MLB General

Top Questions for 2007

Break out the peanuts and Cracker Jacks, it’s time for the 2007 Major League Baseball season to begin. With that in mind, there are some of the top burning questions, along with those wild and wacky picks of the season.Will Tom Glavine break the 300 win mark?

Glavine is just ten wins this season to break the 300 mark. He might be on the downside of his career, but look for Tom to break the mark, and possibly be a fifteen game winner. The Mets lineup looks as though they could support Glavine.

Will Bonds Break Aaron’s Home Run record?

He is still the three-ring circus known as Barry Bonds. However, he seems to be in shape and completely focused on breaking the record. Bruce Bochy has announced that Bonds will start the season batting third in the lineup. It looks like Ray Durham will be in charge of making sure that Bonds gets something to hit. There’s a very good chance he does it around the All-Star break (which is in San Fransisco this year).

What major milestones will we see this year?

It’s a given that Craig Biggo will get his 3000th hit, along with Bonds. Pedro Martinez should get his 3000th strike out some time in July, when he returns from major shoulder surgery. If they can stay healthy, Sammy Sosa and Ken Griffey, Jr. should break 600 home runs. Frank Thomas and Jim Thome are almost locks to hit their 500th home runs this year. Trevor Hoffman should be the first closer ever to 500 saves. Manny Ramírez is just three grand slams away from tying Lou Gherig for most all-time.

How bad are the Washington Nationals?

Very bad. This is an over glorified double-A team. Alfonso Soriano is gone to a team with talent, and they did very little to replace him. They lost ninety-one last year, and that team looked like a World Series contender compared to this one. Expect Jim Bowden to not last past mid-May. Also, expect the Nationals to break the ’62 Mets all-time record for losses this year.

Carl Pavano and Kei Igawa for the Yankees?

You heard right, Pavano and Igawa, who have made a combined zero starts in the last two years in the majors, will be asked to hold down the fort for the Yankees while Chien-Ming Wang spends the first part of the season on the DL. Also, Mike Mussina and Andy Pettete aren’t exactly spring chickens. I’m not sold on the Yankees even making the playoffs with this pitching staff.

Is the Cubs offense enough to get them into the playoffs?

That is very tough to say, because their pitching is not good enough to get them out of fourth place in the National League Central. Alfonso Soriano and Jacque Jones both have a history of striking out, with their K-to-walk ratio both around 3.45. You have to take the bad with the good, because Soriano and Jones can both get on base, and swipe a few. If that lineup is healthy, they could possibly win the wild card.

Are the Tigers a fluke?

It depends. There is no question that the AL Central might be the best division in baseball. The Indians, Sox and Tigers did improve in the off season. Kenny Rogers will start the season on the DL, and won’t be back for a while. However, the rest of the pitching staff is very young, including last year’s rookie of the year Justin Verlander. Gary Sheffield and Sean Casey should give the Tigers enough pop to stay in the division. There’s a chance they don’t make the playoffs, but they will make it interesting.

How good is Dice-K?

This season will be an adjustment year for Matsuzaka. Yet, it seems that he’s the odds-on favorite to win the AL Cy Young. He’s not going to get some of the pitches he got in Japan, but he shouldn’t have to worry. He has a good fastball, and a great sinker. He does have great control. He’s not going to be the dominating force that many people think he will, but you can bet that Dice-K is going to be a talent.

Who are this season’s sleepers?

In the National League, the Braves and the Brewers have two of the best pitching staffs that no one is talking about. Smoltz is rejuvenated, Hampton looks ready to go, and they have a solid pen to get to Wickman. Meanwhile, in Milwaukee, Sheets looks ready to rebound after two lost seasons due to injury. One of the best pickups of the off season was NLCS Jeff Suppan. He should be able to anchor a young Brewers staff. Meanwhile, Fancisco Cordero is looking to dominate the closer’s role.

Over in the American League, the Toronto Blue Jays are the non-sleeper sleeper. When you talk about the American League East, the conversation is dominated by the Yankees and the Red Sox. However, the Jays might have one of the best hitting line-ups this season. Also, Josh Towers has elderly found his talent again, and  Tomo Ohka  leaves the Brewers for the Jays. If they can stay healthy, there’s no reason why they couldn’t win the AL East.

Who are the rookies to watch for this season?

This year’s NL rookie of the year will go to Cincinnati when Josh Hamilton, who has been out of baseball for five years, will win the award. This kid had the promise when he was drafted number one overall by Tampa in 1999. He got involved with substance abuse, and was out of baseball for a while. His spring was very good, showing patience at the plate and good speed. He could be a solid one or two hitter by mid-season.

In the American League, Kansas City has found a diamond in the rough with Alex Gordon. He can get his bat through the zone quickly, generating a great average. He also has great plate Patience, and above-average defensive skills. He was the 2006 Baseball America minor league player of the year, and could possibly put the Royals in the right direction.

There you have it, the top ten questions for the upcoming 2007 season. Now, as for the predictions, look for the Phillies, Brewers and Diamondbacks to win their divisions in the National League, while the Braves will make the wild card. In the American League, the Blue Jays, Rangers, Tigers should win their divisions while the White Sox take the wild card.

By matt Jordan

Matt is an in-studio producer for three radio stations in a six station cluster. He has produced and co-hosted three sports talk shows, with one of them becoming number one in the market. He also is a play by play announcer for the Florence Redwolves, who play in the Coastal Plain League, the nation's hottest College Summer League. He is in his fourth season. He also was the PA Announcer for the Florence Phantoms indoor football team.

In his spare time Matt enjoys reading, writing, playing RTS video games, debating on religion, and good music. He is currently writing a play, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2009. Matt also writes for Medusa's Kiss magazine.

One reply on “Top Questions for 2007”

I enjoyed the article, but… I did have a few problems with it. One, and minor, is the misspelling of Cordero’s first name.

Second, is the reference of Matsuzaka as the “odds on favorite to win Cy Young.” Perhaps you’re forgetting about Santana, who’s already won the award two out of the last three years.

And third, referring to Alex Gordon as a “diamond in the rough.” Gordon was the #2 draft pick just two years ago, and the minor league player of the year last year. Yes, he was an excellent pick, and he will probably be a star, but “hidden gem” he is not.

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