Friday, May 22, 2009

Season 5 Preview - AL South

Leon Jackson - Cobbfather Post Gazette
Shenaynay - Special Correspondent from the Psychic Friends Network

It's time to start the Season 5 division previews, and as always, Leon and Shenaynay are back in the hizzouse. Using her special psychic powers, Shenaynay has seen the future and already knows how your team will fare this season. It's time for her to reveal your fates, and the Gazette will back it up by dropping some knowledge about each team. And we'll start with the AL South, which looks to be one of the most competitive divisions in all of Cobbfather this season. Let's see how things will play out.

AL SOUTH

4. Little Rock Travelers
Last Season: 60-102

Shenaynay’s crystal ball shows: the road less traveled

Impact Player: Carl Watkins - this guy is clearly the best offensive player and will be asked to carry the load.

Gazette says: Little Rock is clearly a team in rebuilding mode, and also is playing in a very tough division. So, it looks like the scale of success for Little Rock this season will be how many blue chip prospects they can add to their system, not wins and losses. With some attentive, close managing, Little Rock can get back in the fold, but it won’t be this season.

Psychic Friends Network Prediction: 56-106
Odds to win it all: 250-1

3. Austin Rock Stars
Last Season: 95-67

Shenayay’s crystal ball shows: rbf_4 jamming on guitar hero like a rock star

Impact Player: Tony Saunders – Austin will be relying on another spectacular season from Saunders to keep them in the race.

Gazette says: The Gazette has a rep for not giving the Austin franchise, so I’ll start by giving them credit for 4 fantastic seasons so far. They’d be a perennial division winner in a lot of divisions, but have run into the juggernaut that is Florida. The same could be said this season. Austin has great pitching, and a solid offense. But so do the other two teams in the division – and we’re not sure Austin has the bats to keep up with the two other teams in the division. So it looks like another year of trying to prove the Gazette’s predictions wrong for rbf and his Rock Stars.

Psychic Friends Network Prediction: 89-73
Odds to win it all: 20-1

2. Tampa Bay Tankers
Last Season: 64-98

Shenayay’s crystal ball shows: a tank riding through a battlefield victorious, a flagpole is raised with a pair of soiled depends on it symbolizing victory!

Impact player: Matt Lawrence – Tampa is going to need their young pitching to come through for them this season.

Gazette says: This team is loaded, and the team name tells how they accomplished that. Luckily, a more honorable owner is now at the helm. This is one of the most talented teams in the league. The lineup is one of the league’s most potent, and they are well stocked with talented young pitching. The poor record last season can be attributed to poor managing, mainly gross mismanagement of the pitching staff. That problem is fixed with the reknown mrploppie at the helm, who despite his incredibly old age and a nasty incontinence problem, still runs a heck of an HBD franchise. It wouldn’t shock us if Tampa Bay took the division – but we’re going to give that other team one more season on top.

Psychic Friends Network prediction: 98-64
Odds to win it all: 8-1

1. Florida Shark Waves
Last Season: 113-49

Impact Player: Luis Martin – the pitching is there, the Shark Waves are going to need their bats to come through to fend off the tough competition in the division. This means a great season from Martin with tons of home runs.

Gazette says: The defending world champs, 4 time division champions, and 4 time winners of 112+ games are facing more challenges than ever in Season 5 in the form of increased competition within their division, and an escalating payroll as their stars hit the latter years of arbitration. Florida’s pitching has consistently been amongst the best in the league, and despite the loss of $80 million dollar man Bill Osborne, looks to be again one of the best in Season 5. Florida’s offense is built on high average hitters getting on base for a stacked middle of the lineup to drive them in. They should be great there again too. But man does that Tampa Bay team look good! We still think they squeak out a division title, but it won’t be as easy as in years past.

Psychic Friends Network prediction: 100-62
Odds to win it all: 6-1

UP NEXT: NL SOUTH

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