You know what’s the thing about Football? The Magazines come out ridiculously early. This? Simply illogical. I mean really. What’s good about NFL draft magazines coming out before the combine? How about College Football Magazines that come out before Memorial Day?
And what about the nerdgasm that is Fantasy Football? Really helpful coming out before training camp.
So, using this logic? I’m ready to preview the World Series.
What? I’m going to tell you how secret Muslim Bobby Jindal is going to kill us all with his Manchurian Ascension to the Presidency. And all you Republicans? I am kidding here. Chill your roll.
But anyway…THE WORLD SERIES!!!
They called it the Tampa Bay Miracle. A hodgepodge rotation. Untested prospects. But it all came together on Deadline Day.
“It was a move we had to make.”
For Andy Sonnastine, David Price, and Reid Brignac. C.C. became the singular ace, and they were able to hold off your Boston Red Sox and win the AL East. But if you don’t believe that? Feast your eyes on this!
HEY! LET ME HEAR YOU!
It was a 100 year wait. But with a line-up of Derrek Lee, Alfonso Soriano, and Geovanny Soto? There was no chance of the Cubs being stopped. Not even the return of Steve Bartman and the ensuing riot, which forced a one-game playoff with your Milwaukee Brewers due to the forefiture. But…
HE IS THE BREWERS CLOSER!
Anyway. Let’s break this down positionally, and we’ll find out who will be your World Champion.
Catcher: Geovanny Soto is an offensive juggernaut. A .946 OPS puts him among the positional leaders. And when you add that to his passable defense, he makes the Co-Catchers of Dioner Navarro and Shawn Riggans pale in comparison, even if Navarro hit .352. Advantage: Cubs +2.
First Baseman: Derrek Lee has an advantage over Carlos Pena in terms of hitting and power. Pena’s eye may be better. But the fact is? Pena couldn’t get to .230. Lee wins. Big. Advantage: Cubs +2.
Second Baseman: Mark DeRosa is pretty solid offensively at second base. His range isn’t spectacular, even if his Zone factor is gold. Aki Iwamura does not have the maddest of offensive skill, however. His defense is nice. Real nice. Again, the Cubs have a bit of an advantage here. Advantage: Cubs +1
Third Baseman: Aramis Ramirez is bad at defense. He’s the worst in terms of getting to balls by far. His offense is great. It’s what pays his bills. As for the Longorian? He’s just a touch above on defense and a touch below on offense. Both players are hot hitting right now. This could be your X-Factor. Advantage: Cubs +0.5
Shortstop: Ryan Theriot is a talented David Eckstein. He does not have the greatest basestealing judgement, but he is scrappy with a good eye. It’s not an empty .320, even if his defense leaves something to be desired. Jason Bartlett is of a walks, steals, defense skill set. You really don’t have an advantage here.
Left Fielder: Carl Crawford has been a bit of a disappointment this year. The bit of power he’s been showing in his game? Gone. His defense is spectacular, and that is why Alfonso Soriano and his 44 bombs do not mean too much of an advantage. But in a battle of Apples and Oranges, Soriano does win. Advantage: Cubs +1
Center Fielder: Jim Edmonds is too old. His defense and ability to hit righthanders is gone. He does have that nebulous thing called intangibles. But even the most fervend Cubs fan would rather have Bossman Jr. He may not be the powerman he was last year, but he doesn’t need to be, with a positively Tony Phillipsian ability to rack up 100′s in RBI’s/Runs/Walks/and Strikeouts. Oh, and he’s a real rival to Torii Hunter in spiderman defenses. Advantage: Rays +2
Right Fielder: Eric Hinske is another low average bomber. Gabe Gross is his defensive replacement. Both have good eyes. Are they as good as a Kosuke Fukudome? No. Mr. Fukudome is the epitome of solid, and E.G. Hoss is just one notch below. Advantage: Cubs +1
Bench: The Rays shine here. Willy Aybar is a nice batch of versatility who can cover first, second and third base with a dash of power. Cliff Floyd and Jonny Gomes are power bats off the bench. And Floyd is a very nice DH to boot. As for the Cubs? Reed Johnson is a decent lefty masher. Daryle Ward is a disappointing hitter. Ronny Cedeno and Mike Fontenot are both middle infield coverage as Mark DeRosa is apt to move positions. Cedeno is playing decently with both the bat and the glove. As for Fontenot? He’s a scrappy white guy. Henry Blanco provides a Mike Matheny game to back-up Soto. The Rays have the advantage here. Advantage: Rays +1
Starters: Here is where Tampa Bay is a Viking! Sabathia has been a well dressed maniac sense his early run of bad luck normalized. Scott Kazmir is all you have to say in regards to Steve Phillips divinity as a baseball “expert.” James Shields is the best #3 in Baseball, and Matt Garza goes game 4. The Cubbies won with offense. Zambrano’s awesome. But Ted Lilly sucked this year, Ryan Dempster fell off, and Jason Marquis can’t even be bothered to use his inherent Frenchness to throw a goddamn strike. Rays close the gap here. Advantage: Rays +4
Middle Relief: The only reason the Cubs have an advantage here is because of Carlos Marmol. That dude can deal. Sure, there’s a whole lot of solid. But Marmol can dominate in ways J.P. Howell and Dan Wheeler can only dream of. But in a street fight of set-up men, they all die of decency. Advantage: Cubs +0.5
Closer: Troy Percival’s death by a roving band of zombie fantasy nerds was a tragedy, but the Rays were able to coalesce around Al Reyes as closer. Now, he’s not as good as Kerry Wood. But with ESPN’s hiring of Dusty Baker as an analyst, I’m expecting Kerry Wood to struggle. Advantage: Push
All in all? I’m giving the D-Rays a bonus point because they are a much better defensive team. And with the AL winning the All-Star game? I’m projecting a classic. Nothing weird happens, besides Kerry Wood’s elbow exploding. D-Rays in 7. Bank on it.*