Philadelphia Phillies 92-70 (Wild Card)
TThe Phillies benefited from the Mets September meltdown last year to win their first division title in 14 years, and they do have a strong line up, but their pitching is a question mark. On the field they should be about the same as they were last year, but this time around it will not be nearly good enough to win the division, but they should be in the thick of the Wild Card race all year.
2008 BASEBALL PREVIEW
EASTERN DIVISION
LEAGUE LEADERS AND AWARDS
National League
Matt Holliday Rockies  
Ryan Howard Phillies                   
David Wright Mets
Jose Reyes Mets
Jose Reyes Mets  

Johan Santana Mets  
Johan Santana Mets
Johan Santana Mets  
 
Cincinnati Reds
Los Angeles Dodgers
Andruw Jones Dodgers
Eric Gagne Brewers
Lanstings Milledge Nationals
Micah Owings Diamondbacks
Miguel Tejada Astros
Carlos Zambrano Cubs
Johan Santana Mets
              Miguel Tejada Astros                  Nomar Garciaparra Dodgers
Tom Glavine Braves
Billy Wagner Mets
Homer Bailey Reds
Dusty Baker Reds
Ryan Howard Phillies
Johan Santana Mets
David Wright Mets
Predictions Made by Frank Fleming on March 24, 2008 at 11:10 pm EST
Florida Marlins 59-103
The opening day starter for your Florida Marlins is Mark Hendrickson, with injuries and fire sales the young Marlins staff that was solid just two years ago is now looking like a AAA ballclub, and the line up is not much better once you get past Heandley Ramierez, who soon will also being on the trading block as the Marlins have turned into a AAA team. A star will grow, and before fans can get too attached to them he will be traded, any wonder the Marlins can't draw in sweltering summer heat.
Atlanta Braves 86-76
Tom Glavine has returned to Atlanta, and the Braves always feel they got a shot to win the division title after their long run of dominance it almost seemed like a birthright. However, Glavine is washed up, Smoltz is old and nearing empty too, and the line up though solid has some holes in it, but as long as Bobby Cox is their manager they should not be a pushover, though that could be ending soon, as the Braves are likely on the last run for playoff spot, a run that will fall short in the end.
Washington Nationals 78-84
The Nationals are moving into a new ballpark, and are now secure in the future, a future that looks fairly bright if Lanstings Milledge talent overcomes his baggage. Their line up should be significantly better, but their pitching not so much, look for them to be pesky all year, and to possibly play a big spoiler role again, but with three playoff contenders in front of them anything better then fourth is likely a pipe dream.

CENTRAL DIVISION
St. Louis Cardinals 81-81
Two year removed from a World Championship the Cardinals enter the season with more question marks then a quiz book. Can they get their rotation straight without Woody Williams? Can Albert Puljos avoid the knife and put up his usually production with his balky elbow? If the answer is yes on both the Cardinals can win the Central if it is no they can fall into the abyss. Look for it to wind up somewhere in the middle as Tony LaRussa will help things from falling apart, even if the team looks questionable on paper.
WESTERN DIVISION
EASTERN DIVISION
CENTRAL DIVISION
WESTERN DIVISION
New York Mets 104-58
World Series or Bust that is the motto for the 2008 Mets after suffering the worst collapse in baseball history. This team is just too strong to let that happen again, they have two front line veteran pitchers in Johan Santana and Pedro Martinez, and another young star in John Maine about to reach that level. They also have a strong balanced line up and improved bullpen, in short they are better then any other team in the NL hands down; any thing less then the World Series is unacceptable.

Cincinnati Reds 84-78
Dusty Baker's arrival in Cincinnati could be just the medicine the Reds have needed as he always finds a way to get the most out of his talent and improve the team in his first season. Can they win the division? No, they don't have enough talent even in the mediocre Central, but they should be good enough to keep Reds fans interested in the team all season.

Houston Astros 76-86
The Astros have a powerful lineup potentially, as Miguel Tejada should thrive in Houston, but he should have thrived in Baltimore too, but the Orioles were permanent fixtures in fourth place, More troubling is steroids investigation won't go away, and while it did not get much coverage in the wake of Clemens and Bonds, Tejada being active with a justice department investigation could be troubling for the Astros chances.
Chicago Cubs 85-77
The Cubs Managerial Cycle 2000: Don Baylor arrives new hope in Wrigleyville, 2001 Cubs struggle hope fades 2002: Hope dead Baylor fired. 2003 Dusty Baker Arrives new hope in Wrigleyville 2004 Cubs fall just short 2005 Cubs become mediocre hope fades 2006: Hope Dead Baker Fired. 2007: Lou Pinella Arrives new hope in Wrigleyville, Cubs win Central, year two they fall just a few agonizing games short.
Milwaukee Brewers 87-75
You have got to like the Brewers line up, as Prince Fielder is showing signs he may be better overall baseball player then his father was, and after falling just short of their first playoff appearance in 25 years, the Brewers will get over the hump and bring Octoberfest to Miller Park, as long as they can keep Ben Sheets healthy enough to make at least 35 starts they should win the jumbled Central Division, while creating a new rivalry with Chicago Cubs in the process.
Pittsburgh Pirates 66-96
The Penguins are looking strong as they could win the Atlantic Division even without Sidney Crosby for half the season, and the Steelers are the reigning AFC North Division Champions and the draft is a month away. Oh this is a baseball preview that's right, well nobody in Pittsburgh is talking or thinking about the Pirates either and for good reason they are bad and there is no hope any time soon coming of them getting any better.
San Francisco Giants 63-99
The Giants team motto this year is "All Out All Season," that should be changed to any player is available all season, as the Giants are like that fixer up house that is about to be flipped, the walls need to be ripped apart, and gutted, but the foundation with their young pitchers is good, and all they need is the right pieces and the right amount of patience to make the home a castle, but it will be painful at the start as the Giants could approach 100 losses.
San Diego Padres 91-71
Pitching wins championships, and for that the Padres are truly thankful because if they had to rely on their offense they would be in a heap of trouble. Look for them to contend again for the division title and the Wild Card, as their starting pitching is one of the best in baseball, but how much more mileage can they get out of Trevor Hoffman; whose falter down the stretch ended up eliminating the Padres?
Los Angeles Dodgers 82-80
Joe Torre has arrived in LA, and the Dodgers are excited to have him around as he took the Yankees to the playoffs 12 straight times, look for a big year from Derek Jet.., oh that's right he did not take the players with him. Look for the Dodgers to win more games then they lose, but realistically they don't measure up with the Diamondbacks and Padres, plus if the Rockies can equal what they did last year their will be more disappointment in Hollywood.
Arizona Diamondbacks 94-68
Last year the Diamondbacks were supposed to be one year away, but they made it to the NLCS, now on target for the year they were supposed to be good they have playoff experience in the bank and the addition of Dan Haren in the rotation. Look for the D-Backs to win the West again and make it back to the NLCS, as they are young team on the rise that could be at the top of the NL West for years to come.
Colorado Rockies 85-77
You can stop right there Rockies fans, you October run was truly amazing and it came up just short, and while they are a young talented team. They are more like the team that was near .500 from April to August, then the one that made it to the World Series. Look for them to stay close to the Western and Wild Card races, but in the end just fall a few games short. 
New York Yankees 89-73
Gone is Joe Torre, and the Yankees spend at all costs mentality as they chose to focus on developing young pitchers like Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, and Ian Kennedy rather then land the big ace in a blockbuster deal. In the long run that could be the best move for the Yankees, but in the short come it won't get them past the Red Sox, and in the tough American League it could even mean no playoffs for the first time since the addition of the Wild Card, but with their line up they are still a team that should be close at the end.
Boston Red Sox 92-70
Last year the Red Sox jumped out to a fast start and cruised to the division title on the way to winning their second World Series in four years. This year things won't go as smooth as a trip to Japan a rough earl schedule will prevent them from running away with the East. In the end they should win the East again as their pitching is deep, and their line up is still strong, but life tough at the top and the target on their back is going to be awful heavy at times.
Toronto Blue Jays 87-75
Pluck the Jays out of the AL East, and put them in any other division under the right circumstances, they could win it and be a dangerous team in the playoffs, but in the AL East with the Yankees and Red Sox, third place seems to be the reserved perch, while the Yankees and Red Sox could be both vulnerable this year, the Jays will need almost a team of players having career years to actually pass one to get into the playoffs.
Baltimore Orioles 48-114
The Orioles team motto this year says "This is Birdland." More like this is for the birds, twenty years ago the Orioles lost their first 21 games, and posted their worst record in Baltimore at 54-108, this year's team is way worse, and there are no Hall of Famers for the fans to cheer, and what players they have to cheer may not around to long as the Orioles will be looking to trade players like Brain Roberts and Kevin Millar all year to reduce the payroll.
Tampa Bay Rays 79-83
The Tampa Bay Rays are no longer bedeviled and no longer pushovers; there is enough talent here where the Rays can actually approach .500. Although the injury to Scott Kazmir could be a major concern especially if he misses significant time, the up and coming stars from Durham should be able to give the Rays their best season in franchise history, and should keep them out of the Eastern Division cellar.
Cleveland Indians 97-65
The Indians fell one game short of making it to the World Series last year, and they have the talent to be there again. While the pending free agency of C.C. Sabathia could be a distraction the rest of the team is secure, and the rest of the team without Sabathia is still one of the top team's in the American League, as they battle the Tigers for Central Division supremacy, as they approach 100 wins.


Minnesota Twins 77-85
The Twins motto this season is "This is your state, this is your team". Blaming the state is not good for Twins management who are getting a new stadium in a few years, especially when you trade the best pitcher in baseball and get mediocre talent in return. Look for the Twins to struggle all season as they battle the Royals to avoid the indignity of last place in the Central Division.
Detroit Tigers 95-67 (Wild Card)
The Tigers added Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis, but their bullpen is a mess, Joel Zumaya, and Fernando Rodney both are not expected to play anytime soon, and the bridge to closer Todd Jones, could turn into a mind field. However, their starting pitching is strong and their line up is among the best in baseball, so the Tigers should be able to overcome the bullpen woes, as the battle between Tigers and Indians may replace Red Sox vs. Yankees as the beat match up in the junior circuit.

Chicago White Sox 85-77
Three years ago the White Sox road a wave of career seasons to the World Series, last year a team wide slump saw them spend time in last place and lose 90 games. This team is not as good as they champs and not as bad as the 90 loss team, while they will get lost in the shuffle of the Tigers-Indians battle they should be able to post a winning season, which should keep Manage Ozzie Guillen from losing his sanity too much.
Kansas City Royals 73-89
The Royals at one time never finished in last place as they avoided the cellar for the 27 years of their existence. However, in the last 14 years they have finished in the basement seven times, including the last four years. There is little sign of that changing this year as their talent just does not measure up to the rest of the division, while they have some good young talent its jut not ready to win or approach .500 yet.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 84-78
The Angels won the West last year with relative ease, but when the season ended it was clear to see they were full of holes. They did not do much this off-season to address those holes, and enter the season hoping they can hold it together again. This year they won't be so lucky as the improved Mariners will pas them but leaving the Angels in the dust, as there will be a season of transition in Anaheim.
Texas Rangers 76-86
The Rangers slogan this year says, "You could use some baseball," unfortunately for inhabitants of the Dallas-Fort Worth area, all they got is the Rangers. Though they will see plenty of good teams come through town to beat up on the locals. Look for the Rangers to continue to drift in baseball's nowhere land some 10 games below .500, but not bad enough to finish in last place.
Seattle Mariners 94-68
The Mariners have got their mojo back and the rest of the American League better beware, as they may now have the best starting staff in the AL with the addition of Eric Bedard and the continued improvement of Felix Hernandez. Look for both to have big season along with JJ Putz in the bullpen could have the Mariners sailing into uncharted waters, the World Series.
Oakland Athletics 68-94
Gertrude Stein once said about Oakland, there is no there, there, and for the Athletics there is no one to care there no team that anyone will want to watch there, and no talent left, after the latest purge there. Yeah, money ball the future of baseball, has fallen just short and the A's will spend most of the season in last place with an eye across the bay trying to avoid being the worst team in the Bay Area.
NLCS
ALCS
                                    Batting Crown
HR Leader 
RBI Leader 
SB Leader
Runs Leader

Win Leader
ERA Leader 
K Leader  
Surprise Team 
Disappointing Team
Comeback Player
Comeback Pitcher 
Breakout Player 
Breakout Pitcher 
Disappointing Player
Disappointing Pitcher
Best Acquisition
Worst Acquisition

Falling Star Hitter 
Falling Star Pitcher
Fireman
Rookie of The Year 

Manager of The Year
Hank Aaron Award

Cy Young
MVP
American League
Derek Jeter Yankees
Alex Rodriguez Yankees
Magglio Ordonez Tigers
Carl Crawford Rays
Placido Poaonco Tigers
Erik Bedard Mariners
Fausto Carmona Indians
Erik Bedard Mariners
Tampa Bay Rays
Los Angeles Angels
Vernon Wells Blue Jays
B.J. Ryan Blue Jays

Jarrod Saltalamacchia Rangers
Phil Hughes Yankees
Manny Ramirez Red Sox
Andy Pettite Yankees
Erik Bedard Mariners
Scott Rolen Blue Jays
Johnny Damon Yankees
Andy Pettitte Yankees

J.J. Putz Mariners
Evan Longoria Rays
John McLaren Mariners
Alex Rodriguez Yankees
Erik Bedard Mariners
Magglio Ordonez Tigers
Managers to be Fired
Bobby Cox Braves (Retired not Fired)
Cecil Cooper Astros
Bob Geren Athletics
Dave Trembley Baltimore Orioles
 
 
 
2008 World Champs
New York Mets