It’s been a strange Division I baseball season thus far. Like the NCAA Tournament, there doesn’t seem to be a dominating team.
Douglas is off to a nice 9-1 start as of Saturday, but the Tigers have the meaty part of their schedule coming up after the Easter Break. Douglas is the only unbeaten team thus far, and while I doubt that anybody could go 22-0 in league play, the Tigers are looking real strong to finish in the upper echelon (top four) in the standings.
The biggest shock might be that Bishop Manogue is 3-5 after losing to Damonte Ranch earlier this week. I expected the Miners to be where Douglas is right now. Manogue has played Damonte and Galena thus far, two of the better teams in the league.
Carson will go as far as the pitching can take it. The Senators, through nine games, are hitting over .300. However, they have given up 57 runs, including 18 to Damonte Ranch and 17 to Galena this past Tuesday. Simply put, that won’t cut it in the long haul. I don’t think Carson will have any problems making the playoffs, but if they want to be one of the elite teams by the end of the season, the pitching must get more consistent.
I’ve heard a few grumbles about the schedule. With each team playing every other team twice, you need a sweep to win the series. Most people I’ve talked with prefer a three-game series. I admit that I liked the three-game series, but hated the Saturday doubleheaders. Those were long days for players, coaches, fans, umpires and media. I’d love to see the three-game weeks come back. You could play Monday, Wednesday and Friday or Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Saturday would be a make-up day.
What I can’t stand is the playoff system. Eight teams out of 12 making the playoffs. Ridiculous. I predict you will see the seventh and eighth-place teams with sub-.500 records. I hate it when Little League and AYSO mentality makes its way into high school sports. There is no room for it.
Manti Te’o ran a 4.71 at Notre Dame’s Pro Day earlier this week, a nice improvement from the 4.82 he ran at the NFL Combine earlier this spring.
Will that be enough to get drafted in the first round? Time will only tell.
I think the 40 time is overrated. Many players don’t fare well in the 40 and do fine in the NFL. Te’o will play faster than that 4.71. He has good instincts and a good head for the game. I hope he goes to a team where he doesn’t have to be a standout right away and can get acclimated to the game. He’d be a great fit with the 49ers where he could learn from Navarro Bowman and Patrick Willis.
And while we’re on the subject of the 49ers, what is coach Jim Harbaugh thinking by bringing in Pat White, former West Virginia quarterback, to compete or push Colin Kaepernick this summer? Is Harbaugh kidding? If White were that good, he’d still be in the league, I realize White is athletic and mobile, but his throwing is suspect. I don’t see him being a viable option throwing the ball. Heck, I’d rather see Kevin Kolb under center than Pat White. Maybe the Niners couldn’t run the read option with Kolb, but they could still win.
The baseball season is upon us, and I’m eagerly looking forward to it. With that in mind, here are my picks for the upcoming season.
In the NL West I like the Giants of course. My only concern is whether Sergio Romo can be an effective closer for an entire season. The Dodgers may have the big names, but we’ll see how their chemistry is this year.
In the NL East, it’s hard to pick against the Washington Nationals. The Nats will have Steven Strasburg for an entire season, and their entire starting rotation is capable of winning 15 games apiece. In the NL Central, I like the Reds because I’m a big Dusty Baker fan, In the AL East, I’m picking Toronto. The Blue Jays made some big moves in the off-season, and besides I hate the Yankees and Red Sox. In the AL West, I think the Angels, thanks to the addition of Josh Hamilton, will have a big year. In the AL Central, I like the Tigers, especially if they can find a closer.
I see the Nationals and Giants in the NLCS, while the Angels and Tigers will be in the ALCS. The World Series? The Giants and Angels.