Pitchers and catchers have their first spring training workouts today, and fans can begin to ponder life’s persistent questions. Who will be the fifth starter in the Tigers’ rotation? Will the Twins overcome the loss of Fancisco Liriano? Who will play centerfield for the White Sox? And those are just the pressing questions in the American League Central division. There are five other divisions in major league baseball. Twenty-seven other teams. A rich feast of speculation. And of joy and heartache.
Here are the latest odds on the 2007 World Series championship. I’m pleased and a little startled to see my Tigers sitting in second place behind the rich, aging Yankees. Both Chicago teams are in the top five, which will please everyone at Loyola Press. The gambling odds reflect the conventional wisdom. There will undoubtedly be teams that surprise, as the Tigers did last year. Who will that be this year? My candidates are the Cleveland Indians and the Milwaukee Brewers.
As managers are wont to say in the spring, “if we stay healthy and get some breaks, we’ll surprise some people.”