By: Matt Pugliese
Every baseball fan’s dream is on the periphery of commencement: spring training is here! The 2009 Major League Baseball season is underway. Every team gets a fresh start, and they’re all vying for the coveted Commissioners Trophy, and being named World Series Champions. That crown will have to be taken from the reigning World Series Champs, the Philadelphia Phillies. They will look to win back-to-back titles for the first time since the New York Yankees accomplished that feat when they won back -to-back titles in 1998, 1999, and 2000.
There have been some major storylines since the end of last year. The New York Yankees are still spending money.They acquired free agent
pitcher CC Sabathia (7 years, $161 Million), A.J. Burnett (5 years, $82.5 Million) and 1B Mark Teixeira (8 years, $180 Million). The Yankees spent a total of $423.5 million this offseason to bolster their lineup. The Yankees 2009 payroll will be around $210 million, by far the most of any team in baseball.
The Yankees had one major issue to face before the season even began. Alex Rodriguez, one of the premier players in the game today, admitted using steroids from 2001-2003 while with the Texas Rangers. Rodriguez has appeared in press conferences to talk about his past. He stated numerous times that he was “young and stupid.” He claims that he got the performance-enhancing drugs from his cousin Yuri Sucart in the Dominican Republic. Whether he is telling the truth or not, it may be difficult emotionally for Rodriguez in the 2009 season.
Manny Ramirez, one of the top right-handed hitters all-time, is still not signed. The Los Angeles Dodgers want him back, but will not bid with themselves. They do not want to overpay for Ramirez. Over the past few days, the Dodgers and Agent Scott Boras have met and our looking to reach an agreement for Manny in the near future.
Ned Coletti, Dodgers GM, ” I think there has been some progress made. But not enough to consummate a deal. I think we’re both clearer now on why we both stand where we stand. At the outset of this three months ago, it was more guesswork.”
Can the Philadelphia Phillies repeat as champions? They have added Left Fielder Raul Ibanez to bolster their hitting and fielding. He replaces Pat Burrell, who has moved on to the defending American League champions, Tampa Bay Rays. These two teams look to rematch for the World Series trophy.
There are many teams that can win the commissioners trophy. According to Fox Sports, the Yankees are the favorite to win the World Series. The Rays come in second followed by the Phillies in third. The Boston Red Sox came in fourth and the New York Mets round out the top 5. This does not necessarily mean that these are the only teams that can win.
“I think the Yankees are going to win this year,” said Marist junior DJ Gentile. They have great pitching, hitting and coaching. They are in all around great team.”
Michael Zambrano thinks the Dodgers have a great shot. ” I believe the Dodgers, if they get Manny back, will win the World Series. Last Year with Manny, they were a different team and very close to winning it all.”
So many teams have an excellent shot at winning the trophy. It makes for an interesting 2009 MLB season.