Wednesday, April 04, 2007


Yes folks, it has been quite some time since we've answered your questions and the mailbag runneth over. But not even the WNBA Draft would keep us from answering our readers' questions. So here we go:

Jeremy R of Hingham, MA asks, "Hey, am I mistaken or didn't you have a fantasy hockey team? I thought we'd get some hockey blogs, what ever happened to that?"

Well, Jeremy, you are correct. I did have a fantasy hockey team for the first time in almost 5 years, in hopes it would get me more involved with the NHL, and therefore have more hockey posts. But, alas, it could not hold my attention for very long. I stopped keeping track of my team, Bourque Chops, shortly after Kwanzaa. However I did recently see that I finished 9th out of ten teams. Not too shabby I feel. At least it wasn't last place, right? So the experiment did not work and I now know no more about profesional hockey than I did when the season began, but maybe next year, who knows?

Brad K of Lima, OH writes, "Hey, just drafted my fantasy teams and wanted to know how your fantasy draft(s) went and how you feel about the upcoming season?"

Well Brad, I have indeed drafted my two teams, down from four last year. I feel pretty good about my drafts in both leagues. One league has twelve teams so it goes pretty deep. I was in a league with most of these souls last year and dismally finished in last place, so I'm looking for a big turn around this year. My sqaud, currently named Smiling Politely, is very balanced and I like my chances. A lot of guys will look for the homerun guys, but I'm all about solid hitters and pitching. My pitching staff is solid with Johan Santana, Jason Schmidt and Freddy Garcia at the top, Nate Robertson, Justin Verlander and Jon Garland as the solid middle and Jason Jennings and Woody Williams to round out the starters. Bullpen is a tad shaky with "The Big Pear" Armando Benitez and Chad Cordero, who's save chances rely on the Nationals actually having a lead in the ninth inning. But, we do have Joe Nathan, so things aren't all bad. The hitting could be really good or just mediocre, with guys like Sheffield, Hafner and Nomar leading the way. Our steals so far have to be Aubrey Huff, Chris Duncan and Ronny Paulino.

Now in the other league, there are only eight teams, like last year. Last year I finished third in the regular season, but tore through the playoffs to win the whole effing thing! Now, since this league is not that deep, it's hard to tell how good my team really is. But I have Manny Ramirez and Big Papi, with Miguel Tejada, Chase Utley and Andruw Jones, and that seems like a pretty solid hitting squad, but who knows? Oh the current name, cause I know you're all wondering, is the Sultans of Squat.

Gil M of Kansas City, MO writes, "The burning questions were good and all, but where's the baseb
all predictions? Are the Royals headed in the right direction?

Well, Gil, let me answer your questions in the opposite order. The Royals are not good. They have some young talent in the lineup, like Alex Gordon and Mark Teahan, so yes they may be headed in the right direction for the future, even with all that money they through at the 55 million dollar man Gil Meche.

Now, to your first question, the predictions. Here ya go:
AL EAST: The Jays could surprise some teams, but it's still a two horse race between the Yanks and Sawx. Look for the BoSawx to finally take away that stranglehold the Yanks have had on the division. cause Carl Pavano doesn't scare me.

AL CENTRAL: I liked the Indians to bounce back this year, even before they blew out the ChiSox on Opening Day. They've added a "Bitterness" fav, in Trot Nixon, which should add some solid hitting to an already dangerous lineup. That being said, it's hard to go against the Tigers. They won the American League Pennant last year and added the still dangerous Gary Sheffield to that lineup. It's all about pitching so the Tiggers will take it this year, but it won't be easy, as it could be a very tight four team race. I'm still taking Leyland and the Tigers.

AL WEST: I really don't see anyone overtaking the Angels in the West, but it may be a bit closer than most think. The Rangers, Mariners and A's could prove pesky, but they all have way more flaws than the Angels. Even the A's, who normally have a rotation of studs pitching, now have Dan Haren, Rich Harden and Joe Blanton. I'm not sold on anyone, but Harden, but he'll need to stay healthy, which has proved troublesome thus far in is major league career.

NL EAST: This is more wide open than most think. The Mets dominated this division last year, but have major pitching issues. Of course they can probably outslug anyone else in the league. The Phillies seem stronger, but that bullpen is still iffy, as we saw on opening day. The Braves have retooled after not winning the division for the first time since realignment, and have a bullpen that is as as good as they get. I wouldn't sleep on the Marlins either, with the strong young arms they bolster. I like the Mets to win the division again, barely.

NL CENTRAL: The Cardinals are the defending World Champions, but remember, they were that close to losing the division. Their pitching staff is not nearly as good as it was last year, and I still contend Chris Carpenter is overrated. I think the Astros, Cubs and Brewers could be dangerous to the Cards. I feel that the Brewers could be last years Tigers, especially if Ben Sheets pitches like he did on Opening Day. I mean they may not capture the pennant, but they could be playoff bound.

NL WEST: Still a weak division, but the Rockies and D-Backs have some hot young talent, that make them exciting to watch, but it's the Dodgers division to lose in our minds. They have the best pitching, combined with a decent lineup. Of course, don't discount the Padres, who more or less won the division the last two years by default, but also have strong pitching.

AL Division winners: Boston, Detroit, Anahiem
Wild Card: Royals (just kidding), Indians
NL Division Winners: Mets, Brewers, Dodgers
Wild Card: Phillies

ALCS: Sawx over Anahiem
NLCS: Dodgers over Mets

World Series: Sawx over Dodgers

Ben A of Hollywood, CA asks, "What do think of Matsuzaka Mania? Is he the real deal? How 'bout the red Sox moves in the offseason?"
Well Ben, I usually don't buy into hype, so I'll wait until he does something, before I really know what to think. He should be very good this year, much like Hideo Nomo was when he was a rookie. The question is, will the hitters figure him out after a while, like they did with Nomo? Well, for one, I hate, and always have hated JD Drew, while I loved Trot, so obviously I was not too pleased, with that move, even though Drew can hit. Overall the moves should turn out to be good. I mean obviously it was a big disappointment to lose out in the Gil Meche race, but hopefully it'll turn out for the best.

Harold A. of, well, it just said overseas, asks "Where's the tournament recap? Did you win or what?"

Well Harold, I did in fact win the first annual, "Diet Mr. Pibb Bitterness is a Fish You Can Catch Men's Basketball Tournament Challenge". And a "thank you" to all three who entered. Surprisingly the second place bracket set was named, "Who's Coming in Second?" Of course the answer was, well, them. I was happy to have picked three of the Final Four teams, though. I did put a bracket in one pool, where I picked the higher seed in each and every game, and I won that pool. Making this, one sad tournament.

Ross P, from Texarkana, TX wonders, "Who is your horse for United States President? It seems that some of your fellow bloggers have started backing people, but nothing from you yet. Who do ya like?

Well, this could be one of the tightest primary races in recent memory. There's a lot of parity now in the world of politics and seeing as Barack Obama has recently upped his campaign monies to compete against Hillary, there's no telling what could happen. I mean you've got someone looking to become the first Afro-American president and someone looking to become the first female president. My one problem with Obama is his name. Now it seems cool, but isn't it a bit too close to Osama? When it comes down to the actual election, I will more than likely vote for Ralph Nader. Just kidding. I'll probably, be backing whichever Democrat makes it to the show. As for the primaries, I'm still undecided. But while we're on the subject of the election, I just want to get something off my chest. I'm tired of people saying more people vote on American Idol than for President of the United States. Okay first of all, you don't have to be eighteen to vote for AI. and B) people can vote more than once, from their computer or phone, no less. The argument is ridiculous! Of course this has to mean it is only a matter of time before you can vote for the Prez on your home computer or via text message. It just seems logical. I mean isn't trekking down to your local elementary school cafeteria to vote getting to be a chore? I mean if they're gonna do that, at least have some nuggets and ice cream scoops of mashed potatoes available, c'mon!

That's it for the mailbag this time, I'll leave you with this:
What does President Bush have in common with the Washington Nationals pitching staff?
Neither seems to be able to get people out. (Get it? Cause Bush can't get our troops out of the Middle East and the Nationals are awful at getting batters out.) Always a good joke, when you have to explain it. I guess when the Saints drafted Reggie Bush, and we said, "Finally a Bush that'll try and help New Orleans." was a bit better. You've been a wonderful audience, goodnight and godspeed!

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