Sorry for the length, but I wanted to write summaries since I know not everyone will listen to these (it’s a little under 5.5 hours total).
• AL: HOU - Rany predicts 58 wins, Joe 52. Joe points out that previously historically horrible teams were worse defensively. SEA - Rany predicts 77 wins. Joe thinks the stadium dimension changes will hurt more than help; Rany is unsure, thinking that perhaps it will help their young hitters develop. LAA - Both like the re-introduction of Bourjos. They think Pujols will maintain his 2012 level, and that the bullpen will be good. Rany predicts 92-93 wins; Joe fewer. OAK - Rany is skeptical of Nakajima. They observe that it’s been difficult to project Japanese players. Both think the team will generally regress. Joe: “Jed Lowrie is not a shortstop”; “Tom Milone is Italian for Jeff Ballard.” TEX - Joe thinks they “lost the offseason”, but still likes their remaining talent a lot. Rany wonders whether the value of Profar and Olt will be wasted.
Rany picks LAA to win the division, Joe TEX.
• NL: COL - They hate the pitching. Joe thinks the organization has placed character above ability, e.g. Cuddyer. They’re skeptical of Weiss’ inexperience. Joe says he (Joe) could add five wins with managerial decisions. Rany predicts 72 wins, Joe 68. ARI - Both hate the team’s offseason moves. Joe calls Cliff Pennington “Chad.” They like the rotation. They discuss the unpredictability of “chemistry.” LAD - They question many of the veterans and agree that the payroll is being spent inefficiently, but hey, it’s a really big payroll. SF - Rany thinks they can win 90-92. Joe thinks they have the “highest floor” in the division. SD - Rany thinks they’re not much better than the Rockies. Joe likes Black’s managing, and the mid-20s average age; he loves the team’s upside. Rany thinks the rotation doesn’t cut it.
Rany picks ARI to win the division, Joe SD. Rany thinks it’s very close between ARI, LAD, SF. Joe thinks no team in the division will win 90.
• A weird discussion about a March Madness-esque single-game elimination tournament among MLB teams.
• AL: NYY - Joe is depressed about the Boesch signing. He predicts a 3rd place finish, and contemplates a rebuild. They have confidence in Cashman. They think it’d take a ‘12 Orioles unlikely scenario to contend. BAL - They think the team might be better than ‘12, but have a worse record. Rany says 79-83 wins. BOS - Joe isn’t sure Bradley Jr. is ready, and doesn’t like Middlebrooks (comparing him to Shea Hillenbrand). Joe doesn’t think Gomes and Victorino can hit righties, and doesn’t buy that platoon splits have to be hugely regressed. He does like Lester. Rany: The front office “has earned my derision.” Joe says 82 wins, Rany 76-80. TB - They like Hellickson and the pitching, not so much the offense. Joe thinks Myers needs to be in the lineup; Rany suggests locking him up long-term now. They think claims about runs saved by pitch-framing are exaggerated, and that the Jaso/Lueke trade was a disaster. Joe: “Roberto Petagine is the Anne Hathaway of Quad-A hitters.” TOR - They love the offense and rotation. Joe likes Gibbons as a manager.
Rany: TOR, TB, NYY, BAL, BOS Joe: TOR, TB, NYY, BOS, BAL
• NL: MIA - Joe: “The natural byproduct of the last three or four CBAs.” Rany: An “atrocity.” Rany makes Costanza-esque proposals where KC acquires Stanton. NYM - Joe: Their financial shenanigans are “criminal.” The team stinks. PHI - Amaro, Zduriencik and Colletti are nominated as potential worst GMs in MLB. Joe loves the Revere acquisition, but they hate their other moves. Will the team “sell”? WAS - They see no weaknesses; Joe says 102-105 wins, Rany 98-100. No lefty RP shouldn’t be a problem. They love Davey Johnson (and compare this team to the ‘86 Mets), as well as the Span acquisition. Joe likes Harper for MVP. Rany predicts 300 PA for Rendon. ATL - They love the OF, of course. They are huge Simmons fans; Joe says best IF arm since Shawon Dunston. Joe gets into his usual thing about how horrible it’d be if an 88-win team beat a 97-win team in a play-in game.
• Spring training: They both think it’s too long.
• Vernon Wells: Rany thinks the Yankees are panicking. Joe defends the move for the Yanks, pointing out that Wells has a salary that can be structured not to affect the 2014 salary cap, and that, once everyone is healthy, is well-suited to be a platoon outfielder who is amenable to being on the bench. Joe screams like a crazy person about Russell Martin being irrelevant to the issue because Martin had left before the Yankees’ injuries hit. Joe thinks re-signing Ichiro was a bigger mistake than either acquiring Wells or not re-signing Martin.
• NL: CHC - Rany thinks they’re improving slowly; Joe projects them to be just a bit below .500. Rany compares Starlin to Garry Templeton; Joe suggests Nomar Garciaparra. Rany thinks Samardzija is “for real”, Joe doesn’t. PIT - Rany likes the upside of their young talent and has them at about 78 wins. Joe likes them in a couple of years, but thinks they’re currently worst in the division. MIL - Both are down on them, citing the right-handed tilt of the lineup, and baffled by Alex Gonzalez at 1B. Joe at least likes their hitting and OF defense. STL - Joe questions Matheny’s managing; middle infield; starting pitching depth. Rany likes their organizational talent, but not necessarily this year’s squad. CIN - Both agree that the organization should have committed to Chapman as a starter before spring training. They dislike Choo’s defense in CF, like the bullpen and offense.
Rany: CIN, STL, CHC, PIT, MIL Joe: CIN, STL, MIL, CHC, PIT
• AL: DET - Joe sees them as similar to last year, 86-88 wins. Rany thinks 90-93, due to full seasons from Infante and Anibal Sanchez, and improvement by Scherzer and Porcello. Neither likes the infield defense or bullpen. MIN - Both dislike promoting Hicks, and view the team in general as nearly Astros-bad. CHW - Both question the starting pitching depth and offense. Rany says 75 wins, Joe a little less. CLE - Joe likes the defense, hates the starting pitching. KC - Joe guesses 82 wins, Rany 86. (It bothers Rany that the Royals still can’t be projected into the playoffs even despite the Shields trade.) Rany expects improvement at C, 1B, RF. Joe hates Yost’s managing.
Rany & Joe: DET, KC, CHW, CLE, MIN