What are two reasons for optimism for the upcoming season?
1) 2009 is over.
2) An entire spring training and regular season with every player knowing the coaching staff is fully in charge and completely on the same page with management.
--Doug Franz, Sports 620 KTAR radio
They are deeper and more talented than they have ever been, and Jim Tracy's leadership style mixes perfectly with this group.
--Troy Renck, Denver Post
Los Angeles Dodgers
1) Clayton Kershaw and Matt Kemp are developing into superstars. The duo could be serious Cy Young and MVP contenders this season.
2) The Torre Factor. While many ‘experts’ have slotted the Dodgers to finish 2nd or 3rd in the division, they seem to forget that Joe Torre has led his teams to the playoffs in 14 consecutive seasons. He is, quite simply, the best manager in the NL West (sorry, Jimbo). Toss in that no team in the NL West made a humongous splash in the off season and it’s hard to believe that Joe Torre won’t take the Dodgers deep into October again, even if the race goes down to the wire.
--Robert Timm, Dodger Dugout
San Diego Padres
1. This team finally has started to develop some arms! Petco is a favorable pitching park, but you still need guys that can throw. The team now has young developing arms that are within a year of pitching for the team.
2. This is the first team that will be able to play to the Park. Expect to see this Padres team run, run, and run some more. With the exception of Adrian Gonzalez this team will be able to cover ground in the field and on the bases.
--Steve Adler, The Friarhood
Rob Neyer discusses John Bowker.
Mychael Urban says Fred Lewis will be "cut loose."
(h/t to MLB Trade Rumors for both links)