Spring is in the air again, and in spring a young man’s fancy turns to…baseball. I’m going to go out on a limb (but not really) and say the Yankees will win the 2002 World Series.
One look at the Yankees’ starting rotation tells you all you need to know. Is there anything scarier in baseball than having to face a rotation with the names Clemens, Wells, Mussina, Pettite, and Hernandez? El Duque is the Yankees’ number five starter. This is the same El Duque who is 9-2 over the last four postseasons with an ERA of 2.48. Depending on how the season pans out, the Yankees could potentially go into the postseason with the same five-man rotation. How many other teams can say that? The answer is none. Throw in the addition of Jason Giambi, and (my sincerest apologies to the rest of the league) I just can’t see anyone beating the Yankees in a five or seven game series.
In fact, I’m going to go farther out on a limb here and say if everyone stays healthy, I think these Yankees can win more games than Seattle did last year. Given the strength of their pitching and their new look line-up, I think they could win 120 games this season. After all, the 1998 Yankees won 114 games. Not only does this year’s team have greater depth, it has the added incentive of atoning for last year’s World Series loss.
While I am sitting out here on a limb and throwing out predictions, here’s another one: David Wells as the AL CY Young winner. Wells is back in New York and wants to prove he should never have left in the first place (the lefty is already 2-0). Not only that, but last season’s debacle with the White Sox needs to be laid to rest. Look to Boomer to re-establish his pitching reputation this year.
As a side note, Barry Bonds looks like he might be intending to break his own home run record. Imagine the Yankees rotation up against Bonds on a regular basis. Now there’s a match-up I would sell my sister to see.