers1 - Apr 4, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    My mother is gone now, but this was a typical conversation around this time of year. It would start off by me mentioning The Yankees;

    Mom – Oh, The Yankees. When do they play their first match?
    Me – They play their first game this week ma.
    Mom – I hope they get more points than the other guys.
    Me – Me too ma – me too.

    She meant well.

  9. ajcardsfan - Apr 4, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    Thanks for this Craig! I was hoping to find a convenient location for all of these stories because I know I had missed a lot of them. Time to read!

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