Jackson Black Bears
PREVIEW: In the off-season Roque and Boucher went to free agency and Cruz was released. There were no spots open after the 3 players went to free agency. And frankly none were needed. This is the same back-to back Championship Team this year. If it ain't broke no need to fix it. Last year I picked the Black Bears to win the National League Championship ,not this year.My Ziods will beat them LOL. PREDICTION:106-56(Division Winner)
AT THE BREAK: Uh....did I really say my Zoids would beat the Black Bears this year. So far this year I'm 0-6...Yikes!! Olemiss has his team running on all cylinders and they are on pace to win 112 games. They lead the National League in most of the pitching categories that count, and have only allowed 326 runs.That, my friends, will win a lot of games and World Series Trophies. Can anyone keep them form winning their third straight World Series? My team as well as a few others are gonna try...but it's looking doubtful.
PREVIEW: In the off-season Lee and Mota left to free agency and Nathan was released. With only a couple roster spots open, Wish promoted Ordonez and Masato. Jacksonville has several good prospects in AAA waiting for "the phone call". Right now this team is a .500 team but maybe some youngsters will get the call and the Juggernauts will win about 87 games.PREDICTION:81-81 or 87-75
AT THE BREAK: I should have picked this team as my other National League wild-card. When I wrote my previews, I was on the fence whether to pick the Juggernauts or the Red Light Districts. Obviously I chose the wrong one. Jacksonville is on pace to win 89 games and get into the playoffs after a 5 year drought. Wish has done a great job in building this team and the pitching staff is stout (4th in the NL). If the offense comes around they may be this years Cinderella..
Austin City Limits
PREVIEW: In the off-season Zerbe, Pimentel and Liverman left for free agency and Herbert and Perez were released. Wylie plugged the holes with free agents Torcato, Cain and Crawford and promoted Brooks and Ratliff. He picked up Hoffman and Livingstone in the R-5 to fill out this years roster. Wylie lost pitching this year including 2 of my former rotation pitchers (Zerbe and Liveman).He replaced them with a solid SP (Torcato) and a wild R-5 guy (Hoffman). The 2 are opposite and one cancels out the other. The addition of Cain and Brooks make a good defense great. The City Limits are like a Box Of Chocolates ,You never know what your gonna get. (thanks Forrest Gump). Average Year methinks (thanks Yoda).Yoda Gump says.PREDICTION: 81-81
AT THE BREAK: This box of chocolates melted pretty fast. The City limits are on pace to win 77 games. Austins pitching is below average but they do have a decent hitting club. The best that Wylie could hope for is a wild-card, but time is getting short. Yoda didn't help and Forrest Gump was a bust so I'll leave Wylie with a Yogiism ....."90% of the game is half mental"
Tampa Bay Rays
PREVIEW: In the off-season O'Brien, Peterman, Cruz, Perez and Ramirez went to free agency. Osoria was released and Gonzales was plucked from the waiver wire. To fill the holes Svick signed free agents Chang, Ma, Haney,Long and Campos and he promoted Campos and Sanders. Finally he traded for Sandoval and Ming. You know I like the direction this team is heading and they may surprise us this year. Svick brought in a bunch of good players and if they don't break the .500 mark then maybe next year. To hell with next year...Going out on a limb here. PREDICTION:82-80
AT THE BREAK: The limb busted and.......Down goes Madmuldoon! This team is no where close to making it to .500. With only 38 wins at the break they are on pace to win only 68. Maybe I was looking through bourbon colored glasses when I wrote the preview. It's only Svick's second year and I'm rooting for him !! On my back staring up at the limbs this time!