The Florida Marlins Will Take the National League Wild Card

Mike Stanton: huge upside

I conclude my predictions with possibly the most challenging of all: NL Wild Card. It could be the Reds, the Braves, the Cardinals, the Padres, the Giants, or any of the clubs I have forecast as division winners. I’ll go way out and stick with the Fish of Florida. I always like the team that plays in the most visiting-team challenging stadium. It rains just about every day in Miami, and this plays havoc with visiting squads. The place is hot and too wide open for baseball. (It was constructed for American football.) I really like merry Mike Stanton, not the old Yankees left-handed bullpen specialist, but the six-foot-five twenty-one-year-old (!) outfielder. Omar Infante is one of the best-hitting second basemen. A couple of Yankees castoffs are in the rotation and pen, respectively: Javy Vazquez (who never caught on in New York despite the glittering stats compiled elsewhere, reminding me of “El” Sid Fernandez’s career to a degree. In case anyone in New York or Boston has forgotten, Javy surrendered the grandest home run in Yankees history in 2004) and lefty Randy Choate. Vazquez is more of a National League guy and should anchor a youngish but solid staff. John Buck, formerly of the Toronto Blue Jays, ought to do well and help the defense, which can be shaky….Now that I have completed my predictions, I will not choose the winner of the 2011 World Series, though I think it will be the Phillies. Let me now hear from all those who picked the Giants this time last season.

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About rightoffthebatbook

Co-author of the book, "Right Off the Bat: Baseball, Cricket, Literature, and Life"
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