2007 MLB Season Preview

TAMPA – As the beginning of 2007 Major League Baseball season looms, we find ourselves in the middle of spring training, with many of the questions that have been asked in seasons past being asked once again, and many of the issues baseball has half-heartedly limped towards fixing still kicking America’s pastime in the rear. Lush For Life will attempt to sort through all of the nonsense and give all of our dear readers a clear-sighted view of what to expect this upcoming year.
The off-season saw MLB do little to deal with its ongoing issue of the cloaking of steroids and muscle-enhancing drugs. The US government has gotten involved at a deeper level, attacking the suppliers of these drugs. Leads have pointed the dirty finger at a number of players of notoriety in the past, though recent progressions have only implicated the marginal Gary Matthews, Jr., who might as well be the head of Major League Mediocrity Players Association.
Investigators have linked Matthews to one of the nation’s largest distributors of narcotics and steroids, Applied Pharmacy Services out of Mobile, Alabama. On the surface, it appears Matthews has been caught red-handed after his 2006 campaign that saw his numbers increase significantly. The roider’s lifetime .263 batting average raised to .315, while his homeruns and runs scored increased by 40 percent. No conclusive information has surfaced yet, and no clear answers are expected until Jose Canseco publishes his new book, Even More Roid Heads I Played With.
It appears, however, that investigators are making a difference and are beginning to get to the bottom of this issue. Even Barry Bonds is starting to look guilty, as he has been openly friendly to his fans and the media during the past several weeks by smiling on camera, shaking hands, and accepting interviews. Too little, too late, Barry… Nothing will stop the hyenas now that you’ve got them riled up, and no one will stop them till they’ve nailed you and picked your bones clean – seeing that even MLB wants you gone so you don’t shatter Hank Aaron’s home run record. Life must be tough for Barry Bonds.
To curtail the expected deficits of this upcoming year, MLB has made plans to hold several spring training games on Mars, alongside the outer ring of Clint Eastwood’s Astroplane Café, who will be providing concessions and refreshments to fans, as well as his core base of Buddhists and psychedelic drug users who frequent his café.
On a less intriguing note, many big-spending teams who fell short in ’06 have reloaded their already bloated rosters for another pennant race in 2007. The Boston Red Sox started the hum-hum by signing the highly coveted starting pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka from Japan. According to news reports, and the three innings he’s pitched in spring training, Dice-K promises to be the most dominant force in pitching since Rollie Fingers, and the most feared arm west of the Prime Meridian. At least that’s the word out of Boston…
Unwilling to see the Bo Sox make a move without a counter punch, George Steinbrenner and the Yankees have lured their winningest pitcher in postseason history, Andy Pettite, back to their squad, and have six-time Cy Young winner Roger Clemens on the line and are reeling him in. The Yanks should never have gotten rid of Pettite in the first place in favor of the feared and absent Jared Wright, Carl Pavano, and Randy Johnson. If Clemens decides to play this year –let me break the suspense: he will – then the Yankees will have him after the All-Star break for half a dozen starts for the $20 million he’ll demand and they’ll gladly pay. Lush For Life will cover the story with more resources than we used on Anna Nicole Smith, Britney Spears, and the NBA combined. Not Brett Favre, though.
To round out the American League East, and since we’re based in Tampa, I’ll tackle the amazing Tampa Bay Devil Rays. A new season begins, and new hope is restored yet again. The Rays promise to display one of the youngest and most talented outfields in baseball, with Carl Crawford, Rocco Baldelli, and Delmon Young. This, along with pitcher Scott Kazmir, is hopefully enough firepower to get you people to come out to see these guys play this year. They won’t contend until the young pitchers come around and the bullpen becomes stable, and that won’t happen until baseball implements a salary cap system to keep teams like the Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs, and Mets from treating the Devil Rays like their own personal farm systems.
Nonetheless, it should be an entertaining year. Watch with all the scrutiny and piercing wit Lush For Life exhibits, and you may just enjoy yourself.



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