an unlikely finish

Well the baseball season is headed to the playoffs, and again the Atlanta Braves won’t be there. A good recap of their season can be found here, so I won’t bore you with the details. Essentially, there were lots of injuries and they simply couldn’t compete day-to-day. They finished next-to-last in the NL East, with an awful 72-90 record. Chipper Jones had the best average in the Majors though, at .364.

With another disappointing season behind us, it’s time to look forward. Their pitching staff is still a big question for next year, and they don’t have the power (or speed) needed to make up for it. The fundamentals are sometimes lacking as well…so really, they need a large overhaul, and with all of the coaches set to return next year, it may not happen. The Phillies and Mets will continue to dominate the division until the Braves make some pretty drastic changes.

As for this postseason, I’d love for the Tampa Bay Rays to go all the way. They have an exciting young team with an uncanny ability to play fundamentally-sound baseball, and they find a new way to win every game. Amazingly, they won the AL East over both the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. Still, Boston will probably go deep in the playoffs. If the Rays can’t make it in to the series, maybe the Angels will.

My ideal 2008 World Series: Tampa Bay Rays vs. Chicago Cubs. Will it happen? Almost certainly not…look how far off I was with my 2008 National League East prediction. But who could have known?

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