Lucky Seven: It’s bad, it’s nationwide

I’m beginning to get some feel for what the new assignment is going to look like. First big project will run a week from today, and there will be stories between now and then as well. Additionally, though, I think that being off the beat will free me up to do some different stuff from the blog.

And to resurrect some stuff that used to be on the blog, like Lucky Seven. For anyone who’s forgotten, or hasn’t seen this before, it’s pretty simple. Just answer the questions. This is your feature, not mine. One rule and one rule only: if one of the questions doesn’t interest you or appeal to you, just don’t answer. “The DH is stupid” or “I hate basketball” or “who cares about that?” doesn’t advance anything. Besides, obviously I care about it or I wouldn’t have asked.

One other thing: this blog, and this feature, obviously won’t be nearly so Cardinals-centered anymore. That starts now.

So anyway, on with the questions.

1. I count 11 teams with realistic playoff hopes in the National League. What’s the BEST team in the senior circuit as Spring Training approaches?

2. The Tigers are pretty much a consensus favorite in the AL Central. Which of the other four teams is the biggest threat to them?

3. What team improved itself the most over the winter?

4. What team will employ Roy Oswalt on Opening Day, if any?

5. Aside from Spring Training/Opening Day, what’s the next sporting event you’re really looking forward to? Masters? NCAA Tourney? NFL Draft?

6. What’s the funniest show on TV (pretty sure y’all know my vote on this one)?

7. You saw my list. What was YOUR favorite album last year?

-M.

16 Comments

1. I would have to say the Phillies are going to be the best team in the NL again. 95ish wins seems likely to me.

2. The Royals. They have a lot of young talent coming through. If Hosmer, Moustakas, Duffy et al can put together big years, they might surprise some people. Probably not though.

3. The Angels. They have an awesome top three in the rotation now (and Ervin Santana is no slouch) and Albert freaking Pujols.

4. This is like impossible to answer! The Reds, I guess.

5. March Madness

6. Parks and Recreation

1) Lots of ifs, but I think the Cards are right there. Nobody looks as dominant as Philadelphia did last year. With a healthy Wainwright, I’d stack them up with anyone.

2) I’ll say the Twins. Assuming the M&M boys are healthy, they are probably the best of the rest. Could be a runaway there, though.

3) Los Angeles AL, as much as it pains me to say it. They were dead in the water without their moves, now they’ll push Texas all year long.

4) I’ll say St. Louis. Roy wants to dictate terms and locale, but eventually he’ll have to cave on one or the other. My bet is he drops his salary demand sometime in spring training.

5) Skipped

6) I think the only comedy I watch is Big Bang Theory, so I’ll go with that.

7) I just downloaded my first “new” album and it counts from last year. It doesn’t fit into your list at all, though–21.

1. Still Philly, I suppose. Howard won’t hurt them much, and they’ve still got the front-line starters.
2. The Royals???
3. I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that it’s a major bummer.
4. Boston
5. September 8, Columbia MO. First SEC game against Georgia.
6. I’ve recently come around on Archer, but I still say Parks and Rec.
7. You got that one right. #2 is either DBT’s Go-Go Boots or Hayes Carll’s KMAG YOYO.

Phillies, Indians, Marlins, Red Sox, March Madness, Impractical Jokers (It’s new, check it out), Wasting Light!

1. I count 11 teams with realistic playoff hopes in the National League. What’s the BEST team in the senior circuit as Spring Training approaches?

Philly is still #1. They were the best team in the league last year; unfortunately for them, they just weren’t the hottest one at season’s end. With those hurlers up front, they’re still the team to beat.

2. The Tigers are pretty much a consensus favorite in the AL Central. Which of the other four teams is the biggest threat to them?

I think “threat” is too strong of a word for anyone else in that division. Detroit should walk away with the division (again). None of the other teams in the division have made any significant upgrades to their rotations to make me think that they will have any better chances in 2012 than they did in 2011.

3. What team improved itself the most over the winter?

Prince Fielder is going to make Detroit a team to beat; but they weren’t too shabby at the end of 2011.
The Angels made a push to win now. I think they’re going to be hurting from about 2014 through the end of the decade, but they made a splash that will push them right into contention with Texas. That’s going to be a race to watch.
The Nats are gonna be a fun team to watch. Strassburgh will be back, and I really like their additions to the starting rotation with Jackson and Gonzalez.
However, the biggest winner of the offseason has got to be the boys down on South Beach. Getting Ramirez back healthy along with the additions of Buerhle, Reyes, (and maybe even some fans in the new stadium) could maybe just be enough to push them from worst to first in the NL East. They’re gonna be a tough squad to beat and that division is going to be a fun one to watch.

4. What team will employ Roy Oswalt on Opening Day, if any?

Until he comes down in money, he’s going to spend the Spring warming up in his own bullpen.

5. Aside from Spring Training/Opening Day, what’s the next sporting event you’re really looking forward to? Masters? NCAA Tourney? NFL Draft?

After the conference championships in the NFL, we have to wait 2 weeks for one more game, and then we have to wait a few more weeks for Spring Training. It is definitely the slow time of the sports world (not much of an NBA fan, and I love playing golf, but just can’t watch it on tv). To get to the question, there’s NOTHING more exciting in sports than the first week of the NCAA tournament. 48 must-win games in 4 days!?!? How can you beat that??? After that, I really enjoy the NFL Draft, but unlike my father, I’ve never been able to sit around and watch pick by pick for hours (and now days) on end. With the rise of fantasy football (and my dynasty keeper league, I spend all year scouting the college ranks to find the guys that I want for my own draft. By the time the actual draft rolls around, I usually have a pretty good idea of who is whom.) I do enjoy the draft too, though. But I don’t think there is any sporting event like that first week of the tournament.

6. What’s the funniest show on TV (pretty sure y’all know my vote on this one)?

I’m a sucker for sit-coms. I love The Big Bang Theory. Those boys remind me of me. (Should I have admitted that???)

7. You saw my list. What was YOUR favorite album last year?

Do people still buy albums? I am a big fan of Amazon’s music app on my phone. They generate the list of the best selling songs. I browse though them every so often and download the ones I like. It feels good not to share (ummm, steal?) music anymore, and I still get the portable/customizeable playlists that fit to my likings without buying an album and getting stuck with 8 songs I don’t like.

1. Cardinals

2. Kansas City

3. LAA

4. Cardinals. 1 year, 5 mil + incentives.

5. March Madness

6. Parks and Recreation

7. Beirut – The Rip Tide

1. I like 3… Philly, Atl & STL. I think it’s tough not to go with Philly as the BEST coming into Spring. Milwaukee makes honorable mention and has the deepest rotation in my opinion but losing Prince and Braun for possibly 50 games is tough. Stl is the best if Waino is at his norm but that can’t be said coming into Spring.
2. I will take Minnesota all day long as the contender here. This is a team that has under achieved for awhile and I believe they can make a run at DET.
3. Anaheim…. I don’t know who else is close? Miami maybe…that is a scary team now if the chemistry works out. I jus don’t know about Hanley, Jose, Zambrano … Those are some egos. I do love some of the Nats’ moves, but I will take LAA.
4. I don’t believe he will end up in the AL. I don’t think he will end up on the east coast. I don’t believe the NL central will pay him. I am thinking San Diego…. Yeah I like that.
5. NCAA tourneys. As an Illini fan this has been a frustrating season but for that reason I think this whole thing is anyone’s for the taking. Like, a 9 seed in the championship game should not be surprising.
6. Modern Family. Hands down…if for no other reason than looking at Sophia Vergara for 8 or 9 minutes.
7. You are pretty harsh on people and their choice of music. While Creed would never make my short list of anything musical, this is risky. I am taking Jamey Johnson’s double album, The Guitar Song. But, Ryan Bingham and the Dead Horses’ album, Junky Star was just as great for me.

I am? When/how? I like what I like but I also try very hard to make it a point to be respectful of what other folks like — jokes about the BEPs aside. And that Jamey Johnson record is KILLER. One of my favorite albums of 2010.
-M.

Harsh was not the right word choice. I respect your ear… So maybe intimidating would have been better. In an Iron Chef judge type of way. Regardless I was disqualified for being a year behind. My apologies, kind sir.

1. Phillies.
2. Indians (assuming Grady and Hafner are healthy) or Royals
3. As for long term improvement, hard to not say LAA. The Marlins probably second.
4. A year ago, it’d be Red Sox hands down. I can’t imagine why the Cardinals would want him as anything other than a coach but I wouldn’t be surprised if he signs with STL.
5. The opening Thursday and Friday of the NCAA tourney. Best two days in sports.
6. Archer! Duh. Parks and Recreation is a super close second.
7. I really, really want to put Black Keys here, but I can’t do it. Have to go with Wasting Light first, and El Camino second.

-thefilmjerk

1) Call me a homer if you will, but I’m going to say the Cardinals here. Starting pitching should firm up with the return of Wainwright, bullpen is younger and stronger than last year’s coming out of the gate. Sure, the loss of Pujols hurts, but getting Beltran helps ameliorate that, and the other big potential rivals have suffered similar losses with Fielder leaving the Brewers, Braun being suspended part of the season for same, and Howard out with injury for a month or more to start the season for the Phillies, at the very least.

4) Going to go with none here, unless (unfortunately reasonably likely) a team’s starter suffers a long-term injury in spring training.

5) Not sure if this counts with the regular season still ongoing, but Stanley Cup playoffs, without a doubt.

1) Phillies, as much as I’m not a believer in their offense. I’d like to say the Cardinals, but too many variables there.

2) Indians

3) Angels. Some day the Pujols signing will likely to haunt them, but it will not be this year. I like the Marlins as well. Really like their rotation if Johnson can stay healthy and the Zambrano move has great upside with very little downside.

4) Nationals. Looks like he wants to stay in the NL or I’d be tempted to say the Red Sox

5) Kentucky Derby

6) The Office. Really more of a drama fan though.

7) Mine Is Yours. Gets better with each listen. Like what I’ve heard of Slave Ambient by the War On Drugs, but I haven’t listened to it all the way through enough times yet.

1. Even with the loss of Albert, the Cardinals are looking pretty good in the NL. If the Phillies had Ryan Howard for Opening Day, then I would say them. But as it is, I would have to say St. Louis.
2. I think the team that has the greatest chance of sneaking up behind the Tigers are the Twins. Their players have a lot of potential, but they can’t stay healthy. It’s a new year, new season. Perhaps they can this year.
3. I think the Marlins have improved the most. However, I think the Tigers are better than both the Marlins and the Angels.
4. I don’t see him coming to St. Louis this year. Maybe the Mets.
5. Next sporting event….All Star game.
6. Funniest tv show is Psych. Gotta love Shawn and Longbranch Pennywhistle.
7. My favorite album last year was Generation @ War, by Double J.

1. They aren’t going to be as good as last year’s team, but hard to go with anyone besides the Phillies
2. The Royals are the most intriguing.
3. Angels
4. Boston
5. NCAA Tournament
6. Community
7. Black Joe Lewis and The Honeybears – Scandalous

1. Phillies’ window is still open this year. I think they have the best chance on paper, followed by the Cards.
2. Tigers threats (highest to lowest threat): Indians, Royals, White Sox, Twins
3. Angels might put Vernon Wells on the bench. They win for that alone.
4. Rangers
5. World Baseball Classic
6. Parks and Rec
7. David Comes to Life

1. St. Louis Cardinals
2. Kansas City Royals
3. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
4. His local softball team
5. March Madness
6. Parks and Recreation
7. Bon Iver, Bon Iver

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