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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Birds versus the Beards

Ten years ago the the St. Louis Cardinals faced the Boston Red Sox in the World Series, but since then a lot has changed.  Players and coaches have come and gone, each franchise has gone through its ups and downs, and this time around the Cardinals will be facing "The Beards" and not "The Idiots."

One thing that hasn't changed is that both teams are incredibly tough to beat and are hungry for a ring.  This will make for another great and competitive series with either team having the potential to win.

Both teams have had impressive runs through the postseason knocking off two tough teams.  The Red Sox were able to beat the Tampa Bay Rays and Detroit Tigers, while the Cardinals were able to get past the Pittsburgh Pirates and Los Angeles Dodgers.

The main reason for both of these teams having so much success is that they have made the plays when they need to, their pitching has been exceptional, and they have had a little luck on their side.  This series could go either way, but the home field advantage for the Red Sox will be the difference.

Although most of the players on both sides are not the same from when these two teams met in the 2004 World Series, the results will be the same.  While the Red Sox will not sweep the Cardinals like they did in 2004, they will win the World Series in seven games, their third in the last ten years.

Who are you picking to win?  Leave your thoughts below.  
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Friday, October 18, 2013

Cubs will win it all soon

Remember the last time the Chicago Cubs won the World Series?  Let me guess, you don't?  That is because it has been 105 years since the Cubs won it all.  In fact, they haven't even been to the Series since 1945.  The closes the Cubbies ever came to returning to the World Series was in 2003, when they were only one win away.

Ever since that controversial 2003 National League Championship Series, it has not been very pretty for the Cubs, besides when they won back-to-back division crowns in 2007 and 2008.  Unfortunately in both trips to the playoffs, they were never able to get out of the first round.

The Cubs are now in rebuilding mode, but better days are ahead, as management has done an exceptional job rebuilding their farm system in just a short time.  Now they have a solid farm system, with many young prospects expected to be part of the Cubs core for the years to come.

According to, the Cubs have five players ranked in the top 100 prospects.  These five players are shortstop Javier Baez (9th), outfielders Albert Almora (21st) and Jorge Soler (25th), and third basemen Kris Bryant (35th) and Mike Olt (57th).  All of these players are expected to be in the majors within the next two to three years, along with some young, talented pitching prospects.

If most of their talented prospects are able to find success in the majors, along with some veteran pieces, the Cubs could realistically be World Series contenders.  Theo Epstein, President of Baseball Operations for the Cubs, was the General Manager of the Red Sox in 2004 when they broke their 86 year drought of winning a World Series, and was with them when they won it all again in 2007.

The reason they were able to do this was because of their player development, and ability to acquire veteran players to fill out their roster.  This is exactly what the Cubs are doing and will be doing within the next couple seasons.

The sky is the limit for the Cubs, with their wealth of talent, young prospects.  This team can be competitive within the next few seasons.  As long as they have some luck on their side, they will finally break there over century long World Series title drought by 2018.

What are your thoughts of the Chicago Cubs?  Can they win a World Series by 2018?  Leave your thoughts below.  

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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Who's on first?

After a disappointing season, the Milwaukee Brewers will have many questions entering the offseason.  First base was a revolving door for the Brewers, who used seven different players at that position, and finding someone to play there consistently, will be important.  

Brewers' management will have to decide if they want to bring back Corey Hart or promote slugging prospect, Hunter Morris.  Corey Hart was suppose to be the team's everyday first baseman this season, but he never stepped foot onto the field, due to two knees surgeries.  In Hart's nine seasons with the Brewers, he has been a solid contributor, averaging 17 home runs and 54 RBI's with a .276 average in 105 games.  Ever since he became an everyday player in 2007, he has averaged 139 games per season, and has been a two time All-Star.  

The other option the Brewers have is prospect Hunter Morris.  The slugging prospect had a good season this year, while he did not hit for a high average (.247), he did possess a lot of power.  In 134 games, he hit 24 home runs and drove in 74 RBI's.  The one negative Morris presents is his strikeout to walk ratio.  He struck out a 122 times compared to only 43 walks.  While this is something he will have to improve on, he is only 25 years old and possess good upside.  

This will not be an easy decision for Melvin and Co. to make, but they need to think about the future.  Hunter Morris is the best option for the Brewers going forward.  While he is not an established big leaguer like Hart, he possesses the potential of being a good Major League player.  The Brewers will not be a competitive team next year, so why pay a veteran more money to be in the way of their future?  It is time for the Brewers to move on from Hart and give the starting first base job to Hunter Morris.  

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Get ready for the struggles

Remember when the Milwaukee Brewers won the National League Central Division crown, and were two wins away from making it to the World Series?  That was only two years ago, but the Brewers have gone from one of the best teams in baseball to one of the worst.

The 2013 season has come to a close and the Brewers finished with a disappointing 74-88 record, but their record was the least of their problems.  The Brewers struggled with injuries throughout the entire season, and lost Ryan Braun to a 65 game suspension for his connection to the Biogenesis Clinic in Miami.  While all teams have to face adversity over the course of a 162 game schedule, the Brewers never found away to overcome them.  This is what sets the mediocre teams apart from the best teams in baseball.

The main reason why the Brewers were unable to overcome their difficulties was because of the lack of quality prospects in the farm system.  While Khris Davis, Scooter Gennett and Tyler Thornburg all did a good job of filling in when needed, these three players, and frankly all the prospects that are within three years of playing in the majors, have no star potential.

In order to be successful each season you have to be able to develop young players.  While not every one of them will be a star, you need to at least have a few of them with the potential to be one.  The blame for the lack of development and poor evaluation of players in the draft has to be placed on Doug Melvin.  While he is not a scout, he is the one who hired all of them and makes the final decisions on the players.

With the lack of quality prospects, it will hurt the Brewers success over the next three to five years.  While the Brewers did trade some of their best prospects away in trades, the Brewers have hardly done anything to improve their system.  This season they should have traded away numerous veteran to get pieces to build for the future, but Melvin decided not too.

This poor judgment and lack of ability to restock the farm system will cost the Brewers and should cost Melvin his job.  He has made many poor decisions over the course of his tenure, and while the Brewers did have some success, it does not balance out all of the disappointing seasons.

The Brewers have one of the worst farm systems in baseball, and with none of their prospect possessing huge upside, it will not get any better.  This will hurt the Brewers success at the major league level for the years to come, and Doug Melvin should be blamed and loose his job because of this.

It has only been two years since the Brewers came two wins away from making it to the World Series, and now they have become one of the worst teams in baseball.  Being a small market team, the Brewers need to draft well and be able to develop prospects.  This has not happened recently, and because of this, the Brewers will not be competitive for the foreseeable future.