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Old 05-31-2005, 01:52 PM   #1
blackdogsong
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1) The biggest moved in the off season was, of coarse, The Unit's move from the Desert to the Apple which sparked talk of World Series rings and a Cy Young award as almost a sure lock. Now w/ an ERA right below 4.00, lagging 30+ K's behind Johan Santana, and a shaky 5-3 record The Unit's first year in the pinstripes is looking much like A-Rods- a bit green. Buy or Sell Randy Johnson winning this year's AL Cy Young

2) Frank Thomas returned to the White Sox lineup on Memorial Day to a nice standing O at US Cell. Although he went 0-2, a walk, and a run scored he looks good around on bases on his repaired wheel. He would leave the game early sighting "a little twinge in the hip flexor" Thomas is a lifetime .308 power hitter, about a dozen short of 450 homeruns, almost 1500 walks, .429 OBP. Baseball-reference.com's mathematical hall of fame tracker says the lifetime White Sox slugger should be in... but do you Buy or Sell The Hurt in the Hall?

3) Lets talk NL now... currently tied up w/ Marlins for head of the wide open NL East the Atlanta Braves are battling injury and payroll cuts trying to extend their consecutive division title record to 14. A lot of critics though last year was finally the year it would come to an end, but manager Bobby Cox stretched the most out of his roster and a suprisingly effective pitching staff to stay a top of the East yet again. This year, however, has been different w/ bullpen issues and lack of a clean up hitter the Braves have been up and down this season... Buy or Sell the end of the Braves division title streak?
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Old 05-31-2005, 02:36 PM   #2
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sell, buy, buy

The Unit might come back pretty strong (I actually traded for him in fantasy baseball), but he's in a hole for the Cy Young because of some other very strong candidates (Buerhle, Santana, Colon, Garland, Bonderman, Bedard, etc.). I think most of those other candidates will falter, but if only a couple of them continue to excel it will block the Unit from the Cy Young.

Frank Thomas' recent injury isn't that bad. I expect he'll be back soon and producing. His career numbers will get him in with just a little more quality playing time, if they don't already.

Marlins will win the AL East. I might have been wrong about predicting the Braves to be all the way back in 3rd, but I don't see their offense improving much here on out. Without improved O, they need a more dominant pen to close out pitchers' duels more regularly-- i don't see that happening either. I think they've been lucky just to hang in there so far. Not to mention the Marlins could improve, IMO.
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Old 05-31-2005, 03:26 PM   #3
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1) Sell- Johnson is finally starting to show his age- losing command and speed against the Red Sox in his most recent start he was very lucky to walk away w/ that win- thanks, in most part, to poor decisions on ending guys home. However, Johnson is still one of the best in the game and might pickup a few votes but w/ Roy Halladay's 8 wins and ERA at nearly 2 and 1/2 for a so-so Blue Jays team you have to be impressed.

Jon Garland has been a great suprise for the White Sox. His lack of K's might cost him, but if him and the Sox keep up their pace he could edge out team mate Mark Buehrle since Garland will be seeing better pitching matchups being lower in the rotation, which should put him a head of Buehrle in W's when the season is over.

The Red Sox's Matt Clement is a name no one brings up- still unbeaten [6-0] and an ERA just north of 3.00. The Cubs, with all their starting pitching issues, must be wishing they had this guy back. He and Bronson Arroyo have keep the Red Sox in second in the AL East even w/ no Schilling and a disappointing David Wells.]

Twins ace Johan Santana is posting 91 K's, 32 more then second place Halladay but his ERA is nearing 4.00 and has picked up 2 loses after going what seemed like forever without 1. I'd look for his second half, as the Twins make a run at the White Sox, to be much better.


2) Buy. Frank Thomas is one of the best hitters of our era. In a time when questions about streoids have been thrown at almost everyone him and Griffey are one of the few guys who we know didn't cheat the game. They are both Cooperstown-bound. Their homerun derby that was cut off in the 94-95 season was such a shame and really could have done wonders for the game- much like the Sosa vs McGwire debry sans the juice.

3) Buy. The Marlins are too good to not win the division. Delgado was a great pickup, their starting pitching has been solid, and Miguel Cabrera is fast becoming a superstar. Braves have too many old guys in the outfield- talking about Jordan and Mondesi- and young guys w/ no experience coming in to replace them. However; Smoltz, Hudson, and Hampton just might have enough to keep these guys in the hunt- if Kolb doesn't blow the close ones.
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Old 05-31-2005, 04:10 PM   #4
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Sell. Randy Johnson's a great pitcher, but as you pointed out, his ERA is so-so, his won-los record is so-so, and his strikeout numbers are way below Big Unit standards. He's too long in the tooth to pick those up at this juncture.

Sell. Frank Thomas is a great power hitter, but nothing else. I say Big Hurt is too one-dimensional to make the Hall, and I also would argue his health in recent seasons has been enough to tarnish his legacy.

Buy. The Marlins have a nasty roster, both in the field and on the mound. Dontrelle Willis has slowed down somewhat, but is still arguably the best lefty in the National League.
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Old 05-31-2005, 07:28 PM   #5
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1. I have a hard time seeing Johnson winning the Cy Young this year. He is currently on pace for 16 wins and the inconsistency of the Yanks bullpen is going to make tough to win many more than 15-16 games and at the pace he is going he will be lucky to reach 200 K's this year. As it stands right now K's may not factor too heavily into the Cy race this year. Santana is far and away ahead of everyone but he is only 6-2 with a 3.70 ERA.

Nobody will begin taking Matt Clement seriously until he shows that he can pitch this well in August and September. We have seen this from him before where he pitches lights out the first half of the season only to fail miserably down the stretch.

Nobody is pitching better than Hallady in the AL right now except for maybe Erik Bedard who just went on the DL last week.

2. Thomas definitely has the numbers to warrant consideration. To say he was merely a great power hitter and nothing else is a rather short-sighted assessment of the man. He did win a batting title in '97 at .347, hit .353 in '94 (good enough for third), and .349 in '95 (good for second). He has finished in the top four in hitting four times, top ten 7 times and only struck out 100+ times 3 times in his fifteen year career. He did do a little more than just step up crank out homers over a ten year span. He ranks in the top 100 in most major offensive categories including 31st in homers and 16th in slugging.

3. I am on the fence with this one. The East seems to be one big mess right now. Burnett missed his last start for the Marlins and Mota has already made a trip to the DL. The Braves have injuries galore. If Thome can get back up to speed the Phils could stay in the mix and if Pedro does not wear down like he usually does the Mets could be right there as well. The Nationals also seem to be rather competitive as well.

The Braves do seem to have the most questions right now. With Kolb blowing up in the bullpen, Hampton making a trip to the DL, Mondesi losing his starting job and Brian Jordan not giving them a whole lot in left, and Chipper playing on a bad wheel. I'd say that division is for whoever wants it right now. It should be interesting to see who wins out.
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Old 06-01-2005, 11:31 AM   #6
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Good points guys.
Randy Johnson is still a good pitcher, but he has had his day in the sun. His years of being a dominating pitcher are over and the time for the young guys, mentioned earlier, has come.
Frank Thomas is a guy that could roll out of bed and hit major league pitching. His injury isn't as bad as the potential problem he has with his manager's statements. Have they patched things up? Hard to say. Frank is not one who will make public statements and his role in the clubhouse has been diminished a bit.
The Marlins are certainly capable of winning their division -- they have the pitching, hitting and defense to compete with any team in the NL East, but don't count the Braves out. They will find a way to make the NL East an interesting pennant race this season, as usual.
Sell, buy, buy.
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Old 06-02-2005, 06:51 PM   #7
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Sell, buy, buy. The Big Unit may recover and have a nice season, but not a marquee AL Cy Young season. While I wish Thomas was more than a power hitter, I think his numbers and contributions narrowly make him worthy. Lastly, we all should have learned to not count against the Braves because they always find ways to win their division.

Where's Brandon when you need him?
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Old 06-16-2005, 07:33 PM   #8
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At this time I think I would like to make a down payment on the Braves division streak coming to an end. The injuries are starting to catch up with them and just today Hudson goes on the DL with a strained oblique muscle. He joins Mike Hampton (out indefinitely) and John Thomson (thought to be out until late August) on the DL. The Braves are 5.5 games out and the Nationals are beginning to look like they are for real this year.
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Old 06-17-2005, 01:32 PM   #9
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i dont know what is a bigger deal- the Braves division streak or the sad fact they only got one World Series win out of it?
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