I would love to put together a professional-looking total baseball package that would sell to fans and curious people alike. In it I would try to offer the following:
Bringin’ Gas and Dialin’ 9: The 5-tool total package
· A Hardcover Book – estimated 750-900 pages w/additional Appendices of Players and Teams records
· CD: PDF of Book with online links
· CD: Image Gallery of 100s of MLB players, Stadiums, Teams, Managers, Executives and Umpires
· CD: Database of Statistics with executable queries to find those statistics, comparisons and Player backgrounds
· CD: Graphs/Charts of the Financials, Stadium Layouts and Other useful stats
· DVD/CD: Audios of famous plays, players and radio broadcasts in history with footage from World Series and epic moments in Baseball history
Estimated Retail Cost: $110-150 with the following hang ups:
1. Book: $45 – $55 (did/doing)
2. Images: $15 (need permission)
3. Database: $25 (have backend– front end needed, permissions)
4. Charts: $5 (can do)
5. Audio: $10 (missing)
6. DVD: $20 – $30 (missing)
I think it would be a cool thing to have a baseball reference library package in one complete outfit. Of course, it will never happen. (I can collect the stuff, but sell it, never.)
I started working on a Fantasy/Roto League PDF file, but got bogged down with other things. Maybe next season.
Some off-the-cuff predictions/analysis:
The Chicago Cubs can win the NL Central if their pitching holds up. (Kerry Wood closing, I have to see that pan out…I am not holding my breath given his extensive injury history since 2003.) Milwaukee has youth and now, some experience in pressure filled games in the late season. I can see them winning the NL Central by 7 games as much as I can see the Cubs win by 3 games. Milwaukee has to pitch too – but they have their young up-and-comer starting ace Yovani Gallardo to nurse back to health if they are going to win anything.
Boston has some issues (Shilling done for the year, likely, and Beckett on the DL), but still will be there in the AL. With youngsters like Clay Buchholz, Jon Lester and Manny Delcarmen pitching, and Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury up and coming hitters, Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz don’t have to be the only boppers to worry about. They can ride out; the Yankees haven’t shown me they have improved that much on paper. A-Rod is their only regular season weapon.
Detroit has the powerhouse lineup (though Curtis Granderson is down for a while) but still has to pitch better than last year in the bullpen. Cleveland has plenty of talent on both sides (offense in Grady Sizemore, Victor Martinez and Travis Hafner & pitching C.C. Sabathia (left) and Fausto Carmona) and can win that division with any falter or hiccup by Detroit.
You got to figure Arizona and Colorado can’t win again like last year. Arizona was outscored; so they will have to win with their pitching – maybe. They got it with Dan Haren and Brandon Webb, both 220+ inning eaters with 15-20 win potential. Colorado has the bats and some nice pieces, but I don’t expect a run away by either. Los Angeles and San Diego can compete. San Francisco – your heart is gone.
Mets, Phillies and Braves. Mets have young talent with Reyes, Wright and now, Santana; and money is never much of problem, but old (and hurt) Moises Alou and Carlos Delgado are no longer premier options at power positions, 1B and LF. As a result, Endy Chavez, Angel Pagan and Ryan Church will get to play musical chairs in left & right field. I still figure this is a 90-win team, or Willie Randolph will hear, “you’re fired,” by a Donald Trump impersonator.
The Phillies have a similar dynamic trio in 1B Ryan Howard, 2B Chase Utley and 2007 NL MVP SS Jimmy Rollins. The problem begins once the Phillies get past ace-like Cole Hamels and starter-to-closer-back to starter Brett Myers in their starting rotation: the 3 guys left are either old, raw or beat up like a pick up truck. (Moyer, Kendrick and Eaton.)
But the Phillies will compete for this division.
Atlanta has to turn to two 20-year vets for competitive pitching in Glavine and Smoltz. I think the well is run dry. Hot-lanta can still get some miles out of Chipper and Texiera, but I don’t think they will win anything.
Boston, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Angels (not mentioned),Cleveland, Detroit, Philadephia, New York and Arizona make the playoffs.