And now, back to the game…
Is it just me, or is the world of sports been taken over by the writers of Days of Our Lives?
A star quarterback is coming out a 4 month retirement and then getting into a PR battle with his employer. One of the most prolific and quirky players of all time is demanding his annual trade request. Managers are getting fired in the middle of the night like some sort of coup. And the games highest paid player is rumored to have pulled a Katie Holmes and picked up with someone who was really popular in 1992.
At this point, I’m expecting someone to claim amnesia and come back from the dead.
But apart from the drama on “As the Ball Turns,” there are some pretty interesting stories to keep an eye on in the coming weeks. Here’s my take on a few of them.
For the first time in a while, it looks like the Braves are sellers. The market for Teixeira isn’t what it was last year due to the fact that he’ll be a free agent at the end of the year. But all reports seem to indicate that the interest is high enough that they’ll get a deal done now rather than waiting for the two draft picks they would get when he walks.
That said, I really wouldn’t be surprised to also see them add an outfielder because that is clearly going to be a need next season. Jeff Francoeur’s struggles have been well documented, and Mark Kotsay has been solid but limited in playing time due to his back. Rookie Gregor Blanco has also been decent but is not a power hitter by any stretch. The end result has been been that the Braves are dead last in the NL with only 20 homers from their outfield. If they can pick up someone like Jason Bay without selling the farm I think they’ll do it.
Race to the Finish
As I mentioned in my last article, the playoff races are alive and well in baseball. Most of the divisions are close, particularly the two Eastern divisions. Both New York teams have come on strong in recent weeks, but the Florida teams haven’t given up. Philly and Boston are continuing to play tough as well, so at this point the ultimate winner is anybody’s guess. And since I’m anybody, I’m going to guess. I think the Mets will the NL East (yes I changed my pick but that’s the beauty of being a blogger – we can do that), and I’m still picking the Rays to hold on in the AL. In the Central I’m sticking with the Cubs and it looks like the rivals to the south could be strong enough to hold on as well. In the West it will be the Angels and Arizona.
Football is Back
NFL training camps have kicked off, and college is just around the corner as well. Personally, I’m pumped for the upcoming season. In the NFL, the Giants will be under extra scrutiny (if that’s possible in NY) to see if they’re here to stay or if last year was a fluke. Regardless of the answer, they provided what was easily the most exciting Super Bowl in a while. Here in Atlanta, we’ve got 4 quarterbacks – and seeing as there is typically only one on the field at any given time, they’re going to have to make a decision.
And one of the great things about college football is that it’s never short of controversy thanks to your friend and mine, the BCS. I have high hopes for the Dawgs, but they’ve got a killer schedule to get through if they want to make it to the title game.
What are you all looking forward to in the coming weeks?