Friday, April 28, 2006

Cavaliers 97, Wizards 96
To quote Cavs' TV analyst Austin Carr:
"YES! Yes, Yes, Yes Yes!"
I watched the game at work, which is not quite the same as Quicken Loans. Still, the end result was better. LeBron James was unstoppable down the stretch, and the Cavs did what they needed to do in Washington: split. It would be great if they took Sunday's game, but by winning today, LeBron and the boys tilted the scale back in Cleveland's favor.
Most will point to LeBron James' performance, and there's little question he was the MVP, the reason the Cavaliers won. But two plays stand out. First, Donyell Marshall's hustle after a missed 3-pointer forced Washington out of position and into a foul. Then, he drained both free throws to tie the game.
Then, Flip Murray's steal with less than a minute left set up LeBron's heroics. The Cavs were awful in the first half, but one thing is certain: They don't fold. The Cavs were down six, and minus Zydrunas Ilgauskas with under four minutes left. But Larry Hughes stepped up, and the Cavs got it done.
I'm with Mr. Carr on this one.

My Prediction
The Cavaliers will win tonight.

Phil's Mock Draft
We have just passed day 214 of Countdown to NFL Draft 2006. One of these days, I'll have to corner Phil Prusa, Andy Barch or one of my other friends who are so into it, and ask them what the fuss is about. I find the actual event about as exciting as middle school orchestra concert. However, I can't deny most other NFL fans feel differently. For them, here is Phil's Mock Draft:

1. Texans - Reggie Bush/RB/USC
I don't know why, but Houston just seems to love guys named Bush.

2. Saints - D'Brickashaw Ferguson/OT/Virginia
Looking to trade this pick, but need offensive line help. Ferguson is the best bet is they stay put.

3. Titans - Vince Young/QB/Texas
A little more risk than Leinart, but Tennessee likes the comparisons between Young and Steve McNair.

4. Jets - Matt Leinart/QB/USC
Not even New York gets this wrong. A franchise QB falls into their lap and they don't have to make a trade to get him.

5. Packers - A.J. Hawk/LB/Ohio State
If Williams is still available here, he's tempting, but Hawk is the player they covet right now.

6. 49ers - Mario Williams/DE/NC State
The team loves the TE Davis, but need defensive help. At #6, Williams the draft's first real steal.

7. Raiders - Michael Huff/DB/Texas
If Young and Leinart are both gone at the #7 pick, Oakland will have an easy decision. No secret they love him and project him as Woodson's replacement.

8. Bills - Haloti Ngata/DT/Oregon
Say hello to Sam Adams replacement.

9. Lions - Ernie Sims/LB/Florida State
Stop the presses! Detroit doesn't take a receiver with their first round pick!

10. Cardinals - Vernon Davis/TE/Maryland
Cutler's stock has dropped and Arizona needs a tight end. Great value if they can nab Davis at #10.

11. Rams - Tye Hill/CB/Clemson
Not as tall as you would like, but this is a need position and St Louis isn't about to bicker over a few inches.

12. Browns - Kamerion Wimbley/DE-LB/Florida State
Gives Cleveland their first linebacker that can rush the passer since Jamir Miller

13. Ravens - Brodrick Bunkley/DT/Florida State
With Ngata off the board, Baltimore takes the best defensive lineman still available.

14. Eagles - Winston Justice/OT/USC
Andy Reid is a big believer that good teams start with the offensive and defense lines. If Justice is still on the board here, Eagles won't be able to make the pick fast enough.

15. Broncos - Santonio Holmes/WR/Ohio State
Receiver Marcus Nash was a bust and Ashley Lelie hasn't been much better.

16. Dolphins - Jay Cutler/QB/Vanderbilt
Does anyone really think Culpepper is the long term answer for quarterback in Miami?

17. Vikings - Chad Greenway/LB/Iowa
May try to trade up if Cutler is available after the Cardinals pick. If not, Greenway fills a big hole at their linebacker position

18. Cowboys - Donte Whitner/S/Ohio State
Him and Roy Williams would make for a darn good secondary in Dallas.

19. Chargers - Jimmy Williams/CB/Virginia Tech
Little question San Diego takes a cornerback here. Just not sure which one.

20. Chiefs - Antonio Cromartie/CB/Florida State
Ditto. Also will be keeping on eye on the pass rushers and grab one of them if possible.

21. Patriots - Chad Jackson/WR/Florida
New England rarely drafts for need in the first round, but Jackson is too tempting to pass up.

22. 49ers - Marcedes Lewis/TE/UCLA
Alex Smith needs all the help he can get right now.

23. Buccaneers - Jason Allen/DB/Tennessee
Could go for an offensive lineman, but the secondary needs immediate attention. Love Cromartie and may try to trade up to get him.

24. Bengals - Nick Mangold/C/Ohio State
With starting center Rich Braham 36 years old, Cincinnati will have to give Mangold a long look since he figures to be available here.

25. Giants - Bobby Carpenter/LB/Ohio State
With Lavar Arrington signed for 7 years, linebacker is not an immediate concern. Still, Carpenter seems like a natural fit for the G-men.

26. Bears - Jonathan Joseph/CB/South Carolina
Another team that probably wants to trade. If they stay put, Joseph would look good playing with Nathan Vasher

27. Panthers - DeAngelo Williams/RB/Memphis
Though DeShaun Foster is a true warrior, his injury history is a concern. Carolina will be thrilled if Williams drops here.

28. Jaguars - Marcus McNeill/OT/Auburn
History of back injuries cause McNeill to slide in this year's draft. If he's here at #28, this is a great value pick for Jacksonville who needs offensive line help.

29. Jets - LenDale White/RB/USC
Forget the character issues. The Jets need to find Curtis Martin's replacement and White is there for the taking.

30. Colts - Laurence Maroney/RB/Minnesota
Indy wastes little time finding Edgerrin James' replacement

31. Seahawks - Kelly Jennings/CB/Miami
Even if they do sign Ty Law, he's not a long term answer for Seattle. Jennings, however, is.

32. Steelers - Sinorice Moss/WR/Miami
It's a little thin at the receiver position these days in the Steel City after Hines Ward.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Cavs-Wizards Playoff game II
There was something strange about last night's Cavaliers-Wizards' playoff game. For starters, I was there. Never as a fan, never as a member of the media, and never as a painted-chest lunatic had I ever been to a professional playoff game.
It was a special day, and what's a special day if you can't share it with everyone, right? So here's a bit of a rundown:
-My friends pick me up at 5:30 p.m., a good 90 minutes before start time. My one friend (for the sake of the article, we'll call him Nihar. Because, you know, that's his name) decides to annoy me by putting on some Howard Stern. I can actually feel myself getting dumber until he finally changes to pregame. For this, I'm grateful.
-Now, normally, the trip downtown takes about 20 minutes. But it actually took almost 90 because of the insane traffic. The Indians were also playing, and the downtown moved traffic moved as smoothly as a Last Call with Carson Daly monologue. On the upside, it allowed my friends to discuss Neil Young's new anti-Bush album. My take: Young wants attention.
- The Artist formerly known as Gund Arena looks quite different these days. For starters, the seats are now wine, to match the Cavs' color. This replaces the light blue seats that were in the arena for 10 years. Personally, I like the change. While I don't doubt the intimidation factor of light blue (just ask the Mariners of the 1980s) the wine at least eliminates the clash between the court and seats
-The Cavs are introduced, and I'm already hoarse from chanting "MVP" at LeBron James. I tell this problem to my friend Vivek, who says he has also lost his voice. This is contradicted by the fact that, well, I can hear he hasn't.
-Quicken Loans Arena (as it's now called) is as loud as I have ever heard it, and it has an effect: The Wizards are sloppy early, and the Cavaliers jump out to a 23-8 lead. An interesting note is that the Cavs have a scoreboard that not only states the official score, but also the difference. For instance, the Cavaliers were + 15 at this point. I assume it was added for the kids in the crowd who can't count. As the game continues, I realize it's up there for me, since I keep looking to it instead of the board. Cavs' owner Dan Gilbert has actually made me lazier at math, something any teacher who had me in high school would not have dreamed possible.
-The Cavs' 15-point lead is erased with an 18-0 Wizards' run. This period of the game is about as much fun to watch as The Wedding Date, though the movie wins out because Debra Messing is adorable in it. Anyway, after a 3-pointer by Arenas at the end of the first quarter cuts the Cleveland lead to 23-21, the polite gentleman behind me slams down part of his plastic megaphone on the back of my chair, shattering it. I only mention this because a piece of it ends up on my lap. I don't ask him if he wants the piece back.
-LeBron isn't really on his game tonight. At different points of the game, he air-balls a 3-pointer, misses a slam dunk, and throws a pass that was so off the mark it could have doubled as Jimmy Carter's presidency. The Cavs fall behind in the second quarter, but regain a 1-point lead at the half.
- There was some act at the half with Dancers who change outfits every five seconds. I know there's a joke there somewhere, but darned if I can find it.
-The third quarter is back and fourth. LeBron is forced to leave the game after picking up his fourth foul on a charge. I'd call it a ridiculous call, but ...well, it was a ridiculous call that may have just cost the Cavs the game. I mean, just because a guy flops doesn't mean he had position, right? So because of that, the Cavs have to play without their best player and who knows how that changed the game. I mean come on, this is the NBA playoffs. Suddenly Cleveland gets in and they suspend the star-treatment? Michael Jordan could take nine steps and the officials never called anything. Geez.
-While LeBron struggles, Drew Gooden impresses. He finishes with 24 points, making 11-or-12 shots. It's fortunate, because Zydrunas Ilgauskas misses 10 shots in the game. Still, the Cavaliers lead by two heading to the fourth. Vivek and I kill time between quarters by reciting Mystery Science Theater zingers. If that doesn't make us cool, I don't know what does.
-The fourth is basically a mess. The Cavaliers cannot stop the Wizards' big three. They fall behind by eight with less than two minutes left. Nihar puts his coat on and scowls as if he's being interrogated by Jack Bauer. Still, the loss has a familiarity to it. We are from Cleveland, after all.
-Still, the game is not over. Cleveland rallies to get to within three with under 20 seconds left. LeBron (26 points) paces around the 3-point line. As Vivek, Nihar and I wait for him to launch the tying 3-point shot, James looks and ... PASSES? He goes inside to Anderson Varejao (0 points) with nine seconds left. Anderson looks to have a clear lay-up, but the "Only in Cleveland" syndrome finally kicks in and he's stripped by Arenas. As 20,000 fans (wrongly, as it turns out) scream for a foul Varejao interprets it the wrong way and fouls Arenas. Game over.
-I accept the defeat of my team in stride. Sure, screaming at the top of my lungs about the officiating may not have seemed all that classy, but it made me feel better. After all, I had heard the Indians and Red Sox were tied, so perhaps some late-inning magic could save the day for my hometown. Then a man walks by and informs me that Manny Ramirez has hit a 3-run homer in the eighth, so "they're going to lose too." I sigh and focus on the new Miami Vice movie that's coming out.
- So the introduction to live playoffs ends on a sour note. Still, my voice is gone and the series is tied going back to Washington. What, you expected something positive? My team lost.
Can also be read at

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

No Winners in Duke Lacrosse Case
The story of the Duke lacrosse team has dominated the news lately, which is surprising when one considers how little is there.
There was a party. There were strippers. One of them claimed she was raped by some players. And that's about it.
What this is is one thing. What it has become is another. The incident and the media firestorm it has created is puzzling.
Some talk about how college athletes feel like they are special. Some talk about how male athletes are motivated to be aggressive on the field, and then it carries over into their personal lives.
Again, that all might be true. But are we sure that's what happened here? Is there any proof that any rape or sexual assault occurred?
The truth is very few people know for sure what happened that night. But most of the noise has been made by people who don't know.
Certainly, District Attorney Mike Nifong thinks he knows what happened, or he wouldn't have followed through with the charges. The defense attorneys for the players are just as certain, having said the DNA of the case doesn't match the players.
Jesse Jackson has made his semi-annual media appearances. He has even offered to pay the tuition of the woman who claimed she was raped.
But unless he was at the party saw what took place, what can he possibly say about the incident? Another stripper at the party said she didn't know if a rape took place. If she didn't know, what could anyone else add?
We have seen protests, but what are the people protesting? An event that may not have taken place?
It's possible that a rape took place that night. It's also possible it didn't. None of us can say for sure at this point. But that hasn't stopped almost everyone from chiming in.
What it comes down to is what the jury will believe, or what will be settled. But that's not it. There are other questions.
Is the case about rape, or a district attorney trying to get reelected with a high-profile case? There has already been criticism that Nifong, up for re-election, has been overanxious to prosecute.
Is the case about rape, or class and race in an upscale community? We have seen countless television interviews on the topic.
Is the case about rape, or is it an indictment of our college culture? We already know there has been fallout there. The Duke lacrosse season has been cancelled and coach Mike Pressler resigned. Pressler had been at Duke for 16 years and the team lost a national title by a goal last season. Now, wherever he goes, everyone will talk about the incident. Who knows if he will be hired again?
The truth is in this case we have no answers but an endless amount of questions. And no matter how much time passes, we are not likely to have that change.
Perhaps the biggest question is who the victims are. It could be the woman. It could be the players. But there will be no winners.
The sad thing is most of us writing about this now will eventually move on and write about other things. So will Jackson, Rush Limbaugh, Larry King and all the other commentators and talk show hosts. But what about the accuser? What about the lacrosse players who were not involved, or the even those who were charged? No matter what happens, those lives are forever changed.
No winners here.
Also can be read on

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Silence is golden. Still, don't mistake my silence on the topic as ambivilance. Far from it.
I am going to the game Tuesday, where I hope to see the Cavaliers' take a 2-0 series lead. For a more in-depth perspective on Lebron James' greatness, check out Erik's site. Erik has put up some excellent NBA material lately. So check it out.

Hitchens on the radio
Is George Bush the worst President in history? Christopher Hitchens has some choice words on the topic while visiting Hugh Hewitt:

HH: Now Wilentz also writes, "No previous president appears to have squandered the public's trust more than Bush has." Let's go back a little bit further to Lyndon Johnson.
CH: That's flat-out ludicrous.
HH: (laughing)
CH: I mean, he can' his ears hear what his voice is saying? I mean, he knows better even without turning over in bed. President Johnson was really not believed on anything after the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, and probably rightly not. President Nixon had to cop a plea which I seem to remember Justice Holmes regarded, ruled was an admission of guilt, rather than face impeachment after being caught lying, and using the apparatus of the State to lie. And the way, Mr. Wilentz means, or Professor Wilentz means things like the Niger uranium as deception and credibility, well, he's got to go on the same rethink everyone's going to have undergo when they realize that claim originally was true.

This is why I love Radio Blogger so much

Friday, April 21, 2006

Brandon Phillips
The Indians trade him to the Reds, and Brandon turns into Joe Morgan. In last night's win over the Brewers, Phillips drove in six runs. I don't think he drove in six runs in the three years he was in Cleveland.
Finally, Brandon is looking like the player everyone thought he would be when the Indians got him from Montreal. The Indians are not even sure what they have gotten back for dealing him.
Maybe this is just a week in the zone for Phillips. Then again ...

The Blake Factor
It's true. I was brutal on Casey Blake last season. For me to jump on the bandwagon now would be somewhat hypocritical. So before I write an apology, as some have suggested, I will instead make a promise.
If Casey Blake is still a solid contributor to the Indians come August, I will write an apology. Basically, if he's hitting in the .270s and his run production is solid, I will follow through.
So, talk to you in August.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Bowden arrested
Former Reds general manager and current Nationals GM Jim Bowden has been arrested on a DUI. I assume there is never good timing for something like this, but with the Nationals supposedly close to announcing new ownership, it's hard to imagine a worse time for it.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Names returning to Dodger uniforms in 2007
I am pretty sure I'm the only one who likes teams that don't have names on the uniforms. The Dodgers became one of my favorite teams because they took the names off. I ask you: Did Jackie Robinson, Babe Ruth or Mickie Mantle need numbers?
I always thought that true baseball fans should know the numbers of their players. But when in LA last year, I found Dodger fans hated the nameless uniforms, because they had no idea who the players were. The Indians and Reds have had names on the back as long as I've been alive, but I prefer the old-school look. Besides, the whole idea of names defeats the whole reason for numbers on uniforms.
Still, Vin Scully wants the names back, so I bow to him. But I still like the Dodger uniforms now. Maybe the Indians will drop the names from their uniforms. Ha. Yeah right.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

A headline from
"General who led elite 82nd wants Rumsfeld's head"

In light of some of the things that have happened in Iraq, is that really the best way to phrase that headline?

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Best center fielder poll
The Indians new network had a poll, and one of the choices was Rick Manning. That was a joke, right?
Kenny Lofton won, although I would argue Tris Speaker was better.
Lofton is by no means a bad choice, though.

Zach is burning
Baseball season is starting, the NBA playoffs are fast approaching, and the NFL draft is around the corner. All this, and Jim Rome begins his half hour show by railing against Dick Cheney for not getting the first pitch to the Nationals' catcher in the air at their opener.
Wow, way to go out there Jim. Attacking a 65-year old man who has had numerous heart attacks for not throwing a pitch far enough. Such guts.
I know everyone rips on Cheney these days, and I'm not a huge fan of the guy myself. But I know he has dedicated his life to public service, and paid a heavy price. That's more than Jim Rome, David Letterman or anyone else who makes a joke can claim. And I don't mind when Dave or Conan does it, because that's their job.
But Jim Rome can't even run spell check on his web site posts. Jim, have a take, and don't suck, remember? Railing against a senior citizen and then figuring out a way to tie in the shooting accident is not clever. It's just sad, and makes you look like a pack-running hack.
How's that for a take?

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Not the best way to make a point
The logic of the protests against immigration laws is astounding. Do some of these people really believe the way to win support is by flying an American flag upside down or worse? It's one thing to support a guest worker program, but these protests seem to have away of attracting anti-American groups. You know, these people want to stay here so badly, they can think of no other way to show it then by desecrating flags and holding Che Guevara signs.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Shuffling the Ipod
I figured I'd shuffle my Ipod five times and see what it came up with. Maybe this will jumpstart my sluggish blogging style lately.
Here we go
Shock the Monkey-- Peter Gabriel
It's on Peter's must-own Shaking the Tree collection. This is one of those songs that likely has a deep meaning, but I haven't gotten around to it yet. Nonetheless, the song is different then anything else, and gets better every time I hear it. The only thing bad about Shaking the Tree is that In Your Eyes is left off it. Since that is the case, I had to buy the brilliant So, just for one track. Ah well, So is great on its own.

2. Help-The Beatles
The title track from the Beatles album and film, Help is about insecurity and concerns that nearly vanish within the upbeat pop song. As a Beatlemaniac, the album is a must-have, although the song is played so much on the radio that I usually skip it when it comes up on a CD or Ipod.

3. Who Do You Love-- The Band with Ronnie Hawkins
This is an amazing track, recorded live at The Last Waltz. The legendary Hawkins is on fire, and the Band rips it up as usual. First he screams out to Bill Graham in the opening seconds, then he includes names of the Band in the song. Remember, The Band was Ronnie's before they were Bob's. To really understand the greatness of what is being done here, buy The Last Waltz and watch Hawkins take control. If you want to know how crazy Ronnie is, read Levon Healm's book.

4. Telegraph Road-- Dire Straits
Ah yes, the 12-minute song. The album itself was actually something my dad picked up after my freshman year of high school. It also coincided with me buying my first guitar. Almost 10 years later, and I'm still barely passable at it. This version of the song is labeled as a "live remix," but the crowd is practically mixed out of it. Of course, there is awesome guitar work here by Mark Knopfler, but that's true with any Dire Straits song. The problem is, at over 12 minutes, I had to clear time from my schedule just to listen to it. This complilation is called Money For Nothing, but in my opinion, the best album by Dire Straits is Brothers in Arms. I know comparing complilations with actual albums is kind of pointless. Really, the song just keeps going, and I am out of things to write.

5. Ballerina-- Van Morrison
Off the Astral Weeks album, the song, much like the album itself, plays like a dream sequence. The instruments and the use of them in the album are mesmerizing. Although, if you think I'm going to criticize a Van Morrison song, you likely haven't been reading my blog much. I like the song a lot, although I think Sweet Thing is my favorite cut on the album. Van was clearly at one of his high points here, at least musically. I believe this was the album where Van instructed the musicians to "play what you feel." If true, the crude instruction worked to perfection.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

NFL Schedule released
After the Browns' offseason, I'm ready for the season now. Regardless, here's the schedule for all teams. The Browns open the season hosting the Saints, have a Thursday night game in Pittsburgh, and close the season in Houston. As always in the NFL, you can never judge tough and easy schedules. Still, the Browns play Pittsburgh and Cincinnati twice every year, so that won't be easy. The Browns also host Denver, which I believe is the first time they've done that since the 1999 return.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

My Tribe
When the game was over today, I got in my car and drove to the gym. Then I got on the treadmill for 15 minutes.
Had to work off that Wickman stress.
Only Bob Wickman can do it. Walk Tahadito Iguchi to start the 11th, to get to Jim Thome. Then, without so much as breaking a sweat, he retires Thome, Paul Konerko and Rob Mackowiak. He struck out the last two batters with Iguchi, the tying run, on second.
Actually, given some of the messes Bob worked himself into and then out of last season, this was routine.
But if Wickman will get no complaints from me because he gets the job done. His mastery of escapism is not luck, but skill. It's not always fun to watch, but if the result is a win, who are we to question the Master?
(He is with us, always)
Jason Michaels is hitting, Casey Blake is playing OK, and Aaron Boone looks revitalized. I think the Indians need another lefty in the pen, but that will likely come at some point. Maybe they can lure Dennis Cook or Paul Assenmacher out of retirement.
Two out of three from the World Champions, on the road, is a good start.

Waters to CSU?
I remember Gary Waters as a great coach for Kent State.
It was his recruiting that led the Flashes to the Elite Eight, as he is as responsible as anyone for KSU's continued success in the MAC.
Now Cleveland State is close to bringing him in. This is good news for a program that hasn't made the NCAA tournament since 1986. The Vikings have hired a "big name" coach before, when they brought in Rollie Massimino.
That didn't really work.
It would be nice if CSU could make some noise. Waters might be the coach to make it happen.

Monday, April 03, 2006

The April 2 Cleveland Indians Disaster ... err... opener
So, let's see:
-The first game of the Indians' season cannot be described without using the word "rain."
-The Indians' No. 1 starter, C.C Sabathia, gets hurt three innings into the season.
-Jim Thome hits his first American League homer in four years ... against the Indians.
-Casey Blake overruns a ball in right field, misses the cutoff man and it leads to more White Sox dominance.
-Danny Graves comes in sporting a hairstyle that reminds me why I always get my hair cut when it gets to long. If I don't cut it, it will look like THAT.
-The game doesn't end until this morning, by which time the Indians are trailing 10-4. Not a good start.
Some fans probably felt like they were watching October all over again. But opening days are nothing more than a page in a long book. You remember it because that's when you started, but the contents are not that significant.
In 1995, the Indians opened in Texas and were on fire. They won big and may have actually clinched the division that night. If I remember correctly, they won 12-6.
In 1996, the Indians dropped their first three games. But they still won 99 games and the division.
In 1993, the Indians were beaten badly by New York. In reality, it was a fitting way to enjoy the last opener at the old Stadium. They finished badly, but the game wasn't the reason.
I guess while the openers are fun, they count no more than a game in August.
It was bad Sunday, but it wasn't any more than one game.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

From the mind of Sussman: My .280 team
Baltimore Orioles: Miguel Tejada
Boston Red Sox: Manny Ramirez
Pittsburgh Pirates: Sean Casey
Cincinnati Reds: Felipe Lopez
Cleveland Indians: Travis Hafner
Detroit Tigers: Carlos Guillen
Anaheim Angels: Vlad Guerrero
New York Yankees: Alex Rodriguez
St. Louis Cardinals: Albert Pujols
Philadelphia Phillies: Jimmy Rollins
Texas Rangers: Hank Blalock
Arizona Diamondbacks: Eric Byrnes
Atlanta Braves: Marcus Giles
Chicago Cubs: Derrek Lee
Chicago White Sox Scott Podsednik
Colorado Rockies: Todd Helton
Florida Marlins: Miguel Cabrera
Houston Astros: Morgan Ensberg
Kansas City Royals: Emil Brown
Los Angeles Dodgers: Rafael Furcal
Milwaukee Brewers: Geoff Jenkins
Minnesota Twins: Joe Mauer
New York Mets: Carlos Delgado
San Diego Padres: Brian Giles
San Francisco Giants: Randy Winn
Seattle Mariners: Ichiro Suzuki
Oakland A's: Milton Bradley
Tampa Bay Devil Rays: Carl Crawford
Toronto Blue Jays: Vernon WellsWashington Nationals: Jose Guillen

Saturday, April 01, 2006

American League Predictions
*I picked the Indians to win it all last year, so take these with a few truckloads of salt.

AL East
1. Boston Red Sox- They just have a better rotation, and I expect them to hold off any Yankees surge this season.
2. New York Yankees- JohnnyDamon's arrival will not impact anything. Well, except his beard and hair.
3. Toronto Blue Jays- Just throwing money around -- Nine million for B.J Ryan -- will improve a bad team to mediocre.
4. Baltimore Orioles- Have been lost ever since the Indians dumped them in the 1997 ALCS.
5. Tampa Bay Devil Rays - Continue to be the best case for contraction.

AL Central
1. Chicago White Sox- Jim Thome is healthy, and the starting staff still looks strong.
2. Cleveland Indians- I can't pick the Indians to win anything as long as Casey Blake occupies a spot in the starting lineup.
3. Minnesota Twins- They have as much of a shot at the Wild Card as the Indians, in all honesty. But talent for talent, the Indians are still better. I do feel, with Santana on the mound, and a little luck, this team could surprise big.
4. Detroit Tigers- Kenny Rogers? Eight Million?
5. Kansas City Royals- Why did Reggie Sanders sign there?

AL West
Los Angeles Angels- Bartolo Colon is still there, and the offense is still the best in the division.
Oakland A's- Frank Thomas' pessimism might just be enough to bring the rest of the team down.
3. Texas Rangers- Kevin Millwood and a whole lot of question marks.
4. Seattle Mariners- Mike Hargrove has lost weight, so that's a positive.

AL Wild Card: Oakland A's
AL champion: Angels