Well, it looks like the Central Division is pretty much set for 2004. They way I see it, the Twins got a little bit weaker in the bullpen but remain about the same everywhere else. They also have the potential for an improved rotation with Santana starting from day one and the possibility of more consistent performances from Lohse and Radke.
Also, the Twins have a bunch of young hitters and the odds are that one of them will have a breakout season (if they get a chance to play). Too bad none of them know how to play 2B or SS.
Bottom line is that in a weak division they should be able to match last year’s win total and repeat as division champs.
The White Sox have a had a bad offseason. I’m actually not that upset about not resigning Alomar or Everett. But losing Colon, Gordon & Sullivan hurts. So the pitching staff has gone through a tremendous downsizing and it will again be up to the offense to win games, something they have not been able to do the past three years. In any other division this team wouldn’t have a chance at the playoffs, and I don’t think they have much of one even in the Central. I think the Sox will end up right about .500 and in second place.
For everyone getting excited about the Royals this year here’s a newsflash. The Royals were over 7.5 games up on two teams at the all star break last year and finished behind both because their pitching sucked. They can sign as many has been outfielders as they want and their pitching will still suck. They will be fighting Cleveland for third place. I say Cleveland takes third.
And while I still have a lot of left over animosity towards the Pistons form the Bad Boys era, I don’t like to see the Tigers lose 100 games each year. It’s my hope they can win a few more games this year and revive interest in a once proud franchise. If only the got to play the White Sox a few more times each year they might have a chance to climb out of the cellar. Maybe in 2005.