1. Best catch to help preserve a no-no: DeWayne Wise, Mike Baxter or Gregor Blanco?
2. The Nationals have the biggest division lead of any team in baseball. You buying?
3. Who should start the All-Star Game for the NL? Strasburg? Cain? Dickey? Beachy? Lynn? Other?
4. Angels and Giants are both 3 1/2 back. Which team has the better chance of winning its division?
5. NBA Finals: who ya got?
6. GOAT: Nadal, Federer, Sampras, Laver, other?
7. It’s Father’s Day this weekend. Tell me something cool about your dad. Mine was/is the absolute king of “creative” cooking and making casseroles out of whatever was in the house. This may not sound like much; trust me it’s a heck of a skill.
Welcome to the second non-StL-centric edition of Lucky Seven. Let’s get rolling, shall we?
1. Pardon me a little synergy here. In this article, I examined some of the various candidates for the title of best player in baseball. In your mind, who’s the best right now?
2. Heck, while we’re at it, who’s the best pitcher in the game?
3. Which team will employ A.J. Burnett when Spring Training games start?
4. A lot of you named the Phillies last week as the NL’s best team. Which NL East team will give them the most trouble this year?
5. Granting that the MLB All-Star game is the best (c’mon, you know this is true), which is second-best? NBA, NHL, or Pro Bowl?
6. Last really great meal you had at a restaurant?
7. Best novel you’ve read recently?
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?
OK, I don’t actually eat crab cakes, but everybody else who comes to Baltimore does. And you can bet I’ll be having some Cuban food in St. Petersburg and/or Tampa.
1. Over-under date for Albert Pujols’ return to the active roster: Aug. 1. What say you, sooner or later than that?
2. What should be the front office’s primary acquisition goal before the non-waiver Trade Deadline?
3. Assuming Fernando Salas remains the closer, who is the best option on the current roster to be the primary setup man? (note: Eduardo Sanchez is not on the current active roster)
4. Which Cardinals should be All-Stars?
5. What’s the most surprising team in baseball, good or bad, at the halfway point?
6. Men’s tennis GOAT: Federer? Nadal? Sampras? Borg? Laver? Who ya got? (y’all: this means Greatest Of All Time)
7. Last really good album you bought?
1. Simple question. Division winner. Reds, Cards, Cubs, Brewers: who ya got?
2. What should the Cardinals do about the ninth inning? Boggs? Motte? Batista? Sanchez? Committee? Back to Franklin soon?
3. How should the Cardinals apportion time at second base while Skip Schumaker is out? Options include Punto, Descalso, and Greene.
4. Jaime Garcia currently leads the Cardinals in strikeouts, followed by Lohse, and then Carpenter. At the end of the year, which Cardinals hurler will have the most Ks?
5. Are you following NFL Draft stuff? If so, who should the Rams take? If you’re a fan of another team, who do you want your team to take in the first round?
6. I say Archer is the funniest show on TV. What say you?
7. Best album you’ve heard so far this year?
1. Which player not in the Opening Day lineup (or season-opening pitching rotation) will have the biggest impact on the 2011 Cardinals?
2. Who will end up being the primary setup man for this team, or is that pitcher not currently on the roster?
3. Give me slash-line (AVG/OBP/SLG) guesses for Berkman and Theriot this year.
4. Was Jaime Garcia’s last spring start enough to ease your mind, or are you worried about how he will perform this year?
5. Give me one fearless prediction for the National League this year.
6. What’s your Final Four prediction?
7. Where are you watching today’s game?