For those that are new to the scene I have been prognosticating the outcome of the season for quite some time with pretty good success. Not here of course but in other worlds. So how do I see the playoffs shaping up from the start of the season?
Sioux Falls Fighting Pheasants - The Hens won the division last year but fell badly in the first round of the playoffs. Bruce takes over a good team, for those that don't know him, he likes to take the occasional spirited Adult Swim and then tell us all about it. The team is relatively sound and could easily repeat with the division crown, the biggest sore spot could be the DH spot.
Fargo Moorhead Redhawks - First impressions are always the hardest and that look didn't seem all that bad. When I started looking to detail however I saw so much trouble that they should be fighting to stay out of the cellar much of the season. VB is a crafty one though so I don't take much stock in this team until about game 30 to see where they are headed.
Salt Lake City Bees - I really like the looks of the Bees and might change their name to the Killer Bees before the season is over. The starting roster performed well in preseason but will it morph into the regular season is the question.
Syracuse Chiefs - Not much can be said of the Chiefs at the moment as they are personnel deficient. A good nucleus of young talent though maybe a little inept in defense for the most part.
1. Salt Lake - I like where they are headed.
2. Sioux Falls - I just like Salt Lake better.
3. Syracuse - Even short handed they are better.
4. Fargo - Rule 5 intensity doesn't get my vote of confidence though I get it.
Pawtucket Red Sox - A needed great International signing has the fans buzzing. Pitching and defense goes a long way in this game. The bad part is the fact the offense must produce runs and the Sox might be just a bit short in that area.
Rochester Red Wings - They missed the playoffs last season by that much and maybe bad luck. On paper they are as good as the WS contenders they were in season 21. How is the new addition to the family?
New Britain Rock Cats - They won the division crown last year. A very solid team overall as it will be another fight between the two heavy weights.
Durham Bulls - Hoping the move south warms up this team. Offensively and defensively this team is just as sound as the other three. Pitching is another story and will probably lead to their downfall.
1. Rochester - Just because I think they are better.
2. New Britain - Wild Card is probable if they can't take the crown.
3. Durham - Just not ready for the bright lights.
4. Pawtucket - Building for the future.
El Paso Diablos - Exciting things are happening in El Paso as a new team (old Tucson Padres) will move in next year and be a AAA affiliate of the San Diego Padres. Complete with a brand spankin new stadium, more news on that later. El Paso didn't impress anyone with their off season moves and are actually fielding a team that is slightly improved from last year so don't expect much.
Jacksonville Suns - A team fighting for respect in the division as they only fell 4 games short of the playoffs last season. Good hitting and decent pitching with a good mix of vets and youngsters make a surprising composition.
Richmond Braves - Made the playoffs last year as a Wild Card. This year they are fundamentally sound in all capacities.
Montgomery Biscuits - Won the division last year but can they repeat this year is the big question. They seem to be in a bit of quandary as they seem a bit short in the pitching department.
1. Richmond - I think they are the better team.
2. Montgomery - They won't give up easily.
3. Jacksonville - Three way races are hard to predict but I still don't think they are as good as the other two.
4. El Paso - Ho Hum, rebuild some more as I am not even close.
Oklahoma City Indians - New owner willing to learn. A team that wasn't very good last year and doesn't look at all good this year either. But and that is a big but, there is help on the horizon.
Salem Keiser Volcanoes - Won the crown last year with the best record in the AL but lost the WS. A move to Salem, will it help or hurt? I don't think it matters as they are the team to beat.
Boise Hawks - They are in a tough position as they are improved, young but still lack a couple key ingredients.
Omaha Storm Chasers - A Wild Card team last year. Can they pass Salem for the crown this year?
1. Salem - Just too strong not to be here.
2. Omaha - Another Wild Card probably.
3. Boise - Need more.
4. Oklahoma- Rebuilding is learning how.
After the final out guess:
1. Salem Keiser Volcanoes
2. Rochester Red Wings
3. Richmond Braves
4. Salt Lake City Bees
5. Omaha Storm Chasers
6. New Britain Rock Cats
Iowa City Ions - Things look bleak at the moment in Iowa City and have little comment.
Scranton Yankees - Was a Wild Card last year and they have the potential to be there again this season if they can't take the crown away from Buffalo.
Buffalo Bisons - Even with a short bench getting ready to start the season they look primed to win the crown again. Starting pitching might need walkers before the seasons ends.
Toledo Mud Hens - Pitching is a premium and they look loaded to bear but the offense might need some help to get things rolling.
1. Scranton Yankees - I think they can.
2. Buffalo Bisons - DL could be a nightmare.
3. Toledo Mud Hens - Up and coming.
4. Iowa City Ions - Lets rebuild.
Louisville Bats - The Bats ran away with the division last year will they do it again or will one of the mates take exception of what went down. They look strong and talented but can the pen hold the leads is the question.
Charleston RiverDogs - Don't look for the 'Dogs to hold sway as the defense looks a bit shaky and pitching could be a let down.
Norfolk Tides - The Tides are ebbing or is that flooding can never remember? For the most part they can give the Bats a run for the title. Just not sure since the are growing spuds at 2B.
Columbus Clippers - Don't tell WIS this but Cooper stadium is a parking lot and Huntington Park is a beauty. The pitching staff looks great but will there be enough offense to compete with the Bats is the question.
1. Louisville Bats - Lets play Home Run Derby.
2. Norfolk Tides - We gonna give it one for the Gipper.
3. Columbus Clippers - Next year we fix the offense.
4. Charleston RiverDogs - Defense? Whats that?
New Orleans Zephyrs - They took their sweet time winning the division last year. After looking things over they should walk away with it this year.
Jackson Generals - The Generals say they know how to out flank that dirty delta bunch. It could very well be true but we are gonna wait a while before they meet to find out for sure.
Atlanta Crackers - There is just something about playing in Atlanta that brings out the best in players. Just not sure this bunch has what it takes however.
Memphis Redbirds - The 'Birds just aren't going to sit around and tweet all day either. It does look to be a fight for second place though.
1. New Orleans Zephyrs - How to Cajun crawfish in one easy tasty lesson.
2. Jackson Generals - Well, go on down to Jackson; go ahead and wreck your health.
3. Memphis Redbirds - Elvis comes to watch us play.
4. Atlanta Crackers - No one knows where the name comes from but my guess is Animal Crackers.
Las Vegas Wranglers - We are better than out record last year and we are going to prove it.
Albuquerque Isotopes - Okay, we have the pitching now we just gotta figure out how to generate one more run than the other team.
Seattle cavaliers - Rebuild 101 for beginners.
Vancouver Canadians - The best team in baseball last year but got thumped by Buffalo in the end. This year we are taking names and kicking ass till the end.
1. Vancouver Canadians - Just try and beat us.
2. Albuquerque Isotopes - I do like their pitching.
3. Las Vegas Wranglers - We are gonna do out best.
4. Seattle cavaliers - Please Mr Custer I don't wanna go.
Now for the big guess.
1. Vancouver Canadians
2. Louisville Bats
3. Scranton Yankees
4. New Orleans Zephyrs
5. Jackson Generals
6. Buffalo Bisons