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Perfection!!!!!

That was amazing. Simply Spectacular. A PERFECT GAME by Mike Buehrle.

Mark Buehrle, White Sox pitcher

(http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2005/players/10/04/first.person1010/)

Now let’s wind back the clock a bit (thanks for providing one Mr.Buehrle). The last person to pitch a perfect game in MLB history was Camera stuffer Randy Johson back in 2004.

(http://nbcsportsmedia.msnbc.com/j/msnbc/Components/Photos/050111/050111_randyjohnson_hmed10a.h2.jpg)

But Mark Buehrle is a nice guy and he totally deserved it, even though he had a perfect game against my Rays. You can see in an interview here: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2005/players/10/04/first.person1010/

(http://img.fannation.com/upload/si_blog_post_images/39401/tx_buehrle.jpg)

Mark totally deserves this perfect game and he has always been a quality starter who worked deep into games. The most special part of this team effort though was made by the Wise-one, DeWayne Wise.

 (http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090723&content_id=6018498&vkey=recap&fext=.jsp&c_id=cws

He made an amazing catch in a high pressure situation to preserve the perfect game. Talk about coming up clutch! All people should be wise like that!

(http://media1.suntimes.com/multimedia/g051609obama1_cst_feed_20090516_13_52_29_2597-272-400.imageContent)

After the game, Buehrle received the highest honor of having received a congratulatory call from the President himself, Barack Obama.

  (http://www.cubscast.com/images/lee_09.jpg)

So how’s that for a day Mark?

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Early Division Predictions: AL Central

Phew, it was able to save this time. (see entry titled, Why???) The AL Central division is tough to rank and there were many close calls but I think I make the right picks. As you may have noticed in my last Division Rankings, I accompany each of my picks with an explanation to why I chose them for that spot.With that done, let the picks roll!

Minnesota Twins: The “M” Men, Mauer and Morneau, head a young, steady offense that includes 2007 R.O.Y. runner up, Delmon Young, Denard Span, and Carlos Gonzalez, who came over from the Mets in the Santana trade. It appears as though the Santana trade actually benefited the Twins as they saved a huge chunk of payroll and received some nice prospects in return. Fransisco Liriano is a solid ace and he has a good supporting cast in Glen Perkins and Kevin Slowey. Joe Nathan is an amazing closer and he is surrounded by good relievers.

 

 

 

   Chicago White Sox: The starting rotation will survive even after the Vazquez trade with Gavin Floyd and John Danks leading the way. Alexei Ramirez, Jermaine Dye, and Carlos Quentin are the White Sox’s best hitters and Cuban import Dayan Viciedo, whom the White Sox got for 4 years, 10 million, could be the next Hanley Ramirez.  Bobby Jenks is a solid closer and has been refining his game. He is decreasing his velocity to cultivate his off-speed pitches leading to a 3.63 E.R.A. with 30 saves out of 34 save opportunities last year.   

 

 Cleveland Indians: Grady Sizemore had a 30-30 season last year and is considered one of the best hitters is the game despite his .268 average. Victor Martinez and Travis Hafner will probably have comeback seasons and Matt LaPorta will be on his way up soon to aid the offense. Cliff Lee was arguably the best pitcher in the game last season after posting a 22-3 record and a 2.54 E.R.A. and winning the AL Cy Young Award. Along with him, on the Cleveland staff, their are Fausto Carmona and Aaron Laffey. Wood will be a great closer, health permitting, and his supporting cast Jensen Lewis and Joe Smith, are decent.

 

 Detroit Tigers: What can I say? They had Cabrera, Granderson, Ordonez, Guillen, and Polanco yet still finished fifth in their division. Verlander will probably revert to his 07′ form with Galargga and Jackson solid behind him. Rick Porcello is projected to make it to the bigs in September 2009 or early 2010 which will be a boost to their pitching. Rodney is an ower-powering closer and has an okay bullpen around him with Zumaya and Seay.

 

   Kansas City Royals: Alex Gordon, Jose Guillen, Coco Crisp Mike Aviles, and Mike Jacobs are all parts of an offense that now also includes minor league masher Kila Ka’aihue. Meche and Bannister, the Royals’ 1-2 punch, would be most team’s 3-4 punches. Joakim Soria is a found jewel of a closer and Kyle Farnsworth and Ron Mahay are interesting pitchers. Look for the Royals to come together in 2010 or 2011.

 

Coming up in the next few days, The Early Division Predictions of the…AL West.

 

Happy Holidays!

The Manoman