I hope you enjoyed the Gigantic Sox and Dawgs 2014 MLB preview. Over the last week we gave you a team by team look at the key players, new faces, potential MVP, Cy Young and Rookie of the Year candidates, possible starting lineups and rotations as well as a quick summary.
This preview was sculpted over the off season with some mild tweaking as we went along prior to publication. It comes from a culmination of reading many hours of baseball research.
I’d like to thank my proofreader Linda for all her help in going through this looking for my multitude of errors, your effort was much appreciated.
I hope you enjoyed this look at the upcoming season.
After previewing all six divisions today is the day we look at the big winners and managers who could be in trouble in 2014. You can check out all the division previews by following the links.
Sunday: NL West
Monday: AL West
Tuesday: NL Central
Wednesday: AL Central
Thursday: NL East
Friday: AL East
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Managers on the Hot Seat
In the final day of the Gigantic Sox and Dawgs 2014 MLB Preview, with a little help from Ian, we reveal our playoff picks. This includes the World Series winner and the major Award winners for 2014 but first let’s take a quick look at what managers are in dire straits as we begin the new season.
Toronto’s John Gibbons was brought back in 2013 for a second go around with the Blue Jays. In his first stint he was 305-305. Last year they were supposed to be the class of the division and the injuries hit, the team didn’t play well and they finished last in the AL East at 74-88 clearly the worst year as a manager Gibbons has ever had. I was shocked when they brought him back but they did it with Cito Gaston as well maybe when they can Gibbons they’ll bring back Buck Martinez.
Terry Collins of the New York Mets finds his name on this list for the third time in three seasons. That’s because Collins who got a two-year extension at the end of 2013 was given a one-year mandate. That leaves him as a lame duck manager with not a lot of talent in the lineup.
Milwaukee’s Ron Roenicke is manager to watch on the firing line in 2014. Roenicke is signed through 2014 with a team option for 2015 and when a manager is in the one and an option area of his contract that’s the time he generally starts to wonder if he is going to remain. It’s easy for the team to let him go they just don’t exercise the option year in his contract. In his three previous years the team win total has decreased each season. From 96 to 83 to 74 as their place in the NL Central went from 1st to 3rd to 4th in that span. Another sub .500 season or one that isn’t projecting out to one, say in August, will lead to a change.
Texas’ Ron Washington will find his part of the bench warmer then usual in the Texas heat if the Rangers fail to contend. Washington who is well liked by his players tends to burn out his position players by playing them too much and mismanages his pitching staff. Despite two World Series appearances and a wild card berth in the last four years it could all be over in Arlington. The last two seasons have seen Washington’s Rangers choke away the AL West title at the end. In 2012 they saved face and earned the wild card, in 2013 they were able to get a Game 163 but lost. Both seasons they were surefire playoff teams and the window has closed in Texas. I was stunned they brought him back for 2014 and I think he could be gone by the break but then again in late February they extended him through 2015. Texas has gone from a perennial World Series contender to a franchise of total front office dysfunction right now.
Like Roenicke, Arizona’s Kirk Gibson is in the final year of his contract plus an option for 2015 and would be very easy to push out the door at any point this season or after. After a wildly successful first season that saw a NL West title with 94 wins he has seen the team struggle to 81-81 records the last two seasons. Like with most managers at this point in their relationship with the team they have to show they belong and in this case I think Gibby needs his team to make a serious run at a playoff spot.
2014 Projected Winners
Now here are the Sox & Dawgs picks for the 2014 playoffs and the major award winners:
AL East: Boston Red Sox (2)
AL Central: Detroit Tigers (1)
AL West: Oakland A’s (3)
AL Wild Cards: Tampa Bay Rays (4) and Kansas City Royals (5)
AL East: Boston Red Sox (3)
AL Central: Detroit Tigers (1)
AL West: Oakland A’s (2)
AL Wild Card: New York Yankees (4) and Tampa Bay Rays (5)
NL East: Washington Nationals (3)
NL Central: St. Louis Cardinals (2)
NL West: Los Angeles Dodgers (1)
NL Wild Cards: Pittsburgh Pirates (4) and San Francisco Giants (5)
NL East: Washington Nationals (2)
NL Central: Pittsburgh Pirates (3)
NL West: Los Angeles Dodgers (1)
NL Wild Card: St. Louis Cardinals (4) and Atlanta Braves (5)
AL Play in Game: Kansas City over Tampa Bay
NL Play in Game: Pittsburgh over San Francisco
AL Play in Game: New York over Tampa Bay
NL Play in Game: Atlanta over St. Louis
AL Division Series: Detroit over Kansas City 3-1; Boston over Oakland 3-2
NL Division Series: Los Angeles over Pittsburgh 3-1; St. Louis over Washington 3-1
AL Division Series: Detroit over New York 3-2; Boston over Oakland 3-1
NL Division Series: Los Angeles over St. Louis 3-2; Pittsburgh over Washington 3-2
AL Championship Series: Detroit over Boston 4-2
NL Championship Series: Los Angeles over St. Louis 4-3
AL Championship Series: Detroit over Boston 4-3
NL Championship Series: Los Angeles over Pittsburgh 4-1
World Series Champion: Los Angeles over Detroit 4-2
World Series Champion: Detroit over Los Angeles 4-2
2014 Projected Award Winners
AL MVP: 1B Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers
NL MVP: C Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants
AL MVP: CF Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels
NL MVP: 1B Adrian Gonzalez, Los Angeles Dodgers
AL Cy Young Winner: SP Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners
NL Cy Young Winner: SP Adam Wainwright, St. Louis Cardinals
AL Cy Young Winner: SP Yu Darvish, Texas Rangers
NL Cy Young Winner: SP Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers
AL Rookie of the Year: SS Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox
NL Rookie of the Year: 2B Alexander Guerrero, Los Angeles Dodgers
AL Rookie of the Year: SP Masahiro Tanaka, New York Yankees
NL Rookie of the Year: OF Oscar Tavaras, St. Louis Cardinals
AL Manager of the Year: Ned Yost, Kansas City Royals
NL Manager of the Year: Bruce Bochy, San Francisco Giants
AL Manager of the Year: John Farrell, Boston Red Sox
NL Manager of the Year: Clint Hurdle, Pittsburgh Pirates
All that’s left now is to play the games, smell the grass and enjoy being a fan of a terrific sport and hopefully you see your team succeed in 2014.
Here are the season opening games for each team. I listed the Dodgers and Diamondbacks a second time because they actually open a week earlier in Sydney Australia:
All the games listed below are available on MLB.TV, AtBat14 and SiriusXM Radio in addition to any local TV availability and team radio network.
|March 22||4 am||Dodgers||Diamondbacks||in Sydney Australia|
|March 23||10 pm||Dodgers||Diamondbacks||in Sydney Australia|
|March 30||8:05p||Dodgers||Padres||ESPN Sunday Night Baseball|
|3:05p||Red Sox||Orioles||ESPN 2|