30 Teams in 30 Days – Boston Red Sox

Hello everyone, and welcome to the second installment of 30 teams in 30 days. Today’s team was one of the biggest discussion last year and the most interesting story. The Boston Red Sox.
Boston Red Sox
Record: 90-72
Finish: 3rd in the AL East
Playoffs: N/A
Top Pitcher: John Lester 13-6, 3.16 ERA, 146 SO
Top Hitter: Adrian Gonzalez .343 AVG, 18 HR, 94 RBI
Manager: Bobby Valentine
Important Acquisitions: Cody Ross, Mark Melancon, Nick Punto, Kelly Shoppach,
Andrew Bailey, Ryan Sweeney
Important Losses: Liquor, Jonathan Papelbon PHI, Marco Scutaro COL, Josh Reddick OAK

Last season, the Boston Red Sox were on the verge of making the playoffs but then all hell broke loose. In September, the Red Sox had a 96% chance of making the playoffs. The Red Sox would go on to lose 18 of their final 24 games. In their last game of the season,  against the Baltimore Orioles, they blew their lead and lost their shot to make the playoffs, as The Tampa Bay Rays came back to win their last game in extra innings against the Yankees. Now the 2012 Red Sox have a lot to over come. Their pitching rotation (which was their achilles heel last season) hasn’t been drastically changed, they lost Papelbon who was their star closer and they are still stuck with “wild card” type pitcher John Lackey, who they need to produce to help their team. The BoSox also have a lot of interior problems. Their GM Theo Epstein resigned and Manager Terry Francona was relieved of his duties. They also lost their ability to drink in the clubhouse after their new Manager Bobby Valentine, banned all alcohol from the clubhouse. Now this will prove to be pivotal as last season the Red Sox had one of best records in baseball going into September, they did this with alcohol in the clubhouse, so it will be interesting to see how they do without it. Also the BoSox are lacking in a power hitter, their best option as one is an aging David Ortiz. I do believe though, that Carl Crawford will be the silver lining for the BoSox. I think unlike last season he will produce heavily. With the Rays, Yankees and Jays all getting better and the Red Sox getting worse and with the turmoil in the system at the moment I can’t see them doing any better then 3rd in the AL East.

Prediction
Record: 85-77
Finish: 3rd in AL East
Playoffs: N/A
Top Pitcher: Josh Beckett, 17-11, 3.26 ERA, 220 SO
Top Hitter: Carl Crawford, .327 AVG, 24 HR, 97 RBI, 35 SB
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-McFultz

30 Teams in 30 Days – Detroit Tigers

Hello everyone, and welcome to our first installment of 30 Teams in 30 Days. Everyday, a new one of us here, at Critics From The Couch will be doing a full report on a different MLB Team, we’re going to get it started with one of the most exciting teams, The Detroit Tigers.
Detroit Tigers
Record: 95-67
Finish: 1st AL Central
Playoffs: Eliminated in ALCS
Top Pitcher: Justin Verlander 24-5, 2.40 ERA, 250 SO
Top Hitter: Miguel Cabrera .344 AVG, 30 HR, 105 RBI
Manager: Jim Leyland
Important Acquisitions: Prince Fielder, Octavio Dotel, Collin Balester, Eric Patterson
Important Losses: Magglio Ordonez FA, Carlos Guillen SEA, Joel Zumaya MIN, Brad Penny Japan, Wilson Betemit BAL, Ryan Perry WAS, Victor Martinez Injury

Last Year, the Detroit Tigers came out of nowhere to capture the AL Central. They were eliminated in the ALCS by the Texas Rangers, but nonetheless, it was a very impressive year for the Detroit Tigers. They were led by 2011 AL Cy Young and AL MVP winner, Justin Verlander. Verlander really had an amazing season, easily the best of his career. Leading the way on offense was the always dangerous, Miguel Cabrera. Then in the off-season they signed one of the best home-run hitters in the league, Prince Fielder. So, as you can imagine, expectations are high this year . Can they live up to these expectations? To be honest, I’m a little skeptical. Justin Verlander will probably have another great season, but I think it’s unrealistic that he repeats what he did last season, he has a career 3.54 ERA, which is great, but nothing compared to last year. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the Prince Fielder deal either, he is most known around the league for his ability to hit the long ball, yes he can hit for average (career .282), but his biggest asset is the Home Run ball, and Comerica park is certainly not a power friendly ballpark. They’ve lost Victor Martinez to injury, who had an absolutely incredible season last year, they still have yet to re-sign Ordonez, they’ve lost Penny to japan, and have lost Guillen and Betemit to free Agency. I just don’t see this team being as successful as last year. They should still take the division, but they should watch out for the White Sox, who underachieved last campaign, but still have a good team, and could come on strong with a new bench boss.

Prediction
Record: 88- 74
Finish: 1st in AL Central
Playoffs: Eliminated in ALDS
Top Pitcher: Justin Verlander 19-8, 2.96 ERA, 224 SO
Top Hittter: Miguel Cabrera .336 AVG, 34 HR, 111 RBI
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- Vernon Smells