Thursday, January 19, 2006

The 2006 Season. Two Top Ten Lists.

A look ahead at the 2006 Season. Two Top Ten Lists.

This offseason has seemed to drag on and on like none other. Last year seemed incredibly short. Of course this year’s was also about a month longer (from a Sox – Crimson, not Pale) than last year. And there has been no shortage of controversy. With one month to go until P&C report, I have put together two top ten lists. One today. One next week.

-continued in comments


  1. Since nothing of note really happened in 2005, with the possible exception of Palmerio’s 3,000th hit which was almost immediately overshadowed by his drug test - Ten things I am looking forward to in 2006:

    10. Chicago White Sox and Ozzie – the year after. As we all learned last year, sitting on top is very, very difficult. Will his pitching staff stay healthy? Will the changes to the club improve the team? They won’t be able to sneak up on anyone this year. And after Ozzie decided to not retire and with a WS ring, how obnoxious will he be this year.

    9. XM radio – one of the beauties of XM radio is that they broadcast every single radio game – always the home team feed. While I would love to have Joe and Jerry for every game, I can live with this. My 2006 goal is to listen to (and report on) every single team’s broadcast team during the season. Every year I make it a tradition to watch at least one game of every team, now I have this goal. Some will be fun – Coleman in SD, Scully. Others will be awful – Mike Shannon for STL. John Sterling and Susan Waldman are awful – at least I can accomplish that in listening to a Sox-Yanks game.

    8. Who is ready for prime time – what new face will make an impact this year. Is it time for Ryan Howard to really break out? Is that Liriano dude going to be the next Johan? Will Papelbon emerge as a star? Every year there seems to be one or two new faces that make the leap.

    7. Grady Little and the revamped Dodgers – I always liked Grady Little. It goes back to when he and Joe Kerrigan both lived in the same building that I lived in back in Boston (circa 196 or 97). But I also think he was unfairly run out of town. Sure he probably HAD to go. I just don’t like the way it happened. So I’m very happy to see him ending up in LA running the Red Sox Wes. They are one of my favorite teams (non-Sox division). And they have made some interesting roster moves. Their GM situation is tricky as well and bears some watching – I think Depo was unjustly run out of LA. And Colletti is apparently a real good guy.

    6 Jimmy Rollins – 36 games and counting.

    5. The Atlanta Braves – can their streak continue? I picked them last year on the theory that until someone knocks them off…. I just don’t know how I can do so this year.

    4. Aging Yankee Roster – A few years back, I had a theory that Steinbrenner (or someone) had made a pact with the devil. Thinking back on their run in the late 90s, they almost never had injuries or major down years by their key players. Really, it hasn’t happened. No major wrist injuries. No blown out ankles that take a whole year to heal. No herniated disks from driving to spring training. Hardly even a star outfielder breaking a finger while sliding into home plate. Other than Giambi’s self inflicted 2004 disappearance, about the worst they have had is a players lips mysteriously turn pink. As they get older and older, can this really continue? Aren’t they really about due. And don’t try to tell me they had it with Jaret Wright and Pavano – those guys had history.

    3. Who’s gotten better/who has gotten worse – every year it seems that the playoff teams from year to year add two new faces. I think that is about right for next year as well . But it could be as high as six. The major questions – can CLE continue their improvement from the second half of 2005? Is TOR ready to compete – or at least improve enough that the WC does not come from the East. Will Minnesota return to prominence? Is Texas’ revamped pitching enough to help them contend? Will the Mets Rotisserie team translate to a playoff appearance? Or the Phils? Can the Cubs get healthy? Anyone of those could happen (although not likely TOR).

    2. Barry Bonds – love him or hate him, his assault on Ruth should be quite a story. Will anyone care? Will baseball promote this? Will Bud Selig travel around waiting for it to happen like he did with Big Mac? Probably not. But what if he approaches Aaron? They can behind Ruth saying why celebrate number 2 all time, so I’m probably a year away form this being number 1.

    1. Of course – the Boston Red Sox. So intriguing they have their own top ten list. Coming tomorrow

    What did I miss? Non red sox comments. I’m sure we’ll have tons of discussion on my Sox top ten list……

  2. How about:

    The sudden dropoff in power in more than a few sluggers this last year; there's a serious lack of data to say for sure whether it's related to steroid testing, but this next year should be telling.

    Does the WBC have an impact? On the sport? On the players? Will a lot of players bow out at the last minute, citing injuries? Will someone big get hurt?

  3. Not to mention the potential impact of greenies, especially later in the season.

  4. I was thinking about mentioning the WBC but figured that was a whole other can of worms.

    One thing I thought about today was that there has been alot of talk about the pitch counts and players maybe getting hurt, but what about the possibility of a player not getting enough work in the spring. The four finalists will play 7 or 8 games over about 3 weeks - not the normal just about every day schedule they are used to. I guess the players will have about two weeks with their teams afterwards, but some guys may have trouble adjusting.

    Good point on the greenies or lack there of. If only, like with Roids, there was a way of knowing for sure.

  5. I guess it's more of an annual thing, but I always look forward to the publishing of the new Baseball Prospectus!