Tag Archives: Tampa Bay Rays

Drei’s 2016 A.L. Forecast

Looking Back…

What Drei said last year…

” If there was ever a case for parity ( a word we’ll be hearing throughout the season ) in one division, the AL East makes a case…. Parity. Did I say we’d be using that word A LOT this season ?…Somebody in the Junior Circuit has to win 90 games, right ? The AL’s two best teams could very well be here in the west, setting up a potential ALDS showdown between these two. The Mariners and Angels are among the vast favorites to represent the AL in The Fall Classic.”

If there was one thing I nearly got right last year, I felt the AL would only have one team winning 90 plus games. Turns out two teams ended up winning over 90 games. Appropriately enough, both those teams ended up in the ALCS, one would eventually win the World Series.  Heading into 2016, I still do feel there will be a lot of parity in the Junior Circuit…

A.L East

From top to bottom, anyone is capable of winning this division. Dating back to 2011, each team has had their share of the division crown. Much of the offensive firepower the Blue Jays produced en route to their first post-season appearance in 22 years will be returning this season, including 2nd half pick up Troy Tulowitzki. Having a full season of Tulo should produce more lofty numbers. The loss of David Price from the rotation to the Red Sox may slow them down.

Boston has a good mix of veterans along with some up and comers in Mookie Betts and Xander Bogarts and the addition of David Price to their rotation should help them contend in the east.

The Yankees rotation has too many question marks. Will the off-season acquisition of Aroldis Chapman make much of a difference. Tampa may have the best rotation in the league and should they get any offensive help, could also challenge for the division. On the other side of the ledger, the Orioles, 2 years removed from a division crown, will not be lacking for offense if they can come close to their 217 dingers from last season. Pitching still remains a question. 

A.L. Central

After back to back playoff appearances and a World Series title, the Royals still can’t convince the so-called experts that they are the class of the division. This is another division where there seems to be no clear cut favorite as even Minnesota with it’s young roster remained in contention last season until the final weekend.

Defense, speed and relief pitching carried KC all the way to their first title in 30 years. Having Alex Gordon back should help. The rotation needs for Yordano Ventura to step as and assume the roll of the ace. A third consecutive post-season appearance is certainly attainable for KC.

Cleveland has a pretty formidable rotation of Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar. Will off-season additions Mike Napoli, Rajai Davis, Juan Uribe and Marlon Byrd, players not exactly in their prime make a difference ? Having said that, I still feel Cleveland is ready to challenge for the division.

The White Sox and Tigers, disappointments from last season, look to bounce back. Detroit may be the division’s most improved team  but their biggest question will be their bullpen, which ranked among the worst last season. The Twins are the division’s most intriguing team, with a roster full of youth that started fast out the gate at 30-19. Expectation’s may be unfairly high for them, but last season’s experience in a pennant race should only help this group.

A.L. West

After a last place finish in 2014, the Texas Rangers bounced back nicely to return to the post season for the 4th time in 6 seasons. With Cole Hamels coming back and a healthy Yu Darvish along with along with a lineup that boasts big offensive numbers, the Rangers may be the most balanced team in the division. Their bullpen still has some holes to fill entering the season. 

The Astros, last season’s biggest surprise, is ready to make more noise this season. A full season with Carlos Gomez certainly can’t hurt the lineup. The Mariners, picked by many last season to represent the Junior Circuit in The Fall Classic after an 87 win campaign in 2014, regressed last season, something that could be of concern in Houston with expectations being higher. The M’s strength is still pitching, led by Felix Hernandez. I expect the Mariners to bounce back and be the sleeper in this division.

The Angels, even with the presence of Mike Trout, suffered a decline in offensive numbers last season. Their rotation is still solid and should keep them in contention. The A’s are the one team no one expects to do much. Offensive additions Yonder Alonso and Jed Lowrie should help the offense. Their rotation still has too many holes for Oakland to seriously pose a challenge for the division.

Wild Card

Astros over Boston

ALDS

Toronto over Houston

Seattle over Cleveland

ALCS

Toronto over Seattle. If this holds true to form…IF…this could be a matchup of teams with opposite strengths. Toronto came within 2 games last season, Seattle was expected by many, including your’s here, to challenge last season. Seattle is my choice for the AL darkhorse, which may not be saying much considering the league wide parity.

So based on my projections, the Junior Circuit is pretty much open for anyone to take, maybe even Oakland. Am I going against the pundits ? For the most part, yes. If the JC is this competitive this year, activity around the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline could be very minimal. I would not be surprised if there was a 3 way tie for either a division title or the wild card.

9th Inning…Drei’s Tale…Featuring Kid Marley Marlz and The Mariner Moose

MarlzMoose1 ” Yo Moose !  What it be…What it do ?..Are we gonna see YOU…In October ? “

MarlzMoose4 Hey Marlz, be nice ! You don’t want The Moose to bite back… ” Is that right ? “

MarlzMoose3 Awe, Kid Marley Marlz is sharing his milkshake with The Moose… ‘Til the next episode…

 

All Star Mouse Hunting From the OC to LA… AL EAST

REDS_MUSTACHEWith the All-Star game less than 7 days away, one of the things fans in Cincinnati can look forward to are the scattered handlebar statues, 10 of which will be spread throughout The Queen City. 

5 years ago with the All-Star game in Anaheim, Mickey Mouse themed statues, 36 total, 30 of them representing each MLB team, we’re scattered throughout Anaheim, Orange County, Rancho Cucamonga all the way here to L.A.  My first post of my search for the ” Hidden Mickey’s
” featured statues representing each N.L. East team.

A.L. East Mickeys

Deep into the O.C…

MICKEY_ORIOLES

The Oriole Mickey was located outside the Newport Sports Museum. Further down in Laguna Beach along PCH…

MICKEY_RAYS I would find this Tampa Bay Rays Mickey next to this Tiki themed exhibit at the Laguna Art Museum.  I couldn’t have picked a better day to come to Laguna Beach than on this nice sunny Saturday afternoon. If only I had more time to enjoy the sights…

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MICKEY_BLUE JAYS All blue here with the Blue Jays Mickey, outside the Segerstrom Center for the Arts.  This nice family in an SUV saw that I was attempting a selfie the father actually pulled aside and offered to take this pic for me…

MICKEY_YANKEES Here I am with that ” EVIL MICKEY “, the Yankee, inside the entrance of the old ESPN Zone at L.A. Live. There was a private event that evening as they we’re hosting a party for the Korean soccer fans during the 2010 World Cup. I literally had to plea the security guard if I could go in and take a quick pick. Once I worked my way in, staff knew I was doing the scavenger hunt and even asked me about it.

One more to go for the A.L. East. Now to find that Red Sox Mickey outside the Discovery Center in Santa Ana…

MICKEY_ RED SOX MISSING AT DISCOVERY CENTER Hey ! Where’d Mickey go ?

MICKEY_RED SOX DL SIGN Angles fans taking their anger out ? I know the Red Sox have been a thorn on the Halos side over the years, but really ?

MICKEY_RED SOX

MICKEY_RED SOX N DREIHey, I actually got to see the Red Sox Mickey, all bandaged up from the beating he took, safe and sound at the All-Star fanfest…

Campaigning For Kid K

wpid-fb_img_1436315708657.jpg Why Kid K needs a final vote I will get to the All-Star game beats me, but here’s our chance to get him in. Dodger fans, you know what to do !!!

Dre’s Friday Bits and Bytes, 5/16/2014

Tonight’s happenings in the world of L.A. Sports…

greinke Zack Greinke takes the hill for the Blue as they take on the Arizona Diamondback for the 4th time this season as the Blue looks to build upon their 7-1 mark against the Snakes as they embark on a 10 game road trip. After finishing 3-4 on their current homestand against the Giants and Marlins, the Blue will also look to improve upon their 13-7 road record . Also…

That’s right ! GO KINGS GO as the Kings and Ducks battle it out in Anaheim tonight in Game 7 of the NHL Western Conference semis with as the Kings look to return to the Windy City for a rematch of last years Western Conference Finals against the Chicago Blackhawks . There is certainly no shortage of sporting events for L.A. sports fans tonight…

Early Concerns ?

With the Dodgers currently 5 games behind the Giants, this certainly was not the start the Dodgers and the fans had hoped for. However, we must remind ourselves that this is a long season and that there is certainly more than enough time to get back in the race. Whether we should expect a repeat of last seasons 40-8 run, well, that may be asking much to repeat that feat. Here’s some numbers to look at…

Prior to and after last seasons summer run where they went 40-8, the Dodgers had a combined record of 52-64. Going into tonight’s action , aside from their 7-1 record against the DBacks, they would be as of right now 15-19 against the rest of the Majors, including a 3-7 record against the Giants. So we do know how good this team can really be. We also know too that this team can be really streaky as well. Believe it or not, the Dodgers are actually in better shape at this time then they we’re at this time last year. So yes, it is a little to early for us, including this fan here, to be pushing the panic button right away. A little tweak here and there and in no time we got ourselves a pennant race.

Also, some other numbers to chew on around the bigs

The Cardinals and Nationals, 2 other clubs expected to win their respective NL divisions, are also off to pedestrian starts as they too also sit only 2 games above .500 . In the AL East, the defending champion Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays, the two expected to finish atop the AL East, are both struggling as well with a combined 38-44 record as those 2 as of right now occupy the bottom half of the AL East. 3 of the 4 teams mentioned here we’re last years LCS participants, with the Red Sox winning it all. We certainly don’t expect these teams to continue to struggle, do we ?

Dre’s Scorecard Notes, Tuesday 5/13/2014 vs. Marlins

dodgersfish In my latest of my in-game scorecard notes, we feature this past Tuesday night’s game against the Marlins…

marlinscard Josh Beckett continues to impress after sitting out virtually all of last season, pitching 6 1/3 innings against his former club, striking out 4 and allowing only 1 run. Would Beckett finally get some run support ?

dodgerscard Josh Beckett finally get’s those runs as the Blue would score 5 times in the home 6th, started off by a 2 run double by Hanley Ramirez. The Dodgers would also tack on runs in the 7th and 8th, as they would pull away from the Marlins. This is the 2nd game in a row I would attend that the Dodgers would score in the 6th-8th en route to a win and , Josh Beckett’s first win since 2012.

HanRam getting the scoring started for the Blue in the 6th

Beckett’s strong start

Best of luck to Marlins pitching sensation Jose Fernandez , who underwent successful Tommy John surgery. Here’s to a full recovery and a long career ahead of you .

Dre’s Bytes….Celebrating a Birthday, OK, a Belated Birthday, at The Old Ballgame

IT’S BACK !!! Dre’s ballgame bytes !!! Doin’ it again this season and tonight, we got El Viejo Brandoreno here…

Tuesday Night at The Ravine, 5/13/2014 from Good_Drei on Vimeo.

And later on that evening, with the Dodgers comfortably up in the 8th, as we mess around somewhere inside of Dodger Stadiums hallowed halls…

Somewhere Inside The Ravine from Good_Drei on Vimeo.

I hope you enjoyed your night out at the park celebrating your belated birthday against the Marlins….Marlon !!!

More of Dre’s bytes to come…TO BE CONTINUED. Happy Friday everyone !!! LET’S GO DODGERS !!! GO KINGS GO !!!!

Dre’s Tuesday Thoughts for 8/13/2013….

image

Never to old for some cotton candy at the ballpark are we ?  Dodger fan and frequent Venice beach performer Marlon Brandorena showing everyone how the ballpark, and even the presence of cotton candy, can bring the kid out of everyone…..

OK, my number of views has taken a slight bump in numbers the last 48 hours due in part to some of you doing a search on Nick Punto’s current walk up song, Miley Cyrus ,  We Can’t Stop.  It also helps that I put up a clip back in May when The Shredder had Linkin Park’s Burn It Down as his at bat tune.  Yeah, from Linkin Park to Miley Cyrus….  But hey, Punto has been on a roll since going with this Miley Cyrus tune, even smashing a solo shot to the Mets bullpen last night ao hey, whatever works right ?…….

And finally, since the all-star break the Dodgers are an astounding 21-3 , including a 10-3 mark against the Reds, Yankees, Cardinals and Rays !!!  Hyun-Jin Ryu toes the rubber for the Blue tonight as they try to make it 7 in a row.  It sure has been a lot of fun lately hasn’t it ?

Dre’s Friday Thoughts 7/19/2013

Tonight begins the 2nd half of the season, with newly the newly acquired Ricky Nolasco to get the nod tonight against the Nationals Stephen Strasburg.  In spite of a rough 1st half that did end on a high note, many are expecting the Dodgers to continue on their hot streak in the 2nd half and perhaps still run away with the NL West.  I don’t see why they shouldn’t, win the NL West if not run away with it.  So long as the core of the team can remain healthy in the 2nd half we should be ok……  Heck, Richard Justice has even gone to great lenghts to predict a Dodgers-Rays World Series….

http://justice4u.mlblogs.com/2013/07/18/dodgers-rays-world-series-book-it/

Food For Thought

This past week the good folks over at the MLBlogs home page ( http://mlb.com/blogs/ ) asked the fans to share their ballpark dining experiences and post their pictures, so I was more than happy to submit a couple of specialty Dodger Dogs that we’re featured, one of them a St. Louis Dog ( Cardinals ) and one a Philly Cheesteak Dog ( Phillies ) . Going back to last season the Dodgers have served their specialty dogs at the Loaded Dog stand themed to certain opponents for that series. While they have not done this for every team, here’s hoping that eventually they will feature other “dogs” as well, like let’s say, a Cincinatti Dog when the Reds are in town, topped with Cincinattie Style Chili, or a Georgia Dog with the Braves, topped with sauteed onions and cole slaw…

http://dodgerdrei.mlblogs.com/2013/07/10/dres-random-thoughts-for-7102013/

Speaking of good eats, I’ve decided to feature some places outside the yard from throughout Cali that i’ve had the chance to dine at either before or after a game. Ready for a little food porn ? Ok, here goes….

Oh yeah, I have to satisfy my sweet tooth as well….

One More of Dre’s Ballpark Sounds From the 1st Half

OK now, fot those of you who have been paying attention, I’ve posted a few personal media clips here during the 1st half of the season and i’ve had a great time doing them. Here is one of my favorite clips from the 1st half from Sunday May 26th. It was the home 8th, Dodgers down 4-3, and they are still struggling 2 months into the season. Matt Kemp is called upon to pinch hit, but the end result was not a happy one, much to the dismay of the Dodger Faithful. Oh yeah, during the call, I lost track of how many outs, the audio was bad to say the least, and to highlight everyone’s frustration, JDoza and I have a somewhat war of words….

Rally Time From the Top Deck…5/26/2013 from Good_Drei on Vimeo.

I can only imagine stuff like this happens in a broadcast booth in between innings as well. Oh yeah, in case you’re wondering why I mentioned the Mendoza Line, yes, it was a reference to Mario Mendoza who i’m sure many of you baseball fans know about. My buddy there also happens to be a Mendoza as well and I remember kidding him a while back that he was supposed to raise the bar on the Mendoza line. Well, any J, you did say that the Blue would snap out of it after the All-Star break. Well, it’s after the All-Star break, and it seems that The Blue has snapped out of it earlier than that. As for any more “jinxes” , we’ll keep that between us… For now…LOL. Oh yeah, a some other thoughts…. Even though Matt Kemp has struggled, the Blue is still going to need him to step up come the 2nd half, especially if teams start to pitch around HanRam and adjust to Puig. Dre here thinks we see not only the Bison of 2011 come the 2nd half, but that both The Bison and Ethier, whom many of you wanted traded just a few weeks ago, will still have a huge impact as to how far the Dodgers go into October. One last thought, I said it just recently, I’ll say it again. 91 wins for a NL West title. So, that would mean the Blue would have to go 44-24 the rest of the way. Hey, the finished the first half on a roll. If healthy and The Bison returns to form, and the pitching continues to deliver, we just may be seeing some Dodger baseball deep into October….OK, enough from me. It’s almost gametime !!! 2nd half and the Road to October starts now ….. GO DODGERS !!!!