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Royals Nightly
Sunday, November 07, 2004
 
Thinking About The Central
Its never too early to start thinking about next season's AL Central... and in fact, on any given day this offseason, I'm sure 90-95% of all baseball fans will be pondering the 2005 season in baseball's most scintillating division! (Margin of error 90-95%)

Minnesota (92-70, 46-30 in division): A franchise that thoroughly believes its own press clippings (small ball, silly non-unique nicknames, obsession with defense, stupid contracts followed by bitching and lying about market etc etc), I just can't see the Twins winning more games next season. Their probably still the class of the division, but it is time for the Twins to take some creative risks and see if they can actually win something worth talking about with this team. Because I'm sorry, but no one is impressed with the current 3-year run.

Chicago White Sox (83-79, 40-36): A completely lost franchise, these White Sox. They're still right there in terms of challenging the Twins, (the injuries to Thomas and Maggs absolutely killed their season) but seem content to instead find new and interesting ways to squander any hopeful inklings. Naturally, the Sox have all but signed Omar Vizquel, a cranky, expensive, virtualy asset-less player at this point in his career. Naturally, he'll probably play 140 games and drop down approximately 40 sac bunts.

Cleveland (80-82, 36-40): Are they on the way up, or have they maxed-out? I think they need to get alot better next season if they want to win 85 games... I smell a Royals 2003-4 stretch version 2.0 here.

Detroit (72-90, 36-40): Improving on 2003 was easy, but how can this team reach 75 wins? Well, if Minnesota, Cleveland and Chicago all get worse, then where do those extra wins go? You guessed it, straight to Comerica Park. Plus, they've picked up Byron Gettis off waivers, so thats worth at least one game right there.

Kansas City (58-104, 32-44): The fact that the 2004 Royals could go 32-44 in division should tell you something about the overall strength of baseball's Norris Division. In fact, if the team hadn't completely fallen apart against the Indians and Sox to end the season, they might have gone .500 in the division. If you think I was being a tad harsh on the Twins above, consider their own division record as well as the Royals. And yes, I know they had injuries, they also got career years from three pitchers (Radke, Santana, Nathan) and a never to be duplicated again 569 ABs from Lew Ford... But about those Royals... yea, its still gonna be ugly.


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