The overarching thing of the Winter seemed to be "who are the next Rays?"
I remained fairly non-committal on the subject. I don't think there will be another 08 Rays for a long time. But that doesn't mean there can't be surprises. And there definitely have been so far.
The Blue Jays are out-slugging everyone. The Tigers are playing defense for a change. The Padres look like an actual Major League Baseball team. And the Marlins look like a juggernaut.
But there is only one team who I define as "real." Ladies and Gentlemen, your 2009 Royals are the real deal.
It isn't just luck, grit and Zack Greinke. It is talent. The Royals have it in spades. The line-up is balanced, strong and deep. The rotation looks sharp, everyone knows their place on the field and the bullpen...well, the bullpen has Joakim Soria.
It has gotten so bad that I am starting to see George Brett charging at me in my dreams. AL Central, look out: Kansas City is legit. This doesn't mean that they are GOING to win the Division. But they definitely, definitely could.
Player of the Week
Jason Bay OF - Boston Red Sox. Jason Bay reached base 60% of the time this week. 60%. Of. the. Time. All together now: Holy crap. I am feeling pretty good about my Red Sox on top of the world prediction right now and Jason Bay is a big reason why.
The only question now is what the middle of the Red Sox line-up will look like a week or two from now. If Terry Francona bases everything purely on performance, Red Sox Nation will be looking at a Youkilis, Bay, Drew, Ortiz 3-4-5-6. The only problem is the pairing of righties and lefties. But with the state of left-handed relief in that division, they may not even worry about it.
So mark my words: the Red Sox are winning this division and Jason Bay is going to be a big reason why.
Zack Greinke, just continues to blow my mind. And he is tailor-made to become America's sweetheart. Debilitating medical disorder? Check. Boyish good looks? Check. Laser/Rocket Arm? Check. I just worry about all the exposure with him. I am not sure the cover of Sports Illustrated with the text "The Best Pitcher in Baseball" is good for someone who has a history of reacting poorly to pressure.
Elsewhere in the Midwest, Yovani Gallardo is just mowing bitches down. And I am the benefactor of it (picked him in Fantasy!) It is remarkable what talent + a whole year off will do for you. If the Brewers stay in contention, we could be talking Cy Young here.
Fantasy Minute with BBB
My experiment after four weeks of the season is a solid 10 out of 10. I am 3 and 0 in my league, having just beaten the only other undefeated team. I am loving Fantasy Baseball. Usually in Football, I would be so far behind after four weeks that the trades would begin. But honest to God I haven't even begin to start pondering roster moves. It has been such a relief to leave my line-up alone and just check in every day and watch the carnage that my team is wreaking. My MVP of the week is Jorge Cantu. Only 20 more weeks for an undefeated season!
Linking it Up
- Smell that in the air? That's the draft, baby, the D-R-A-F-T.
- I really can't get enough of this.
Odds and Ends
- I am one of twelve people on the planet who thinks Joba Chamberlin should remain a starter.
- Don't look now but my boy Pujols is as good as ever.
- Alfonso Soriano won't crack 30-homers this year. This start is the definition of aberration.
- Travis Hafner quietly ended up on the DL. Fmylife.
- Props go out to Joe Saunders, Jered Weaver and Shane Loux for keeping the Angels playoff hopes alive.