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MLB 2010 Preview: Lively Ball Era

March 20, 2010

For our 2010 MLB preview, we're lumping teams into the eras we feel they most resemble. This will cause our rankings to look more like Power Rankings than Divisional rankings, but, like most things at LCB, I wouldn't take any of it too literally. Enjoy, comment, critique, lambast.



Throughout history, battles have shaped our world. Often in these battles one side has an obvious advantage. There were the jungles of Vietnam, the technology of Oak Ridge, and the home-cooking of New England; all of which aided one side in out-lasting their opponent. After these conflicts are over, leaders learn from the mistakes of their predecessors and create new paths for success, so it's fitting that a man named for the mountain where his father followed Sherman into battle was the man in position to level the discrepencies between pitcher and batter at the end of the Dead Ball Era.

Before Kenesaw Mountain Landis' ascendancy to commissioner of MLB, pitchers had the advantage of using trick pitches and damaged baseballs, thwarting the game's offenses at getting the big hits and jaw-dropping homeruns.

After removing the soot and grime that turned the White Sox black, Landis removed damaged balls from the field of play and disallowed players from throwing spit, emory, and shine balls.  The intent of these slight changes was to create an equilibrium between pitcher and hitter, but, instead, these subtle alterations created a tipping point in favor of the hitter. The game got a shot of offense at the pitcher's expense. Batting averages and ERA's ascended, home run records were shattered, and teams rounded the bases as if doing laps. Pitchers lost their luster, becoming after-thoughts, and their mounds, like fallen dominoes, resembled tombs for burial.

Colorado Rockies
Key Additions: Melvin Mora (3B) Miguel Olivo (C)
Key Losses: Yorvit Torrealba (C)  Jason Marquis (SP) Garret Atkins (3B)
Storyline to follow: The Rocks are looking to get back to the playoffs and seem to have an edge over the rest of the NL West. But, Jim Tracy? Really?

Milwaukee Brewers
Key Additions: Randy Wolf (SP) Latroy Hawkins (RP) Carlos Gomez (OF)
Key Losses: J.J. Hardy (SS) Mike Cameron (OF) Jason Kendall (C)
Storyline to follow: I don't want to sound unappreciative of the work Randy Wolf did for the Dodgers last year. But seriously, 30 million over 3 years for a  32 year-old? And adding to that, out of his 10 seasons in the bigs, he has had only four where he won more than he lost. One was last year; the other three happened before 2003.

Minnesota Twins
Key Additions: Orlando Hudson (2B) J.J. Hardy (SS)
Key Losses: Carlos Gomez (CF) Orlando Cabrera (SS)
Storyline to follow: Wow, Target Field looks pretty nice. I especially like that it doesn't have a Teflon roof, field turf, or a baggy. This should be a great place to watch a game. I mean, it's not like it ever snows there in April or October.

New York Mets
Key Additions: Jason Bay (OF) Ryota Igarashi (RP)
Key Losses: Carlos Delgado (1B) Gary Sheffield (OF) Brian Schneider (C)
Storyline to follow: Citi Field is a ballpark fit for teams built on speed and pitching. In other words, it's enormous, so it's understandable to see the team sign a power hitter, when the rotation consists of Johan and four other guys.

Toronto Blue Jays
Key Additions: Shawn Marcum (P) Brandon Morrow (P) Kevin Gregg (RP)
Key Losses:  Roy Halladay (SP) Marco Scutaro (SS)
Storyline to follow: The Jays traded their most impressive player for a chance at a brighter future, that future isn't here yet.


Photo Source: 1

3 comments:

Teach said...

Is there a Target store at Target Field? Imagine how expensive that could make a trip to the ballpark. Basing this solely on stereotypes, you would have husbands wasting money on $8 beers in souvenir cups and their wives wasting money on $8 sandals. I could see it being quite the dilemma: "You buy another beer then I'll buy another pair of flats." Sounds like an episode for the Marriage Ref.

March 21, 2010 at 6:20 PM
Deckfight said...

every yr LaTroy Hawkins seems to be a key signing. not sure what he does or if he adds anything.

March 22, 2010 at 1:59 PM
Langston said...

I think it says more about the league than it does about Hawkins, that being the league is short on consistent relievers.

March 22, 2010 at 3:43 PM

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