Those same fans see instant replay as more of a nuisance than good. Once instant replay is used by Major League Baseball for one set of calls then when will it end? Will replay be used only on close plays at the plate or determining if a ball was actually fair or foul? What if, in the bottom of the ninth of a close game, a pitch is called a ball that appeared to be a strike? Will that be reviewed?
Certainly, it wasn’t a weakness on the 2010 team, but with a better bullpen, the A’s can certainly challenge for a playoff spot in the AL this upcoming season. Perhaps the biggest issues were managerial mismanagement and injuries, in truth.
Coming off a season in which the Tigers went 27-45 against their AL Central division foes, it is imperative that the Tigers show well against a sale jerseys team that took 12 of 18 from Detroit in 2008.
He’s on the 40-man roster and is a slightly-lesser version of Lucas Harrell without the major-league experience. Marquez, touted as a groundball phenom when acquired from the Yankees in the Nick Swisher [REDACTED] trade, had a 46 percent ground ball rate in Charlotte-good, but not Harrell’s 52 percent grounder rate. He’ll have a shot at the rotation this spring, but it’s tough to see Marquez separating himself from the pack. Then again, that can be said for all these pitchers.
The White Sox took a flier on Humber this offseason, but don’t expect him to be another Don Cooper reclamation success. The 28-year-old right-hander has been nothing but mediocre in the minor leagues from 2007-2010, posting FIPs of 4.58, 4.86, 4.70, and 4.37 across stops with the Mets, Twins and Royals’ triple-A teams. In 51.1 major-league innings, Humber has a 5.05 FIP as well. But, given the competition, Humber may end up being the best option for the Sox come April 1.
Adam Dunn, Gordon Beckham, Brent Morel or Mark Teahen, and Alex Rios were thought to be the guys that would put the southsiders among the best in the American league.
National League MVP – Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado Rockies. This may come as a shock to people who always look at St. Louis Cardinals Albert Pujols as the automatic preseason pick for MVP. But anyone in the know understands the greatness of this hidden gem in the mountains of Colorado. The 25-year-old Gonzalez will be a legitimate threat to win the Triple Crown over the next few seasons. Last year, he hit 34 home runs with 117 RBIs and a .336 average. Throw in 111 runs scored and 26 stolen bases, as well as being a plus defensive outfielder, and you have the most well-rounded player in all of baseball.
12. New York Yankees – The Yankees deserve a lot of credit for hanging in the playoff race all season. Joe Girardi deserves AL Manager of the Year, and Mariano Rivera gets a tip of the cap for a tremendous career.