April 04, 2005

Take A Number


If there's some kind of a blogosphere penalty I don't know about for linking to the New York Times on two successive posts, I'll just throw myself on the mercy of the court now.

What a great night to be watching sports on TV. Flipping from two intensely fought women's NCAA semi-finals, in which both underdogs came from large deficits to win, over to Randy Johnson's performance mowing down the vaunted Red Sox. What sport! I missed a big Cavs win altogether.

I really love the women's college game when it is played at the Sweet 16 level. I'm often convinced they play a better brand of basketball than the men, and the emotion and team spirit just gushes from these kids in a way that the men don't approach. I was naturally pulling for the Big Ten Spartans tonight, but even if I had been neutral I think their huge win and celebration over an icon like Pat Summitt and Tennessee would have had me wiping my eye anyway. Baylor is no less a compelling story. And let's face it. ESPN is good at this. Quality TV.

I'm really just stalling on making my Indians prediction official by committing to it here. We're starting the season even more under the radar because the Twins are everybody's darlings all of a sudden. First Gammons and now ESPN's Jayson Stark go on record saying the Twins can win it all. I don't think so.

I'm not convinced their 2-5 starters are that good, even though their ace and their closer are. I'll take the Yankees' with Johnson, Pavano, Mussina, and Brown with an everyday linep in which Giambi has to hit 7th all day long, if the Twins even make it to that series.

And anyway, all I'm required to do here is predict a total number of Tribe wins, and then if we win the division, we win it. I'm going with 90. I've been wavering anywhere from 87 on up, and my last minute optimism is kicking in. That's one more than any Plain Dealer writer had, though there were several at 89. Terry Pluto at the Beacon says 88 wins.

After that, who knows? I'm thinking the Red Sox may fade more than some people think, trying to replace Martinez and Lowe with David Wells and Matt Clement. Maybe the Wild Card is up for grabs, even if the Twins do win more than 90 ballgames and take the Central. Much stranger things have happened. Recently.

As I post, it's Opening Day, and I am officially jazzed. I look for our much-improved righthanded-hitting lineup of Crisp, Belliard, Boone, Blake, Martinez, Peralta with either Ludwick or Jose Hernandez to wear down Mark Buehrle in the Windy City this afternoon. One of ninety.

UPDATE 4/4: Or instead, maybe we'll get two lousy hits and get shut out in an incredibly fast 1 hour and 51 minute ballgame. One or the other.

Posted by dan at April 4, 2005 01:20 AM

i hope the game is on here in Columbus- I don't have class until 5:30, so I should be able to see most of it. Go tribe!!

Posted by: Matt N. at April 4, 2005 09:18 AM

Gotta agree Mr. Wiz, the ladies Michigan State win was quite the bomb. Call me a diehard, but I am visiting for quick access to the BROWN's Homepage.

Posted by: KPFISH at April 4, 2005 07:45 PM

My most humble condolences on the loss, but that game was fantastic for my fantasy team... :)

Posted by: Matt Hurley at April 5, 2005 12:57 PM
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