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MLB open thread

Monday, Mar 31, 2014

* I’m still not feeling 100 percent well today, but I bought White Sox opening day tickets long ago and I decided last week that even if I needed an ambulance to take me to the game I’d be there. So, I’m heading out soon.

Your thoughts on the 2014 season?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

59 Comments
  1. - Stones - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 1:14 pm:

    Sox 75 wins but the needle is pointing up. Cubs 71 wins.


  2. - TCB - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 1:17 pm:

    The ChiSox & Cubs will both be better, especially the Sox…..but both are light years behind my Cardinals, who managed to get even better over the winter.


  3. - Lunchbox - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 1:17 pm:

    I think both the Sox and Cubs will be in for long seasons…enjoy the game, Rich!


  4. - Levois - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 1:20 pm:

    Man, what I realize is that as a Baseball fan I’m lousy at following both of my hometown teams during the course of the season. I wish the Cubs, Sox and Cardinals lots of luck. Especially the Cubs! :)


  5. - 47th Ward - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 1:20 pm:

    The Cubs aren’t going to threaten anyone for the Central Division but they might be fun to watch this year if they can keep swinging the bats like they have in Spring training. Olt may end up playing at first, and Kris Bryant and Javier Baez should be up sooner rather than later. With no pitching to speak of, the Cubs will need to win a lot of 10-9 games with late inning heroics at the plate. It won’t be pretty, but it could be a lot of fun.

    Plus, now we’ll have Honker’s Ale and 312 to help ease the pain.


  6. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 1:26 pm:

    Over/Under Cubs wins for me is 72… I see 90+ losses in the Cubs future.

    Over/Under Sox wins for me is 75… Sox are closer to a .500 Ball Club, but that isn’t saying much.

    Even money Cards make the playoffs.

    Cubs trade Smardjiza before the deadline, Sox make a move that is not a. “White Flag” move to get better now…


  7. - SIUPROF - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 1:31 pm:

    Cards over Yankees, 4-2 in world Series.

    No seriously, Cards should win the division, but 162 games is a long haul and anything can happen-Injuries, slumps and watch the Brewers. Reds and Pirates both slide from last year’s win totals. Cubs still a ways away, but they will still sting Cards at Wrigley. Sox are 3rd, after Detroit and KC. They are going to have to spend some money to catch the Tigers.


  8. - Robert the Bruce - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 1:36 pm:

    I’ll take the under on the Cubs at 72. I’ll say 95+ losses. I don’t get why the Cubs seem to be running Jeff Samardzija and possibly Starlin Castro out of town. Top 5 in the NL in strikeouts last year…but the future could be bright, with all the minor league hitting prospects and no more money owed to Alfonso Soriano.

    The Cardinals should be competitive again - a little less hitting depth than they’ve had in the recent past (no Carlos Beltran or David Freese), but still plenty of pitching. If you go to Busch, watch for flyballs - the Cardinals will start two of the worst defensive outfielders at RF and LF (Craig and Holliday), but one of the best in newcomer Bourjos in centerfield, who will probably catch any flyball in fair territory.


  9. - corvax - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 1:37 pm:

    Tigers win 100 games and get their just revenge over the Cards in the WS


  10. - Old Shepherd - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 1:38 pm:

    The Cardinals tend to thrive when they are the underdogs. This whole front-runner business makes me nervous.


  11. - Upon Further Review - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 1:46 pm:

    Oh, for the 154 game schedule when baseball began in Mid-April rather than March.


  12. - Wally - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 1:51 pm:

    Even money the Cards make the playoffs???? Hahaha

    Have you seen their roster and stable of pitchers?


  13. - WootBaseball - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 1:55 pm:

    Go Yankees!


  14. - OldSmoky2 - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 1:58 pm:

    Sox will go .500 and get 81 wins, mainly because I think they won’t lose as many games against Cleveland and KC as last year. Cubs? Well, enjoy the beer, Cubs fans - you’ll need lots. Cards and Rays in World Series.


  15. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 1:58 pm:

    - Wally -,

    It’s a 50/50 proposition. Injuries, hot bats, cold pitching…

    Even money for a Ball Club like the Cards is generous wether you think they are stacked, or worse than last year’s NL Champion ball club. As it has been said, 162 games is a lot of baseball. Even money on the Cards is a good split for either side of the wager.


  16. - x ace - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 2:03 pm:

    Cuba Libre will become top drink of the 35th and Shields crowd


  17. - Darienite - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 2:09 pm:

    It pains me to say this, but the Cubs hit bottom last year and will slowly begin to get better; say 75 - 87. The Sox will be the same as last year; Ventura will be fired before years end.


  18. - Springfield Wesite - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 2:27 pm:

    Guessing I’m the only LA Angeles fan here. That said, hoping their money is finally well spent this season.


  19. - Amalia - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 2:30 pm:

    Paulie. Paulie. Paulie. No matter what, it is the last chance to see one of the most complete player/great team player guys who ever hit the field in Chicago, heck in the MLB. epic work in the World Series, constant stand up guy, I was in the crowd watching him hand the ball from the WS win to Reinsdorf and it was so emotional. This year, no matter what, is all about saying goodbye and great job to the amazing number 14, Paul Konerko. Paulie! Paulie! Paulie!


  20. - Tommydanger - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 2:34 pm:

    I set the over/under at 150 for combined Chicago baseball wins


  21. - Skeptic - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 2:40 pm:

    In the national media, nothing will matter except for Derek Jeter retiring. Closer to home, the Cubs are out of contention by June 1. But then I guess that’s not much of a guess is it. Sox and Cards…I don’t know, I guess I should pay attention.


  22. - East Central Illinois - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 2:41 pm:

    Best bet yet . . . Rauner buys the Cubs AND the White Sox just so both Chicago teams can get into the World Series. And then he wears his famous Carhart jacket to the games in the brisk October air. - - All timed before the November election of course!


  23. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 2:43 pm:

    Rauner has a. “Piece” of the Red Sox already…

    Plus the Bulls and Steelers…

    Through 8, Bucs-Cubs scoreless …


  24. - vise77 - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 2:44 pm:

    “Guessing I’m the only LA Angeles fan here. ”

    I’m a Cards guy, and I’d like to see Pujols have at least one more great or semi-great year, just because he’s the best player of my lifetime so far (41 yo). I hope this is one of those years.

    The Brewers worry me as spoilers, though I trust Matheny to not let the favorite-son status inflate the egos of his players too much. My main baseball nightmare remains a serious injury to Yadi.


  25. - Rudy - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 2:45 pm:

    Sox: Improved play, but continued low attendance. 4th or 5th in division, and long-term concerns over ownership, as Reinsdorf last year advised heirs to keep Bulls and sell Sox. Catching and short relief probably remain problems for next winter.


  26. - vttk17a1 - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 2:47 pm:

    Enjoy the sunshine! Neither side of the city is really competitive, but “Who cares”! It is always a good day for baseball.


  27. - Jorge - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 3:00 pm:

    Thanks willy for confirming my mistrust of Rauner…..you can never trust a man tied to the horrors of October’s past


  28. - G'Kar - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 3:08 pm:

    I don’t expect my Pirates to necessarily win the division, but I really think they will remain competitive and be close to 90 wins again.

    Although they will need more offense then they are showing this afternoon–0-0 in the bottom of the 9th vs the Cubbies.


  29. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 3:13 pm:

    Cubs in “Extras”, Sox “underway”…

    Lots of zeros between 9 scoreless in Pittsburgh, and Sox kicking off their season…


  30. - wordslinger - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 3:21 pm:

    Good year for Cubs and Sox fans to shop for good deals on stub hub once the weather gets nice to enjoy a day at the ballpark.

    Because both teams are going to be brutal and good deals will be available.

    Sox have some pitching then a bunch of DHs with pianos on their backs. I hardly know anyone on the Cubs roster.

    A guys from The Score this morning put together the best MLB roster he could combining both the Sox and Cubs. It was still very bad.

    Yeah, Theo tells us prospects, and they hit some in spring training, but I don’t believe in spring training hitting. No one is throwing their good breaking stuff down south.

    Theo concerns me, for a genius. What is this, year three of near 100 losses?

    You know the Cubs didn’t have a coach on the ML roster last year who spoke Spanish? Half the league has Spanish as a first language! LaRussa learned Spanish in the 70s so he could do his job better!

    How was that possible, in 2013?


  31. - Walker - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 3:27 pm:

    Sox, 3d in a tough division.

    Cub, struggle to stay out of cellar.


  32. - Chunga's Revenge - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 3:31 pm:

    If Rauner owns part of the Red Sox and is running for governor of Illinois how come he has not been tarred and feathered yet?


  33. - OneMan - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 3:33 pm:

    Because he isn’t running for governor of New York…


  34. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 3:36 pm:

    Cubs… 0-1. Smardjiza deserved better, through a heck of a game…

    Brewers don’t scare me as a contender. The Ryan Braun circus will be interesting. Braun isn’t too media savy, but had tried to make amends. Reds “under new management” might make the Pirates and Cards sweat.


  35. - Nonplussed - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 3:39 pm:

    Sox win 83. And over the next 3 seasons Rick Hahn does what Cub fans thought Theo was going to do.


  36. - Belle - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 3:40 pm:

    Every Spring, Chicago baseball fans become excited over what usually ends up to be a ton of disappointment.
    My forecast=North and South Disappointment 2014


  37. - J. Nolan - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 3:42 pm:

    Found this map of baseball team fans by county really interesting:

    http://cdn.theatlantic.com/newsroom/img/mt/2014/03/Facebook_MLB_Fandom_Map_1/original.jpg

    Woulda thought that Cardinals/Cubs dividing line was a bit lower in Illinois.


  38. - wordslinger - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 3:44 pm:

    Enjoy Chris Sales while you can. What that boy does to his arm on every pitch is painful to see but a pleasure to watch.


  39. - wordslinger - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 3:48 pm:

    Has Elvis returned? Anyone know who the old dude is in the bright gold jacket with black stripes right behind home plate at the Sox game?


  40. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 3:53 pm:

    I enjoy watching a Ron Gardenhire ball club go about their business. Twinkees have been pretty lucky with Managers the last 28 seasons…


  41. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 4:00 pm:

    That’s a NASCAR jacket, - wordslinger -, if that helps in the IDing the gentleman…


  42. - wordslinger - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 4:01 pm:

    Can’t place him, but he’s in the catbird seat for opening day.


  43. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 4:04 pm:

    Great baseball on the Foul Out… Good 3rd Base Coach is priceless. The Cubs have had “Wave ‘Em” Wendall, but I digress… Great tag-up


  44. - Mokenavince - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 4:34 pm:

    The White Sox should be and 80 loss team. I’m hoping they win 20 more than last year.
    Cub’s lose 90 games.But who really cares?


  45. - A modest proposal - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 4:48 pm:

    It seems the Cubbies have taken a quick lead for last place..


  46. - wordslinger - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 4:53 pm:

    De Aza has a shot of joining Tuffy Rhodes among Chicago baseball legends.

    You remember Tuffy Rhodes, right?

    Three taters off Doc Gooden on opening day, in the snow at Wrigley, 1994.

    Next stop: the Kinetsu Buffaloes of the Pacific League.

    As Phil Humber would tell you, take the good days — even the perfect days — when they come. They don’t last.


  47. - 3rd Generation Chicago Native - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 4:53 pm:

    Its always a good day at the Cell!
    Go Sox!


  48. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 4:55 pm:

    Rich Daley, John Daley and Fr. Pflager make the telecast. Former Mayor Daley looked good, good to see…


  49. - wordslinger - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 4:55 pm:

    Shot of the Daley boys with Father Pfleger. Always thought that was a trippy matchup.


  50. - Jon Zahm - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 4:56 pm:

    Really like the additions of Abreu and Eaton. They should gain + 15 from last year which is a step back to respectability.


  51. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 5:27 pm:

    “Irish’s Smardjiza gets ND, Cubs drop Opener 1-0″


  52. - DuPage Dave - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 5:45 pm:

    Sox will win more than they lose this year- I predict 82-80. I don’t have any more hope than that.

    And to paraphrase the rabbi in “A Serious Man”- “What happens to the Cubs? Who cares?”


  53. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 5:49 pm:

    “Sold! Sale Helps Close Deal in 5-3 Sox Win”


  54. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 6:19 pm:

    Cards win 1-0!


  55. - b - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 7:46 pm:

    Well, what can be extrapolated from one game? A lot! Sox to win it all. Cubs to dwell in cellar.


  56. - Wally - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 8:32 pm:

    Yadi and Waino lead Cards to opening day win!!!


  57. - Bill White - Monday, Mar 31, 14 @ 9:00 pm:

    It appears the White Sox may have more Cuban players (3) on their roster than any other MLB team.

    Cuba Libre’ is right!


  58. - The Lowly LA - Tuesday, Apr 1, 14 @ 8:49 am:

    Enjoy it while you can, Cubs fans. Might be the last time this year you can say you are only one game out of first place…


  59. - DuPage Bard - Tuesday, Apr 1, 14 @ 9:21 am:

    Tigers win it all, Sox come in 3rd in Division missing a wildcard spot by 4 games to the Royals.
    Cubs are done, again!


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