Twisted Fans MLB Primer:
NL Preview



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Issue #43


EAST:  Vive L'Minor Leagues

Montreal Expos
Projected finish: #1
Their Story: Playing their last season, the Expos will clean house and, with the approval of Bud Selig, trade all of their key players to the Devil Rays. Luckily, they still have the equivalent of about 2 or 3 good major league teams in their minor league system. The Class AAA, AA and A teams have several Dominican players who many believe are in their late 30's. Expect these veterans to surprise the rest of the NL East, before the team folds in October. Don't forget to catch their games this season on PBS.  

New York Mets
Projected finish: #2 (Wild Card Winner)
Their Story: So long as Mo Vaughn is prevented from eating teammates as they sleep, this will be a murderer's row akin to the great Yankees teams and the good Indians teams of the 1990's. Manager Bobby Valentine should have no problem getting the most out of a patchwork starting rotation.

Atlanta Braves
Projected finish: #3
Their Story: Kevin Milwood will still suck. John Burkett will fall back down to earth, Julio Franco, Gary Sheffield, and Javy Lopez will take turns being hurt. Sheffield doesn't bring hunger to the team, just selfish play. Maddux and Glavine will make their record respectable (above .500), but the soulless Atlanta fan base, combined with several ho-hum years of getting to the playoffs without winning, will take their toll this year. Don't worry though, cause Chipper's still there to make us laugh.

Florida Marlins
Projected finish: #4
Their Story: Pitching is a few years away. Their lineup is average with the exception of Preston Wilson and Cliff Floyd.

Philadelphia Phillies
Projected finish: #5
Their Story: They were one season wonders last year, with starters that all had career seasons. The lineup had just one player (Bobby Abreu) hit 30 home runs, and management has added no one to the team. Scott Rolen will spend the season telling the press about every team he wishes he was on.

CENTRALShrunken ‘Nads Equal Houston Wins

Houston Astros
Projected finish: #1
Their Story: Will someone re-name that damn park Creatine Field already? Hidalgo, Berkman, and Bagwell are so pumped up with supplements that few pitching staffs are likely to handle them. Houston's starting pitchers will look on happily as their teammates round the bases with their knuckles dragging along the ground.

St. Louis Cardinals
Projected finish: #2
Their Story: They would be our pick for first place if not for the horrible psychological illness that has befallen third base standout Albert Pujols. Wearing a leather jacket to every game this Spring, Pujols behaved strangely by yelling  "I'm Fonsie" and calling his manager "Mr. L." Where is Big Al when you need him? The Cards can finish first if Jim Edmonds has a big year, and Kile and Morris meet the high expectations placed on them. Isringhausen is a good regular season closer, but not someone you'd like in a big game.

Chicago Cubs
Projected finish: #3
Their Story: Do these guys really need a preview capsule? Sammy Sosa will hit 60 homers and the Cubs will end another season without winning a World Series.

Milwaukee Brewers
Projected finish: #4
Their Story: Sexson will hit homers and play practical jokes on the rookies while everyone wonders how this team has kept from being contracted.

Cincinnati Reds
Projected finish: #5
Their Story: They're horrible, but at least Junior is happy.

Pittsburgh Pirates
Projected finish: #6
Their Story: Ron Villone is their ace. That's scary.

WEST Quaid + Costner = Playoffs for Pods

San Diego Padres
Projected finish: #1
Their Story: The Padres decided to leave no stone unturned this Spring, and signed walk-ons Kevin Costner and Dennis Quaid as their starting pitchers. "Man, did you see how good Quaid pitched in that movie?" gasped GM Kevin Towers. "He was throwing 98 mph!" At least one player shared Towers' enthusiasm. "Personally, I have a lot of respect for a veteran like Kevin Costner," explains Phil Nevin. "I saw ‘For the Love of the Game.' He may be in his 40's, but that guy is a bulldog on the mound." 
     More importantly, the tandem of Costner and Quaid are likely to come cheaper than any of the free agent pitchers still looking for jobs. "I wouldn't pay to see another Costner movie," noted one drunken bum on the street. Combined with an offense of Nevin, Klesko and rookie Sean Burroughs, they will easily beat out an aging Arizona team for the top spot. Is Charlie Sheen still available for closer?

Arizona Diamondbacks
Projected finish: #2
Their Story: Bob Brenly has brought his team back motivated to win another championship. However, with Quaid and Costner on the Padres, Arizona will have to pray for a wild card spot.

San Francisco Giants
Projected finish: #3
Their Story: Teammates are worried that Jeff Kent's video sales are going to his head, and that he won't focus on the winning anymore. What they should be concerned about are rumors that Barry Bonds killed his butler with a maple wood bat, while showing off his homerun swing to some house guests.

Los Angeles Dodgers
Projected finish: #4
Their Story: They traded Sheffield, Herges, Prokopec and brought back Nomo and Brian ‘always injured' Jordan. That's what you get when your team is owned by the same corporation that fired Summerall and let John Madden leave.

Colorado Rockies
Projected finish: #5
Their Story: Mike Hampton's children are receiving an excellent education in Colorado. He should be father of the year.

Check out Butch Rogaine's AL Preview.

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