Reporting Bob Haynie
The Major League Baseball season starts on Sunday and I’m a happy guy. I haven’t been this excited about the beginning of a season since 1997.
The reason for my excitement, of course, is that fact that the Baltimore Orioles are coming off their first playoff appearance since that ’97 wire-to-wire year.
While the Orioles did not make a huge splash in the offseason to upgrade the team, the core group of a club that won 93 games does return.
Let’s not forget that manager Buck Showalter still resides in the dugout with all of his brilliance.
I’m also pumped because it’s time to make my 2013 MLB predictions.
We’ll start with the AL today and then hit the NL on Monday.
Are you ready? Sure you are.
1) Orioles: I used to pick them to win 90 games when they stunk. They no longer stink.
2) Rays: Strong pitching, improving offense. Have been proven winners since 2008.
3) Blue Jays: Offseason winners of the division. Time to do it on the field.
4) Red Sox: Will be better than last year. That ain’t saying much.
5) Yankees: Age and injuries. Sorry Zinno.
1) Tigers: Defending AL champs are too talented for the rest of this division.
2) Royals: They’re due for a winning season. Could have a strong rotation.
3) White Sox: Faded late in 2012. Could surprise.
4) Indians: Scott Kazmir made their rotation. Is that a good thing?
5) Twins: Big time pitching woes facing manager Ron Gardenhire.
1) Angels: Too strong not to win. Didn’t we say that last year? This year, they’ll get it done.
2) Rangers: Even without Josh Hamilton, they still have plenty of pop. Do they have enough pitching?
3) A’s: Like the Orioles, they shocked the world in 2012. Unlike the Orioles, they will dip in ’13.
4) Mariners: The sleeper team of the AL? Maybe. Could finish ahead of the A’s.
5) Astros: They will play like a team with a $25 million payroll.
Wild Cards: Rays, Rangers
AL Champ: Angels