DODGERS: Who knows what to make of Team Divorce Court? Not me. I just knew there were too many young guys on this roster who could erupt into megastardom -- Clayton Kershaw, Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Chad Billingsley, Jonathan Broxton, James Loney -- to send them home too early in this competition. "I actually think people are selling the Dodgers a little too short," said one NL GM. "Everybody's focused on what they didn't do and what they don't have." Agreed. On the other hand, Vicente Padilla is (gulp) their Opening Day starter. And nothing is scarier than Manny Ramirez on the last year of his contract. And with the divorce tug o' war rolling, "will they have any money," asked one scout, "to put the finishing touches on what they need to do if they're a game or two out in July?" Excellent question. So thanks for playing.
So let's look ahead, shall we? What about those Rox?
ROCKIES: They've really become "the sexy pick," said one GM. And with good reason. The depth. The balance. The rising stars. The defense. The return of Jeff Francis. The ability to score runs a million different ways. The emergence of Ubaldo Jimenez as Cy Young material. So believe the hype -- most of it, at least. But I heard three areas of concern: 1) the bullpen in general and Huston Street's lingering shoulder issues in particular, 2) the streakiness of a team that needed to ride mad comebacks to its two most recent postseason appearances, and 3) very good, but not necessarily win-it-all type starting pitching. "I like that club a lot," said one NL exec. "But we're talking about winning the World Series. If they get into the World Series against, say, the Red Sox, I just don't see Jimenez, Francis, [Aaron] Cook and [Jorge] de la Rosa matching up with [Josh] Beckett, [Jon] Lester, [John] Lackey and [Clay] Buchholz. I know anything can happen in a seven-game series. But if you're picking the Rockies to beat the Red Sox in a seven-game series, all you're really saying is, you don't want to pick the Red Sox."
Stark then goes out on a limb and picks the Yank-Mes, Red Sox, and Phillies as the top three teams to win the title this year. What a risk-taker!