World Baseball Classic Predictions

Now that the World Baseball Classic is officially under way I thought I would give you my predictions for this years tournament.


wbc09.jpgROUND 1

POOL A:  (Japan, Korea, China, Chinese Taipei).  Teams advancing to Round 2 are Japan, and Korea.

POOL B:  (Cuba, Australia, South Africa, Mexico).  Teams advancing to Round 2 are Cuba, and Mexico.

POOL C:  (USA, Canada, Venezuela, Italy).  Teams advancing to Round 2 are USA, and Canada.

POOL D:  (Dominican Republic, Netherlands, Puerto Rico, Panama).  Teams advancing are Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico.

ROUND 2

POOL 1:  (Japan, Cuba, Korea, Mexico).  Teams advancing to Semi-Finals are Japan, and Cuba.

POOL 2:  (USA, Canada, Dominican Rebublic, Puerto Rico).  Teams advancing to Semi-Finals are USA and Dominican Republic.

SEMI-FINALS

GAME 1:  Japan vs Dominican Republic.  Japan will advance to the Finals.

Game 2:  USA vs Cuba.  USA will advance to the finals.

CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS

USA vs Japan.  JAPAN will defend their title to become the 2009 World Baseball Classic Champion. 
 

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Let the debating begin!!

Blue Jays vs. Team Canada, who to cheer for??

canada.JPG  vs  Thumbnail image for BlueJaysLogo-Big.gif

Let the games begin!  Ok, it’s only a meaningless exhibition game, but I’m really looking forward to today’s game between the Toronto Blue Jays and Team Canada.  Jays rotation hopeful Scott Richmond will most likely get the start today…against the Jays!  How’s that for pressure.  I’m sure the regulars will only get a couple of innings work, but this is just the kind of warm up needed to build the excitement for this tournament.  Now the big question…WHO DO I CHEER FOR??  hahaha.

GO JAYS, or CANADA GO!!

World Baseball Classic … D’OH Canada!!

homer.GIFThe World Baseball Classic is just over a month away, and the high hopes that I had for Team Canada are quickly fading.  What looked to be one of the tournaments best potential pitching rotations, has now become the team’s biggest question mark.  Knowing that we would already be without Baltimore starter Eric Bedard due to off-season shoulder surgery, the recent announcements that Jeff Francis, Ryan Dempster and Rich Harden (damn you Cubs!!) will not be participating was not the news Canadian fans were looking for.  The most disappointing thing is that this tournament loses quite of few players due to the fact that it takes place during spring training. In the cases of Francis, Harden, and Bedard, injury concerns are the primary reason for their absense.  That is understandable, but Dempster is in a different situation.  Dempster is coming off a career season in which he posted 17 wins and a 2.96 ERA.  After being rewarded with a $52 million dollar contract for the next four years, Dempster decided to choose his team (Cubs) over his country.  While I can understand why he made that decision, (check out the article by Ken Rosenthal about this topic), it is still very frustrating to see this kind of situation take place.
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Let’s hope that some other pitcher such as Scott Richmond, will be able to pull off a surprise win for us as Adam Loewen did against the U.S. in ’06.  Oh well, at least the offence still looks to be in pretty good shape, with Justin Morneau, Jason Bay, Russel Martin, and Joey Votto still around.  I’ve got my seats on the 500 level at the Rogers Centre for that March 7 opener vs the States, so Go Canada Go!!!

Blue Jays – Offseason Fantasy Rankings

Fantasy baseball is back!!  Well almost.  I finally picked up my first fantasy baseball magazine of the 2009 season, SportingNews Fantasy Baseball ’09
mag.jpgNow this is the time of year where I get ready for the fantasy drafts that I partake in every season.  I usually do two types; a standard 5×5 mixed Rotisserie league, and a head-to-head points keeper league.

The main reason for this blog entry though is to voice my concerns for the fantasy leaguers out there, like myself, who prefer to have a couple of players from there favorite team, on their fantasy league teams.  As I’m sure you know by know, I love the Blue Jays, but after checking out the Offseason player rankings at MLB.com’s fantasy page, I may have to reconsider my draft strategy.  Listed below is the projected starting line-up for the 2009 Toronto Blue Jays, along with their positional fantasy ranking according to MLB.com and the Fantasy 411 team.  Be sure to check out the fantasy 411 blog here, and listen to their podcast for great fantasy baseball news and updates.

 

  • Catcher – Rod Barajas (29th)
  • ace.jpgFirst Base – Lyle Overbay (37th)
  • Second Base – Aaron Hill (24th)
  • Third Base – Scott Rolen (27th)
  • Shortstop – Marco Scutaro (36th)
  • Outfield – Alex Rios (17th)
  • Outfield – Vernon Wells (26th)
  • Outfield – Adam Lind (58th)
  • Starting Pitcher – Roy Halladay (5th)
  • Starting Pitcher – Jesse Litsch (89th)
  • Starting Pitcher – David Purcey (94th)
  • Starting Pitcher – Dustin McGowan (134th)
  • Relief Pitcher – B.J. Ryan (13th)
  • Relief Pitcher – Scott Downs (62nd)
  • Relief Pitcher – Jeremy Accardo (81st)
  • Relief Pitcher – Jesse Carlson (97th)
  • Prospects – Travis Snider OF (3rd)
  • Prospects – Brett Cecil SP (23rd)

 

halladay.jpg 
rios.jpg

Wow.  Besides Halladay and possibly Rios, I can’t think of anybody that I would want on my fantasy team. Snider and/or Cecil may also be pretty good pick-ups in a long term keeper league. Now that doesn’t mean we don’t have some good players on the team, but there has to be a fine line between picking players with your heart, or your head, when it comes to fantasy.  Why couldn’t I be a Yankees fan??  OK, just kidding of course!!!

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Ballpark Foods … the good, bad, and the ugly!!

It’s been a pretty quiet off-season for the Blue Jays, so I thought it would be a good time to reflect on my other baseball passion…the  BALLPARK FOOD!!  What is better then spending a Sunday afternoon at the ballpark, with an ice cold beverage in one hand, and a messy chili/cheese dog in the other? mmmmmmmmmm.  joey_chestnut.jpgI know that most stadiums are now expanding their menus to appeal to the more health conscious fan.  They are now offering items such as salads, wraps, and even vegetarian hot dogs, just to name a few.  I like to think of myself as a pretty healthy eater, but the smell and taste of good ballpark foods is something I can’t resist.
Listed below are a few of my must haves when attending a ball game. (In no particular order)

 

Living in the Toronto area means that I haven’t had the chance to experience some of the other foods from the ballparks in the United States.  I have had the opportunity to try the Fenway Frank in Boston, and the Footlong Chili/Cheese Dog at Wrigley (notice a trend here?), but the most interesting item had to be the Fried Bologna Sandwich at Coca-Cola Field (formerly Dunn Tire Park) in Buffalo, the home of the Bisons (AAA team of the Indians).  I would love to hear some of your best and worst food experiences, and just what you would like to see at your home ballpark. (WE NEED A B.B.Q. AT THE ROGERS CENTRE!!!)

Happy Eating!

New Year’s Resolutions, …let’s try this again.

Okay, so it’s that time of year again where I make all kinds of promises to myself that will surely improve the way that I live my life.  So why is it that I never seem to follow through with them?  Is it laziness? Is it fear of committment? (we won’t talk about that around the misses!). Who knows?  Oh well, I guess it’s time to give it another shot for the year 2009.

  • Lose 10 Pounds 
    This seems like the obvious place to start, since it’s been on top of my list for
    about the past 5 years. 
    Thumbnail image for exercise.gifI will be truly dedicated to my workout plan, and that strict diet. It’s time to get the dust off the treadmill, and get that old bike out of the garage again.  I guess that also means no more of those Rogers Centre chili/cheese dogs… noooooooooooooooo!!!
  • Introduce my Son to Baseball (Well, T-Ball)  Now that he is starting to outgrow that old bat and ball set from the Jays Shop, I thought it would be a perfect time to sign my son up for t-ball. 
    Thumbnail image for joshbat.gifI’m ultra competitive in almost everything I do, so I’ll have to be on my best behaviour when I’m out there watching him, but I can’t wait for the experience.  This also includes taking him to more Jays games this season, and starting to explain the rules of the game to him. (If I ever figure them all out…lol).
  • Support the Blue Jays…ALL Season Long!  This is another one of those annual resolutions that I seem to have trouble fully committing to.  It always starts really well…purchase new Jersey in February, listen and/or watch as many Spring Training games as possible, attend 3-4 home games in April, and then it all starts to go downhill from there. 
    cheer.jpg
     Whether it’s an injury (Aaron Hill), or lack of an offence, it just seems to build up the frustration that this is not going to be our year yet again.  This year I promise to appreciate them through the good and the bad, and just enjoy watching some exciting baseball, regardless of the end result.
  • Enjoy Life To The Fullest, and Keep on Bloggin’  This last one will have probably the most meaning and effect on the year ahead. 
    relaxin.jpgLife is too short to worry about working 60 hours a week, or stressing about sitting in traffic.  There are many people in this world who have it much worse then I do, and cannot enjoy the small luxuries of life.  I am going to dedicate this year to enjoying life, and spending as much time as possible with my family. 

I would also like to wish the whole MLBlogs community a very Happy New Year, and wish you all the best in 2009.  GO JAYS GO!!!

National Pastime…Canadian Style

I’ve decided to take a break from baseball, and all of this Yankees talk, to spend some time enjoying Canada’s national pastime, Hockey!! 
outdoor_hockey.jpgAn annual holiday tradition up here is the beloved World Junior Hockey Championship.  The tourney starts on Boxing Day, and runs until the Gold medal game on January 5th.  Now I can’t think of another country who takes any interest in this tournament, but for us here in Canada, this is probably the most watched sporting event of the year (OK, maybe 2nd to the Grey Cup).  It might have to do with the fact that we will be gunning for our fifth championship in a row, and that it is being hosted on home soil in Ottawa, Ontario.

 

This tournament features the future stars of the N.H.L. like last year’s 1st overall pick, Steven Stamkos. Over the years, it has also introduced us to such stars as Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, and past great like Peter Forsberg, Eric Lindros, and even Wayne Gretzky.  This year will be no different with players like Sweden’s Victor Medmen, and Canada’s own John Tavares battling for the gold, and for the right to be chosen 1st overall in the 2009 NHL entry draft. 

So it’s time for me to get my case of Molson Canadian, sit in my recliner, and watch some hockey on the NEW big screen TV (hint, hint, Santa!!!) 

tv.jpgGotta work it in before Spring Training starts!