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Dodgers Daily 2008 Season Preview: It's Here Already?

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After Saturday night’s spectacle at the Coliseum, I came away hearing the best joke. The public announcer said, “Now batting DH, Juan Pierre.” That was an even better joke than waiting a total of five hours in line for the charter buses from and to Dodger Stadium with my severely sciatica-afflicted left leg.

I may be a little grumpy today since I didn’t get home from that game until 1 am, but there are a lot of concerns for the Dodgers leading up to Opening Day.

“I’ve never been this close to the end [of spring training] and not knowing the makeup of the club,” manager Joe Torre said a couple of days ago according to the LA Times. As early as Sunday morning, it was unknown as who would be the starting left fielder: Slappy McPopUp or Andre Ethier.

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A fan who sat behind me said that Juan Pierre brings a lot to the team with his speed. I agreed with the guy that Slappy does have a lot of speed, but with the way he’s hitting he’d be using all that speed in the dugout. He conceded.

Well by Sunday afternoon, the Times reported that Ethier will indeed be the starting left fielder. Thank heavens for small miracles.

The other very worrisome position is third base. With NoMore out indefinitely with a microfracture in his wrist, Andy LaRoche out until May with a surgically repaired ligament in his right thumb and Tony Abreu out with the mysterious abdominal injury, that leaves Blake DeWitt as the everyday third baseman. Blake De Who? Exactly. DeWitt has never played above AA ball, so he'll be prone to all the rookie mistakes.

I won't even get into the fact that Andruw Jones looks like he's rejected every salad that has come near him and has had declining production the last two seasons. And Jeff Kent's pulled hammy, Takashi Saito's injured calf, Jason Schmidt's shoulder, etc. And which set of pitchers will show up?

I really do want to be optimistic about the Dodger season, but it's really hard. Yeah the Dodgers led the National League in homers this spring, but it's spring training. I am really excited seeing James Loney, Matt Kemp and Russell Martin, but that's about it.

With this said, here are my post-season predictions.

NL East: NY Mets
NL Central: Chicago Cubs
NL West: Arizona Diamondback
NL Wild Card: Atlanta Braves

AL East: Boston Red Sox
AL Central: Detroit Tigers
AL West: Angels
AL Wild Card: Tampa Bay Rays

World Series: Chicago Cubs over Detroit Tigers 4-2. The Cubs fans will then become unbearable like the Red Sox fans and will not win another title for another 100 years.

Where do the Dodgers fit in this? Third in the NL West behind the San Diego Padres.

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Sorry. But that's about as much faith as I can put in this team.

AP Photo by Lenny Ignelzi