Beerleaguer for doing the artwork for me. Jason was extremely patient with my many demands and fickle decision making. In the last five minutes of Jason finishing his work I think he changed the logo four times! What's that .... Beerleaguer you say .... isn't that, a, a, a, Philthy Phillies blog? Yup. As much as I think Jason is making a huge error following the Phillies, his blog is one of my favorites on the web. Anyway, in the course of discussing artwork I also asked him about how he saw the NL East shaking out. This is what he had to say: (Responding to a slightly older version of my THT predictions) Jason: The East will be a dogfight. Sub-90 wins can definitely win it, and I don't see the Mets topping 90, as you've predicted. Then again, they could trade for a stud at the deadline like Willis, Oswalt or Z ambrano and run away with it. I go back and forth on how Atlanta will finish. I think people are underestimating their offense and are quick to forget their standard for excellence. But their starting rotation is average or maybe a little below. Phillies - I spot them a lot better than two games above .500. Their rotation is vastly improved from last season. The problem is their bullpen. Will need surprises there in order to catch the Mets. At risk of sounding like a homer, Phillies will finish ahead of Atlanta, maybe with 89 wins. Florida is about right. Always a tough opponent because there's never any pressure on them. Washington could near 100 losses. Their rotation is a joke. John: The Mets are sub-90 .... I've got them at 85. I gotta be honest I thought the Phillies projection was a bit light. I agree that sub-90 will the division and would put the Mets slight favorites with the Phillies behind and the Braves a tad behind that .... Jason: Mets still have a fierce lineup. I hate that lineup. Reyes and LoDuca were the difference in my eyes. Great table setters. LoDuca is always putting the ball in play. Numbers don't do them justice. I thinkOver the past week or two a number of people have stopped by and shouted praise at the Chop-n-Change artwork. I'd like to take full credit for some awesome Photoshop skills but it'd be a bare-faced lie. I'd like to thank Jason Weitzel of
Delgado is on the downslide, however. David Wright was pretty awful after the all-star break. Hope it continues.John: The Mets' problem is the pitching, especially if Pedro spends half the season on the sidelines. Wright will bounce back ...he was too good for too long for last year not to have been a blip Jason: Absolutely. Mets have a lot of April games against division opponents. That means a lot of good looks against below-average starters like Perez and Park. Good opportunity for the Phils and Braves to kick the Mets in the balls. So there you have it. I think Jason is a bit too bullish on the chances of the Phillies but that's his prerogative I guess. People sing about the Phillies' offense and while its good you've got to remember they play in a bandbox. Anyway, thanks to Jason for doing an awesome job. I can highly recommend him if you need any artwork doing.