Sunday, April 01, 2007

Bringing The Rock With MLB Previews: AL Central.

1. The White Stripes (Detroit Tigers) - if the pitching has learned how to play defense, they're a Series contender yet again, even though Kenny Rogers is on the DL. Adding Gary Sheffield looks like a smart move right now, and any rotation with Jeremy Bonderman and Justin Verlander looks good right now, never mind Joel Zumaya in the bullpen (I sense the Tigers will ditch Tod Jones and make him the closer soon.)

2. Prince (Minnesota Twins) - perennially underrated, even when on the top of their game. Francisco Liriano may not be back any time soon, but most of the team that won the division last year is still around, with Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer being the most important. Liriano's loss and the retirement of Brad Radke means the rotation is relying on Sidney Ponson (oof) and Ramon Ortiz (ouch) for now in the later slots, but any time you have Johan Santana as your ace, you've got a damn good shot.

3. Pere Ubu (Cleveland Indians) - A good line-up from top to bottom, a pitching staff anchored by C.C. Sabathia, and a good bullpen has folks thinking the Tribe could take the division. I'm not so sure, but not for any reason other than I see it being a Twins-Tigers battle.

4. Alkaline Trio (Chicago White Sox) - Ozzie Guillen spouts insanity to see how people will react and to drive his team, which will underachieve yet again after its world championship team a couple years ago. Most of the same elements are still around from that team, but the rest of the division has gotten stronger as their pitching has gotten weaker, and they'll likely regret getting rid of Brandon McCarthy.

5. The Get Up Kids (Kansas City Royals) - mostly because they find themselves depending on, well, kids (Ryan Shealy, Alex Gordon) yet again, but spent outrageous sums on money on questionable talent (Gil Meche as a staff ace, anyone?) It's too early for the new GM Dayton Moore to make too much of an impact with the tight wallets of ownership.

Previously: AL East, NL East, NL Central, NL West.

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