This time he is making steroid accusations against reigning AL MVP Alex Rodriguez. The way he is going about this, in my opinion is dispicable. The bigger the name, the more money he’ll make off book sales. Cashing in on people’s misfortunes in this way makes me lose all respect for Cansenco (not that I had any for him before this book). If he dedicated a book with specific concrete evidence that suggests certain people took steroids it would be somewhat more respectable, but his books are very gossipy and make accusations that usually can not be proved. He told the truth (although likely exagerated) about certain players he accused in his first book, “Juiced,” so one must certainly take his accusations somewhat seriously. Should be an ongoing story.
1. Los Angeles Angels (97-65)
2007 Season: 1st Place (94-68) Lost in ALDS
Best Off-Season Move: Trading for Jon Garland
Why They’ll Be Better: I think the Angels slightly improved by signing Torii Hunter and Garland. Losing Orlando Cabrera hurts their offense and defense, but Erick Aybar may surprise some. Garland is a good two or three guy on your staff, and Hunter is an upgrade offensively from Gary Matthews Jr. I don’t know if I like that move though, locking him up at a point in his career where he will not get much better. John Lackey is turning into an ace, and I look for Jared Weaver to progress as a starter. Their bullpen is probably tops in the AL with K-Rod, Justin Speier, and Scot Shields.
2. Seattle Mariners (93-69)
2007 Season: 2nd Place (88-74)
Best Off-Season Move: Trading for Erik Bedard
Why They’ll Be Better: Bedard + a lineup behind him = hoh boy. If the stresses of pitching in a new environment don’t get to Bedard, watch out! With Santana out of the AL mix, he could win the Cy Young this season. Carlos Silva was not a bad pickup to be their third or fourth starter. They have a pretty solid starting rotation now with King Felix, Miguel Batista and Jarrod Washburn already there. They did not do much to improve their offense, but they don’t have reason too, it is already a good one. It could be a special season for the M’s in ’08 – should be a dog-fight all year with the Angels…
3. Texas Rangers (78-84)
2007 Season: Fourth Place (75-87)
Best Off-Season Move: Trading for Josh Hamilton
Why They’ll Be Better: Hamilton was drafted first overall in 1999 for a reason, and he is about to show Major League Baseball why. After his career got side-tracked because of drugs, Hamilton has been clean and re-commited himself to baseball. The 26 year old will try to fill the void left by Mark Teixeira, with new-comers Ben Broussard and Milton Bradley and main-stays Michael Young and Ian Kinsler supporting him. Hamilton batted over .500 this Spring, and is chomping at the bit to start his first full season in the big leagues. Their pitching staff is real weak, and bullpen even weaker. They must rely on their offense to win games, which is always a tough task.
4. Oakland A’s (63-99)
2007 Season: Third Place (76-86)
Best Off-Season Move: Nothing.
Why They’ll Be Worse: The A’s have quite possibly the worst lineup in the AL (watchout Royals). They did nothing to improve their team for the ’08 campaign, and lost some key members of their offense. When Jack Cust and Eric Chavez are the focal points of your offense, we have some problems. Losing Nick Swisher, Mike Piazza, and Shannon Stewart are major blows, but the worse loss of all was losing their ace Danny Haren. Joe Blanton is a pretty good pitcher, but is questionable as a number one. They have question marks everywhere in their starting rotation and bullpen – just not a good situation this year for Oak Town.
Major League Baseball got hit with a pitch yesterday when the Boston Red Sox threatened to boycott their trip to Japan for their regular season opening day series with the Oakland Athletics. The Red Sox claimed that the MLB made promises to them about accomodations that they were now backing off on as the trip came closer; such as pay for the coaches and training staff. The players will be paid a $40,000 bonus for making the trip to Japan, and according to the Red Sox their coaches and trainers were promised the same bonus too. However they claimed that the MLB backed off on that and were gicing them nothing.
The Red Sox put their money where their mouth is (pun intended) and boycotted their nationally televised game today against the Toronto Blue Jays – but MLB bit the bait and they came to an agreement one hour after the game was supposed to start. Boston took the field…
For many Mets fans it will be difficult (or easy depending on how you look at it) to forget what happened at the end of last season. A triumphant season turned into shattered dreams with a cold-streak of games ending their season. Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Phillies flipped a switch and high-tailed it into first place, bouncing on the Mets struggles. The historically underachieving Phillies won the division for the first time in 14 years.
Here are two great stories reflecting on the two teams that had very opposite feelings at season’s end in 2007: