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 Post subject: **Official AL Central Thread**
PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2007 9:30 pm 
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For being one of the worst divisions in baseball for years, the AL Central is arguably baseball’s best division, representing the American League in the last two World Series and having three teams win 90 or more games last season. The only team that has not improved is the royals, who have remained in the cellar of the division for years. With the White Sox, Tigers, Twins, and Indians all vying for a division title, let’s compare, contrast and preview. Should be a good season.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2007 7:55 pm 
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Lets go Royals!


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2007 8:07 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2007 9:02 pm 
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This should be a very tight race again. The Tigers (Sheffeild) and Indians (bullpen) made some improvements, while Minnesota (Liriano, Radke) was hurt a bit. But The Twins played well with Liriano down last year. The Indians played well below their potential last season, and I expect them to be in it much more this year.

Based on my biased opinion....the Tigers win it!


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2007 9:47 pm 
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This should be a great race. I think every team will have a shot. Maybe that's wishful thinking for the Royals.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2007 10:05 pm 
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Keith Foulke retiring does not help the indians bullpen problems.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2007 10:22 pm 
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I'm not thrilled with where the Indians are at compared with two seasons ago. Letting Millwood go was a mistake, and while their bullpen has improved, it's still very suspect. They need another bat in the lineup as well.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2007 10:52 pm 
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it's all going to come down to who has the standout pitching staff.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2007 11:45 pm 
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The White sox are coming off a disappointing season (90 wins) where they saw their starting rotation suffer and their bullpen suffer even worse.
Even with the departed Freddy Garcia and Brandon McCarthy, the White Sox still show a formidable starting rotation that includes Contreras, Garland, Buerhle, Vazquez, and the fifth starter to be announced. (Floyd, Haeger, Danks). The rotation was very fatigued throughout the season having pitched in complete games through October, and some of the staff participating in the World Baseball Championships. With a now rested staff, I believe that staff will perform somewhere in between ’05 and ’06.

The bullpen has the potential to be one of the best in the league with 5 guys that can throw 95 mph+ (MacDougal, Aardsma, Thornton, Massett, Janks).

And they also have one of the more powerful lineups in the league (Konerko, Dye, Thome, Crede, Pierzynski).

Their problem will be production from the leadoff spot and their 8 and 9 hitters. The recent acquisition of Darrin Erstad doesn’t excite me nor does the returning Scott Podsednik for that matter. However, look for Brian Anderson to rebound off of a horrid rookie season. Then again, he may shit himself.......again.

I really can’t gauge what this team will do.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 12:15 am 
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i think the indians will make some noise at the top of the division this yr.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 12:18 am 
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pnjguy wrote:
The White sox are coming off a disappointing season (90 wins) where they saw their starting rotation suffer and their bullpen suffer even worse.
Even with the departed Freddy Garcia and Brandon McCarthy, the White Sox still show a formidable starting rotation that includes Contreras, Garland, Buerhle, Vazquez, and the fifth starter to be announced. (Floyd, Haeger, Danks). The rotation was very fatigued throughout the season having pitched in complete games through October, and some of the staff participating in the World Baseball Championships. With a now rested staff, I believe that staff will perform somewhere in between ’05 and ’06.


The thing with the White Sox staff is that 2005 was actually an anomaly instead of the norm. Everyone looks at the 2006 White Sox staff and wonders what happened. Well, they actually pitched how they had for their collective careers, and that was with Garland's numbers thrown in. If you compare the White Sox pitchers' ERA from 2003, 2004, and 2006 with their ERA from 2005, you will find that 2005 was the only year that was any different. You can conclude that maybe the White Sox just pitched out of their asses that year and that last year they were back to normal.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 1:08 am 
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Chris_H_2 wrote:
pnjguy wrote:
The White sox are coming off a disappointing season (90 wins) where they saw their starting rotation suffer and their bullpen suffer even worse.
Even with the departed Freddy Garcia and Brandon McCarthy, the White Sox still show a formidable starting rotation that includes Contreras, Garland, Buerhle, Vazquez, and the fifth starter to be announced. (Floyd, Haeger, Danks). The rotation was very fatigued throughout the season having pitched in complete games through October, and some of the staff participating in the World Baseball Championships. With a now rested staff, I believe that staff will perform somewhere in between ’05 and ’06.


The thing with the White Sox staff is that 2005 was actually an anomaly instead of the norm. Everyone looks at the 2006 White Sox staff and wonders what happened. Well, they actually pitched how they had for their collective careers, and that was with Garland's numbers thrown in. If you compare the White Sox pitchers' ERA from 2003, 2004, and 2006 with their ERA from 2005, you will find that 2005 was the only year that was any different. You can conclude that maybe the White Sox just pitched out of their asses that year and that last year they were back to normal.


Maybe your right, but buerhle was never as bad as he was last year, and i think they were just fatigued last year to be honest. Their staff threw more innings than any other during the season and you add the playoffs, and WBC. That argument has just as much merit as yours. They had command of their pitches, but all of their velocity was down with the exception of Garland. Thats why i think it was more fatigue than anything. Do I expect 2005 repeated? No. But i don't think its absurd to think they'll pitch alot better this year than 2006. And their bullpen was more of a dissapointment to me anyways. And thats greatly improved. Im more worried about the top of the order getting on-base quite honestly.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 2:37 am 
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pnjguy wrote:
Maybe your right, but buerhle was never as bad as he was last year, and i think they were just fatigued last year to be honest. Their staff threw more innings than any other during the season and you add the playoffs, and WBC. That argument has just as much merit as yours. They had command of their pitches, but all of their velocity was down with the exception of Garland. Thats why i think it was more fatigue than anything. Do I expect 2005 repeated? No. But i don't think its absurd to think they'll pitch alot better this year than 2006. And their bullpen was more of a dissapointment to me anyways. And thats greatly improved. Im more worried about the top of the order getting on-base quite honestly.


Buerhle's slide last year started against the Cubs of all teams. He just never regrouped after that. I would have to imagine that he'll have a more consistent year this year than last. If he gives them 210 innings, they'll be in good shape.

What would worry me as a Sox fan is Contreras and the lack of a 5th starter. From what I remember (and I could be wrong), Contreras wasn't the same pitcher last year a solid start to the season. Aside from the August outting in Detroit, I can't remember pitching that well.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:33 am 
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Chris_H_2 wrote:
pnjguy wrote:
Maybe your right, but buerhle was never as bad as he was last year, and i think they were just fatigued last year to be honest. Their staff threw more innings than any other during the season and you add the playoffs, and WBC. That argument has just as much merit as yours. They had command of their pitches, but all of their velocity was down with the exception of Garland. Thats why i think it was more fatigue than anything. Do I expect 2005 repeated? No. But i don't think its absurd to think they'll pitch alot better this year than 2006. And their bullpen was more of a dissapointment to me anyways. And thats greatly improved. Im more worried about the top of the order getting on-base quite honestly.


Buerhle's slide last year started against the Cubs of all teams. He just never regrouped after that. I would have to imagine that he'll have a more consistent year this year than last. If he gives them 210 innings, they'll be in good shape.

What would worry me as a Sox fan is Contreras and the lack of a 5th starter. From what I remember (and I could be wrong), Contreras wasn't the same pitcher last year a solid start to the season. Aside from the August outting in Detroit, I can't remember pitching that well.


Contreras started off well then got hurt in July. I dont know if he ever fully recovered from that last season. I suspect Contreras will be fine this year, meaning 16 wins and around 4 era fine. Thank god we have enough off days in April where we can start a 4 man rotation. But yes, the 5th starter will be a huge question mark. Cooper has got his hands full with some of these younger pitchers.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 1:52 pm 
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Ensign9 wrote:
I'm not thrilled with where the Indians are at compared with two seasons ago. Letting Millwood go was a mistake, and while their bullpen has improved, it's still very suspect. They need another bat in the lineup as well.


I have to disagree. Letting Millwood go was the right move. He's not worth the money and years Texas gave him and while he would be better than Paul Byrd, it would likely be at the expense of young guys like Sowers and Carmona who I think will be outstanding. Letting Howry go was the bigger mistake.

The retirement of Foulke hurts, but only so far as depth goes. I think Borowski can step in, but it would be nice to have the insurance policy of another guy back there. Plus this means that Jason Davis makes the team. :(

I think the hitting is fine. They were one of the top offensive teams in baseball last season, but a right handed power bat wouldn't hurt.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 5:16 pm 
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The Royals will sweep the Soxs in their home opener.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 5:21 pm 
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Bo Jackson wrote:
The Royals will sweep the Soxs in their home opener.


Then proceed to lose 100 games.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 7:16 pm 
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pnjguy wrote:
Bo Jackson wrote:
The Royals will sweep the Soxs in their home opener.


Then proceed to lose 100 games.

Probably


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 7:50 pm 
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Bo Jackson wrote:
pnjguy wrote:
Bo Jackson wrote:
The Royals will sweep the Soxs in their home opener.


Then proceed to lose 100 games.

Probably


I don't know . . . I mean, we're talking Gil frickin' Meche at the top of the staff. There's no way they lose 100 with him . . .


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 9:37 pm 
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Chris_H_2 wrote:
Bo Jackson wrote:
pnjguy wrote:
Bo Jackson wrote:
The Royals will sweep the Soxs in their home opener.


Then proceed to lose 100 games.

Probably


I don't know . . . I mean, we're talking Gil frickin' Meche at the top of the staff. There's no way they lose 100 with him . . .


You're right!

They'll lost 110!


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