So it's only 7:45 PM on Opening Day 2009 and already a number of things have happened that are worthy of mention, in no particular order:
-The Braves stomped the Phils last night. I like what I saw of Derek Lowe. Ryan Howard looked like he did not eat during the offseason.
-The Yankees are about to lose unless they score five in the 9th. This is always noteworthy and coincidentally puts a smile on my face. CC had no strikeouts, but I bet he crushed the postgame buffet.
-The Tigers are already losing 4-0 and Verlander looks HORRIBLE. Oh, yes, and even though Josh Anderson is in Left Field, Granderson is batting lead-off. This makes no sense. Leyland wants Anderson in the lineup for speed, but if he is on base and Granderson strikes out, what is the point of sending Anderson. Why not let Anderson lead off steal a base and let Polanco, a contact hitter move him to third. This also lets Granderson drive some runs in and strikeout in the middle of the lineuup instead of leading off the game. They will be lucky to finish .500 this season for three reasons: Brandon Inge, Jim Leyland's mismanagement of the lineup and their inability to win one run games (read crappy bullpen).
And now on to the predictions:
AL East: Red Sox - have to respect the pitching. Smoltz FTW.
AL Central: Indians - Kerry Wood leads AL in saves, Cliff Lee is human but still good, Hafner rakes.
AL West: Angels - this is a no brainer, Mike Scioscia is the best manager in the game.
Wild Card: Rays - pitching and defense again and Carl Crawford has a monster year.
ROY: Travis Snider
Cy Young: Roy Halladay
MVP: Vladimir Guerrero (and definitely NOT Mark Texeira)
NL East: Mets - this is the year, until they lose in the first round again when Putz and KRod implode
NL Central: Cardinals - though I'm tempted to pick Milwaukee I think Ankiel may be NL MVP
NL West: Dodgers - but man would I like someone, ANYONE else to win it
Wild Card: Braves - a versatile, non-power lineup and a much improved pitching staff
ROY: Cameron Maybin (unless the Brewers ditch JJ Hardy and play Alcides Escobar)
Cy Young: Johan Santana
MVP: Chipper Jones