Matt's Take:



I know we are in the middle of March Madness, but I'm going to ask you to turn off the TV, put down the bowl of chips and talk baseball with me.



Heck, my brackets resemble a newly shattered pane of glass on an asphalt roadway. So, let's escape the present and look to the future ó it's hopefully less depressing there.



Yes, I'm a bitter Ohio State fan. Don't get me wrong, I knew Dayton was going to be tough, but never in my mind did I think the Buckeyes were one and done.



Anyway, so with the MLB season right around the corner, let's look at my picks for division winners and the playoffs. Please don't expect any surprises ó this is baseball; parity is very rare.



Looking at the American League it's the usual suspects: Boston Red Sox (East champs), New York Yankees (wild card), Detroit Tigers (Central champs), Cleveland Indians (wild card), and the Texas Rangers (West champs).



In the National League, I'm going with the Atlanta Braves (East champs), St. Louis Cardinals (Central champs), Pittsburgh Pirates (wild card), Los Angeles Dodgers (West champs), and the San Francisco Giant (wild card).



Big surprise, huh?



So how does it play out?



In the AL, it all comes down to Texas and Detroit, and if you think any differently you are confused. Texas has way too much fire power to be stopped and advances to the World Series.



In the NL, it's the Dodgers as the last team standing. Clayton Kershaw pitches Los Angeles past the Giants, but it will be a close series.



As for the World Series, could you ask for a better matchup ó Texas and LA?



While I would rather see the AL bring home the trophy, it's not going to happen. LA has spent way too much money and has too much talent. This has to be their year.



Sorry, Texas but the trophy will escape you.



 



Andrew's Take:



Want an example of a problem with democracy? Look at baseball.



Do I have your attention, Bible Belt?



While trying to designate 2014 Major League Baseball (MLB) contenders, I had dťjŗ vu. I swear Iíve considered the same seven or eight teams each of the last four years.



Then I realized, thatís what money does. The teams with the funds get the hardware. And hardware creates profit.



I mean, where do I start? Distribution of wealth? Monopolization? Have your pick of economic buzzwords and take it out to the ball game.



But I know my audience. These colors (red) donít run.



Letís just say that itís appropriate, despite the popularity of football and basketball, that baseball is still called ďAmericaís Pastime.Ē



So, who are the offenders?



In the American League (AL) itís the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers and Texas Rangers.



In the National League (NL) it the Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants.



MLB made a long-overdue attempt to combat this culture, by adding a Wild Card team in each league. But its, ďToo little, too late.Ē



This year, Iíll say that those teams are the Oakland Athletics and the Pittsburgh Pirates. And they each have no chance.



Have I been on my soapbox for too long? Ready for some predictions?



In the AL, Iíve got the Rangers and the Tigers making it past the Yankees and Red Sox, creating a series that is all about Prince Fielder, and heíll be on the wining team.



In the NL, Iíve got the Dodgers and Giants making it past the Cardinals and Braves, with the Dodgers taking the league.



In the World Series, LAís insane payroll with finally pay off against the Rangers.



America!



Despite my frustration, Iím still going to the ballpark at least half-a-dozen times this season. Whoís down?