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Who do you think will win the World Series?
 Rangers   Yankees   Dodgers
 Devil Rays   Red Sox   Phillies
 Cubs  Angels  Giants
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by Jason Vernon
2006-04-01

Will Yankees Fall This Year?
I say yes. And it could be a sharp one. That 97.5, 98 or 98.5 over/under line you've been seeing on Yankee 2006 total season wins looks like a steal to me. Part of the reason the line is so high is that there are a lot of Yankee fans and they're going to look at things through rose-colored glasses and pick the over. That's why the rest of us have this opportunity to exploit the line for our benefit. On the whole, the Yankees are an old team and old teams usually suffer more injuries throughout a season. In your sleep you can probably pick two members off their shaky pitching staff and two members from their strong offense that are going to fall to the ravages of age. The offense will probably be OK, but the continued decline of Mike Mussina and the uninspiring Chacon, Wright and Pavano moving in and out of the starting rotation does not inspire confidence. In the bullpen for the first time Joe Torre will not have a go-to setup guy to lead to Rivera. I think a sub-90 win season is a strong possibility.

Pirate Stupidity
Allow me to be harsh for this segment of my notes column. Not all organizations in any sport can be very good or even competent. This has been proven by the Pittsburg Pirates year after year for the better part of a decade. This off-season they picked up two players, Jeromy Burnitz via free agency and Sean Casey through a trade. Both of these guys play Craig Wilson's positions and will relegate him to the bench. Wilson has more than proven himself over the course of a five season big league career where he has produced both with his batting eye (lifetime OBP of .363) and slugging abilities (lifetime slugging of .488). He'll only be twenty-nine this season and figures to be in the prime of his career. So the Pirates are going to start the soon to be 37 year old Burnitz in right field after a year in which his batting, on-base and slugging percentages dropped precipitously instead of Wilson? And Casey, their new first baseman, cranked out all of nine home runs last year? The Pirates are always complaining about having no money so they pass over the perfect cheap in-house solution in Craig Wilson and pick two guys on the downside of their career. I have no pity for the Pirates this year. Ridiculous.

Tampa's Baldelli
Don't expect a big return from Rocco Baldelli at least at the beginning of the year. After being on the shelf for all of 2005 he experienced a serious loss of developmental time for a young player. Added to that is the fact that it is appearing more and more that Baldelli may be one of those fragile player types. Besides the devastating ACL tear he had over a year ago he played through numerous minor ailments his first couple of years and this spring is experiencing hamstring soreness. Baldelli's first two seasons were not that impressive offensively as he has produced a .285/.326/.425 line during that time. Baldelli backers fall back on the fact that he does produce in the field but even that will be suspect due to the ACL injury. We'll see how he responds. This will be Baldelli's age 24 season and it should go a long way in showing what type a player he'll be over the next five years or so. Keep an eye out for Joey Gathright playing full time again by the summer if Baldelli falters.

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Jason Vernon - Baseball Notes - 1 April 2006

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Updated: 10/27/12

NEW: Pitcher Home/Road Disparities

Bold indicates team falls into that angle today.

Overall
Orioles 93-69 +41.76
Athletics 94-68 +40.30
Nationals 98-64 +27.78
Giants 94-68 +23.57
Reds 97-65 +20.87
Full Table >>
Home
Athletics 50-31 +20.95
Orioles 47-34 +14.14
Nationals 50-31 +12.19
Reds 50-31 +8.39
Giants 48-33 +8.34
Full Table >>
Road
Orioles 46-35 +27.62
Athletics 44-37 +19.35
Braves 46-35 +16.83
Nationals 48-33 +15.59
Giants 46-35 +15.23
Full Table >>
vs Righty
Athletics 64-39 +34.98
Orioles 67-52 +28.93
Braves 65-38 +25.38
Nationals 70-45 +21.99
Reds 65-49 +6.64
Full Table >>
vs Lefty
Giants 41-20 +24.22
Reds 32-16 +14.23
Orioles 26-17 +12.83
Cardinals 31-17 +9.96
Nationals 28-19 +5.79
Full Table >>

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