ZONER’S MONDAY MORSELS
While we try to calm our geekedness about tonight’s Game 7 between my beloved Spurs and the Hornets…let us go to the morsels…
How bout those Cubs? But wait–how bout those Sox? The Sox just finished a West-coast road trip–perennially a downer–winning 7 of 10. They have 31 of their next 44 at home, lead the Indians by a game and a half in the AL Central and have an early MVP candidate in Carlos Quentin. Quentin leads the AL with 11 homers and is hitting .301/.415/.589. I’m not sure about Jim Thome, but I’d surely bet that Paul Konerko breaks out of it in this upcoming stretch of home games. He loves to hit at the Cell and there is no way he is going to have an OPS of less than .700 for the year. Rumors of his demise are massively exaggerated. Write it down–June is the month Konerko gets hot.
It’s hard to temper the excitement for the Cubs. But the D-Backs may have yet another arm for their rotation. You may have heard of him–The Big Unit. Randy Johnson fired 7 shutout innings against the Tigers on Sunday. Yes, the Cubs swept them recently. But looking at their rotation of Webb, Haren, Johnson, Owings and Scherzer and all of their great young players, I’m not ready to hand over the NL to the Cubs.
The big but for me is the rotation. I just can’t jump on the Dempster train yet. The guy’s been great, but can we really expect 220 innings from him? Is a Big Z, Lilly, Dempster top 3 enough to win the NL? Is Kerry Wood going to last the season–health or performance-wise? The offense is dominant. Soriano has been incredible lately. Soto and Fukudome make this lineup complete. But come playoff time–should the Cubs get there–I still like the D-Backs pitching staff much better than the Cubs.
Anyone have a guess on who will be the first manager to get get canned? John McLaren? Charlie Manuel? Joe Girardi?
Here are my current All-Star ballots. In the AL: Youkilis, Kinsler, Crede, Jeter, Quentin, Hamilton, Manny, A.J and Big Papi. In the NL: Berkman, Utley, C. Jones, Ramirez, Braun, McLouth, Ludwick and Soto. What was that about the AL being the younger, more dominant league? The NL is going to kick their butts this year.