Thursday, March 29, 2007

2007 MLB Preview: Part II of III [Truth vs. Myth]

It’s time to analyze a baker’s dozen worth of hot names/topics that the majority of baseball fans will be focused upon, one way or another, this upcoming season.

The question for you, the reader, is this: which of these two statements, per player, is a truth and which is a myth?

Let’s dive straight into it with…

13) Craig Biggio
Truth: Craig Biggio will reach the 3,000 hit milestone this season [70 hits to go].
Myth: Biggio will retire following this season, his 9th-straight hitting under .300.

12) Eric Gagne
Truth: Gagne will be the stabilizing back-end of the Rangers bullpen to carry them through the intense dry heat of the
Texas summer.
Myth: He’ll appear in less than 14 games this season, just as he did the previous two seasons (16 total).

11) Kenny Rogers
Truth: The gambler will again defy his old-age, 42 years young, and be the steady ace of the otherwise youthful Tiger-rotation.
Myth: The wheels are about to fall off for the pine-tar-laden pitcher.

10) Delmon Young
Truth: Forget the bat-throwing incident; this guy is as close to a complete player as any 21-year old in recent memory.
Myth: He’ll be a bust down in
Tampa and his emotions will again get the best of him.

9) Randy Johnson
Truth: The dry
Arizona heat will be just what the 44-year old pitcher needs, alongside a weaker NL lineup, to regain prominent form.
New York exposed something about Randy everyone now knows: he’s too quick to give up the deep homerun ball from start to finish.

8) Chris Young & Matt Holiday
Truth: These are the two young prospects you better learn about ASAP. [Young is the #2 pitcher, behind Jake Peavy, on the Padres staff and Holliday is the best player, a leftfielder, on a talented young
Rockies team.]
Myth: Playing in the NL West, outside of
Los Angeles and San Francisco, means these guys – productive or not – matter little in the public eye.

7) Alex Gordon
Truth: The Rookie of the Year third-basemen for the Kansas City Royals will be the best thing going in the
Midwest you’ll never hear enough about.
Myth: He’s a Royal. Who cares?

6) Lou Pinella
Truth: Sweet Lou may not see the playoffs this season, but the Cubs will play their butts off for him and he will be the steadying force Dusty never seemed to be.
Myth: Risky free-agent signings and typical Cubby bad-luck will yet again doom another hapless Cub-manager.

5) Alfonso Soriano
Truth: The Cubs slugger will be a front-runner for the MVP award, enjoying a massive 50-homerun season at Wrigley Field.
Myth: The contract was far too large for a swing-happy guy who may still not be ready to play outfield in Wrigley.

4) Daisuke Matsuzaka
Truth: He’s the next it-guy and has 15-wins and Cy Young contention written all over him. Worth almost every penny.
Myth: The pressure of the contract and expectations, as well as the wear-and-tear of the MLB season is just too much for Dice-K in his first season; especially those trips to the
Bronx. At least he wont be Hideki Irabu...right?

3) Roger Clemens
Truth: He’ll be a Yankee.
Myth: He’ll be in
Houston or Boston, retired or pitching.

2) Alex Rodriguez
Truth: This will be his breakout year before banking another mega-contract next season.
Myth: Same old underachieving Pay-Rod shows up when it matters the most. Finally he’s shown the exit from the Big Apple.

1) Barry Bonds
Truth: He’ll slug home run number 756, whether you like it or not in the summer of 2007.
Myth: This season will be a wash one way or another as Aaron’s record lasts just a little longer.

Hopefully, we’ll find out the answers to these questions – and more – sooner than later.

Until next time…

1 comment:

Matthew said...

FANTASTIC article. Agree with most everything. My only reservation would be Soriano's 50+ HR season. Even playing in Wrigley Field, that would be quite an accomplishment. Alex Gordon will be the next Carlos Beltran, a prospect the Royals won't pay to keep. Look out for Chris Young as well, young OF for the Diamondbacks.