Here is a bonus link to Kurtis Blow's "Back By Popular Demand"Hello faithful Sexy Boston Sports readers! Your favorite Bill Simmons knock-off is back and better than ever! How am I better than ever? Because in 2 short weeks Sadie Sloe Gin and I will be moving to the Fenway neighborhood, just 6 blocks away from the Pahhhhhk. The mothership has beckoned and I am answering its call. My new found proximity to all the season's home games should provide me with instant credibility (subtle stab at mainstream sports writers that probably none of you got). From my tiny bedroom I will hear every crack of the bat, roar of the crowd and calls of "Shipping up to Boston". Oh. Right. Still, this is an epic move for the Boy with the Yazzy Tattoo and I hope to provide more Sox coverage than ever this year.
For about 1/3 of all MLB teams, today is PACRD (Pitchers and Catchers Reporting Day) while the Sox celebrate PACRD tomorrow. So with that, it is time to give all of you who stuck with me through my hiatus (Collapse induced rehab) the gift of my MLB previews.
Over the next week or so, I will write up a preview of all 6 divisions starting with the most boring (AL Central) and ending with the most exciting (NL East). Like last year I will predict the standings of each division, but there will be a few changes and additions this year. First, I will briefly revisit my predictions to see how I did (SPOILER ALERT: Really bad). Then, following the preview, I will highlight two players in each division. Last year I talked about a hot player under 25 and the "10th Man", or X-factor if you will. This year I have decided to mix it up. During the Great Wild Card Comebacks of 2011 (see what I did there?), two types of players played major roles that I will highlight this year.
The first is players over 35. Lance Berkman and Chris Carpenter were the offensive and pitching leaders for the Cardinals in their run to the World Series so this year I will try to find the next AARP member who could impact a division race.
The second will be the Y-factor player. As in, "Y is this player allowed near a baseball diamond?" This is an award inspired by none other than John "Wilbur the Albatross" Lackey, whose 9.15 ERA in September played a major role in allowing the Rays to come back from the dead. This year I will be trying to find which player in each division could be so terrible that they negatively affect a team's chance at the playoffs.
So in typical X Mark fashion, I have wrote a 5 paragraph preview about my preview that could have been done in 3 bullet points. I'm in mid-season form already! Up first, the AL Central. Welcome back ya'll!