LADY AT THE BAT: Pavano Ready (Or Not) For Opening Day

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Pavano Ready (Or Not) For Opening Day

Yesterday was Carl Pavano's last spring training start before Opening Day. He scattered 6 hits over 6 innings, allowed 2 runs, 1 walk and had no strike outs. He also induced 4 double plays and recorded 14 ground ball outs. A solid outing, indeed. Though a decision has yet to be made, it looks more and more like Pavano will be the Opening Day starter for the Yankees next week.

Will Pavano and the rest of the Yankees' now rag-tag rotation hold together long enough to keep them in the AL East race? No. That's according to some very high-profile baseball writers. Today, on ESPN's "Mike & Mike in The Morning," Buster Olney and Jayson Stark made their picks this morning for the division winners and wild cards in Major League Baseball. In the AL they both agreed on the following

East: Red Sox
Central: Tigers
West: Angels
Wild Card: Indians

As for the NL, here's how Olney thinks things will hash out:

East: Phillies
Central: Cardinals
West: Diamondbacks
Wild Card: Mets

Stark flip-flopped Olney's NL East and Wild Card picks; he has the Mets winning the division and the Phillies getting the wild card.

Their reasoning? Olney believes the Yankees' current policy of holding on to young arms will hurt them this season. If they find themselves falling out of the race, they won't trade away top prospects like Phil Hughes for a Dontrelle Willis or a Carlos Zambrano. In any case, he believes Zambrano will be off the market before Opening Day; he predicts the Cubs will sign him by the end of the week. As for Stark, he believes the Yankees don't have the top-flight number one starters the Red Sox have. He also said he believes that any team in the AL Central (except the Royals, of course) could replace the division winners or wild card he picked. The only other team in the AL that could replace a division winner or wild card he picked would be the Blue Jays, Stark said.

So, if Olney and Stark are right, this will be the first time in 13 years that the Yankees do not make the playoffs. I don't agree with them. I do hope Olney is right about the Yankees holding onto their young talent. However, that doesn't translate into them not making the playoffs. As for Stark, he's off his rocker. Does he think Chien-Ming Wang will be out for the year? Does he think Mike Mussina's career is over? Does he think Andy Pettitte's back is broken? Please.

Am I upset about this? No. Let them make their picks. Let everyone make their picks. Then, let's get this season started! Woo-hoooooooooo!

The Lady

1 comment:

bLiNdLuCk said...

I can pretty much guarantee you three things for the Yankees this year.

Abreu will be a flop, Matsui will injure himself running into Abreu and be out for 2/3rds of the year and Andy Pettite will injure his pitching arm patting himself on the back after winning his first two outings.

Why? Because I have all three of them on my fantasy baseball keeper league team and that's just the way things happen with my team.