Well, in this age when people don’t have to take responsibility for their predictions, I guess Sports Illustrated will be okay despite clearly picking wrong in the National League Central.

I was going to post my picks this week, but I’ve been too busy with work and with hours on the phone trying to alter the car reservation Jim made. There is no reason to get a Taurus when we could get a purple Lamborghini.

The first tangible sign of spring

Hey, the Phillies tickets showed up in the mail already! We’ll actually be meeting up with my aunt and uncle at the game and our mutual friend Maura, so I’m going to mail those people’s tickets to them ASAP.

On another note, I bought Padres tickets over the weekend for a May game against the Cubs. This isn’t directly relevant to the road trip, except that both the Padres and the Phillies are going to be playing in new stadiums in 2004, so it’ll be fun to do a comparison and contrast. The Padres’ stadium, Petco Park, already gets points for being named after something warm and fuzzy (well, as warm and fuzzy as a chain store can be, i.e., much warmer and fuzzier than Wal-Mart), whereas the Phillies’ stadium, Citizens Bank Park, loses points for being yet another stadium named after a cold, impersonal bank. Actually, at least it’s a bank that still has “bank” in its corporate name, unlike its baseball stadium naming rights counterpart across Pennsylvania, PNC.

As so often happens

Straight out of the baseball preview issue, this is Sports Illustrated’s predicted order of finish for the various leagues and divisions, with the teams we will be seeing on this trip highlighted:

NL East
1. Philadelphia Phillies (1x)
2. Florida Marlins
3. Atlanta Braves
4. Montreal Expos (1x)
5. New York Mets

NL Central
1. Chicago Cubs
2. Houston Astros
3. St. Louis Cardinals (2x)
4. Cincinnati Reds
5. Milwaukee Brewers (2x)
6. Pittsburgh Pirates (3x)

NL West
1. Arizona Diamondbacks
2. San Francisco Giants
3. San Diego Padres
4. L.A. Dodgers (1x)
5. Colorado Rockies

AL East
1. New York Yankees
2. Boston Red Sox (2x)
3. Toronto Blue Jays (1x)
4. Baltimore Orioles
5. Tampa Bay Devil Rays

AL Central
1. Minnesota Twins
2. Chicago White Sox (2x)
3. Kansas City Royals
4. Cleveland Indians (1x)
5. Detroit Tigers (2x)

AL West
1. Oakland A’s
2. Anaheim Angels
3. Seattle Mariners
4. Texas Rangers

Honorable mention to the Twins and Mariners, whose Midwest League teams we’ll also be seeing.