Friday, March 28, 2008
In honor of Opening Day firing up the 2008 baseball season for real this Sunday/Monday, we geniuses at The Money Shot have spent the past two days previewing the season for you. Yesterday, we looked at the AL in all of it's superior glory. That means that today is the NL's turn. While most of my loyal subjects are AL guys, I'm taking a lot more risks with my NL picks so stick around for a piece. Let's be honest though, the NL sucks and it's almost worthless. No one wants to watch a pitcher hit. No one wants to see bunts. No one wants to see Bobby Cox. It's a boring brand of entertainment. The National League is the Turd Ferguson of baseball...and that is not a compliment eventhough it may sound as such.
Anyway, Steve Phillips is back to help me out with my predictions. He appears to be ready eventhough he just dumped a bowl of cereal on his head, so let's get started.
1. Mets - Oh shit, Steve's going to be all over this one. Anyway, after last year's mammoth awesome choke-job collapse, the Mets traded a handful of shitty minor leaguers for the best pitcher in baseball. Yeah, that was a pretty good trade and the Mets entire fan base of refrigerator repairmen and guys/gals with mustaches have to be ecstatic. The choke ain't happ'nin this year unless Reyes, Wright, Beltran, Johan, and Damion Easley all get hurt (one of those was a joke). Steve, lay it on me?
--METS BASEBALL!!! I used to work there!!! Todd Pratt!!! This is the greatest franchise ever!!! My goatee!!! Mets!!! A penis sundae!!! Todd Pratt again!!! I look up to Mike Greenberg!!! METS!!!
2. Braves - Shouldn't Bobby Cox be retired by now? He doesn't look like he has any fun and looks like he's one more missed call away from a stroke. I kind of like the Bravos this year with their above average pitching and getting rid of the wildly overrated Andruw Jones. Can Rafael Soriano close or will Bob Wickman come back and eat him? Got any opinion on the Braves?
--I'm not allowed to cross the street alone. Will you please hold my hand?
3. Phillies - Yeah, yeah, they won it last year. But you have to remember that Philly is a city of losers and cheesesteaks. They've got a good lineup but other than Hamels and maybe Brett Myers' spousal abuse, how do they get people out? I mean, Brad Lidge still sucks, right? Stevester, you've got to like the Phillies offense, no?
--Not really. I would trade Howard, Utley, and Rollins straight up for Mike Piazza right now. Done deal. Let's get this thing ironed out. Mike Piazza is the greatest player ever and he and I are bestest friends.
4. Nationals - I know that they are moving into a new stadium. I know they traded for Lastings Milledge this year. I know they have Ryan Zimmerman and Austin Kearns. That's about it. Is Chad Cordero still the straight-brimmed closer? Steve, any help on the Nats?
--For years now, Keith Hernandez and Walt Frazier have been hounding me to try Just For Men. You know what, I'm content with my prematurely gray hair. Give it a dry combover and you've got one sexy package.
5. Marlins - The poster child for how to not run a franchise. They should be embarrassed with themselves even though they got the better of the trade with the Tigers (I'm serious). I don't even think that Steve Phillips would agree with their ways of doing business. I like the name Dan Uggla. Stevey, you got anything to add about Florida?
--I love Florida. My grandma lives there. One time, we went to Disney World and I got my picture taken with Mickey and Goofy. It was the best day of my life. It was last month.
1. Reds - Ding, ding, ding!!! That's right, I'm going out on a limb here. As the once sane Rune used to say, "In Dusty We Trusty". I just have a feeling here that they will be OK this year. I like the pitching with Harang, Arroyo, and stud Johnny Cueto. They finally got a closer with Cordero. The offense will be fine as long as they let stud prospect Jay Bruce play. I don't know, I just have a feeling.
--Whoa, G$, stop. You couldn't be more wrong here even if your name was Steve Phillips. The Reds suck. They have for the last 20 years. Hell, even MY METS! beat them in a playoff game. You are crazy.
Maybe Steve has a point here.
2. Cubs - They definitely are the most talented team in the division. But they have a century of losing to improve upon so I don't see two division titles in a row happening. The pitching staff isn't nearly as good as they threw last year. Putting Kerry Wood as your closer is about as crazy as thinking that spreading peanut butter on your wrist will get you high. The real wild card here is Japanese sensation, Fuck you, do me. Steve, do you like the Cubs in the Central?
--(talking with his hands)The thing about the Chicago Cubs is that they are from Chicago...and that isn't too far away from my boyhood home in MICHIGAN!!!
3. Brewers - Prince Fielder has gone vegetarian (much like me for Lent but forever for him). I don't like that one bit. The over/under on Ben Sheets' number of starts is 7.5. They had their chance last year. Steve, opinions on Milwaukee?
--I'll tell you what, Laverne and Shirley is a great show. I love that Squiggy character. "Hello Laverne"...always cracks me up!!! (Steve sings entire theme song)
4. Cardinals - Have you seen this pitching staff??? Luckily, they will do no worse than 4th because they play in the worst division in sports...even worse than the NFC West. Hopefully, Tony LaRussa won't inspire any of his players to drink and drive this season...too soon?
--That was horribly insensitive, G$. As retribution, go get me my blank-y and put on my Dora the Explorer DVD. She would have made a terrific Met.
5. Astros - This team has no feel. They have potentially good pieces with Berkman, Tejada, Pence, and Oswalt. And then pretty much nothing else. At least Craig Biggio is finally gone. Steve, do you have any idea what the Astros are doing?
--They've prepared to lose a lot this year is what they did. You know how I know? Because it's exactly the same strategy I employed in New York before being publicly flogged. It's beautiful in a way. John Kruk is also beautiful but not nearly as much as Orestes Destrade.
6. Pirates - There might not be a more depressed baseball fan than those of the Pirates. For God's sake, the last time that they were good, their hopes and dreams were destroyed by Sid Bream's speed. Trading for Matt Morris and signing BK Kim has to touch many nerves. Steve-O, how do you fix the Pirates?
--You hire a guy like Steve Phillips is what you shoul do. I walk into that front office and immediately start stroking my goatee which commands a ton of respect. You don't mess with a guy who has facial hair...we're tough and we're smart and we're----(sorry, Steve is barking at a squirrel in the backyard).
1. Dodgers - This really is a toss-up division, I'll go with the manager that makes the playoffs every year, Papa Joe. The rotation will need a lot of help from Penny, Billingsley, and Lowe...and hopefully Jason Schmidt can come back. And besides a slight lack of power, they are pretty solid around the diamond. Steve, you think the Dodgers can win the West?
--I think I just swallowed a nickel. I can't wait to poop it out. Don't throw my diaper away before I see what it looks like, ok?
2. Diamondbacks - They need to find some way to score. The starting rotation may be the best in baseball and they have major questions at closer (it ain't going to be Brandon Lyon). I like Justin Upton to have a similar breakout season that his brother enjoyed last year. Steve, how much would you love to have Webb and Haren at the front of your staff?
--Pffft, those guys blow. Give me Al Leiter and Mike Hampton anyday. You do realize that they got to throw to MIKE PIAZZA, right? Mets!
3. Rockies - Everything fell their way last year, it won't this year. They'll be OK, but the pitching staff just isn't very good. Now that they lost Kaz Matsui to the Astros (who is currently out with anal fissures, I shit you not)...I really have nothing else to say about that, just wanted to add that unsavory little nugget. Phillips, has the Rockies magic run out?
--You clearly have no clue. I was talking to Rockies manager Don Baylor last week and he was saying how Dante Bichette and Andres Galarraga have never been in better shape. I expect big things from the Rockies this season.
4. Padres -San Diego has a good pitching staff which will keep them in games. But their lineup is freaking awful. Brian Giles? Jim Edmonds? A white guy named Khalil? No thanks. Steve, I bet you like the Padres chances this year, don't you?
--Oh, I love their chances. They only have to play the Mets a handful of times so they lucked out there. Padre means father in English!
5. Giants - This is a bad team. Really bad. They don't want to bring Barry back but find no problems in dishing out almost 200 million dollars to Barry Zito and Aaron Rowand. Brian Sabean might be a worse GM than Steve Phillips. Steve, any final thoughts on the NL West?
--I want to go swimming. Can you help me get my water wings on? Watch me do a cannonball!!!
For the playoffs, I like the Mets to be the one seed and to beat the wild card D-backs in 4 games. I like the Dodgers to knock off the Reds in 5. In the NLCS, I'll take the Mets over the Dodgers in an epic 7 gamer. As far as the World Series goes, I'll take the Yankees over the Mets in 6. As a non-homer, I'll take the Mets over the Mariners in 7.
NL MVP - Jose Reyes
ROY - Johnny Cueto or Jay Bruce, pick a Red
Manager - Dut Baker
NL CY - Chad Billingsley (it's too easy to pick Santana and I'm a homer anyway)
AL CY - Felix Hernandez (I forgot to include this yesterday)
Well, there you go. That's the way The Money Shot sees the season unfolding. We like the favorites for the most part but also expect big seasons from the Mariners and Reds. Enjoy Opening Day. I'd like to thank Steve Phillips for taking time out of his busy schedule of being retarded to help out here the last two days. I'll be back on Monday with some Smarch Madness. Enjoy the weekend.