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          Questions float through AL Central

          Kabir Gulati

          Issue date: 3/5/10 Section: Sports
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          Though it doesn't seem like it when you look out your window, it is spring somewhere, and that means baseball teams are heading south, where fresh-cut grass, leather mitts, pearly white balls, and newly-cut wood are waiting to be broken in. But as teams start to practice turning double plays, and players get reacquainted with one another, many questions float throughout the clubhouse, especially our favorite division, the AL Central.

          I hate to say it, but the Indian' have done little to nothing to try to improve on a dismal '09 campaign. Though horribly boring for the fans, the Indians rebuilding is in full force. With minimal contracts being given out for mediocre talents such as Russell Branyan while getting rid of contracts such as Kelly Shoppach's, the most exciting part of this season is going to be at the trade deadline to see who we get back for our big contracts that we have left, such as Travis Hafner or Kerry Wood.

          It should be interesting for the Detroit Tigers this season to see how they bounce back from losing locker room mainstays such as Placido Polanco, Curtis Granderson, and Frenando Rodney. But they have replaced them with some boppers and strong bullpen arms such as Jose Valverde, Johnny Damon, Phil Coke, and centerfield prospect Austin Jackson. If the core of the lineup for the Tigers still produces as it should, the Tigers could come away with the division because of their improved defense and depth in the bullpen. But relying on youth and the continued development of impact players is the equivalent of Russian roulette of baseball.

          Every year the Minnesota Twins go into camp with a very underwhelming squad of misfits, no names, and Joe Mauer, yet at the end of the year, they are always there, and somehow usually weasel their way into the playoffs. Though last year it took Miguel Cabrera getting drunk and arrested in the middle of a week of games for them to make it in, the good are lucky and the lucky are good. I don't even dare say anything bad about these guys. Somehow they will come up with timely hits all season. They will definitely not be leading the division in June or July, possibly in third. But they will be there in the end.

          Royals fans don't really know what to expect. They know it will be a fun trip to the ballpark every fifth day because of Cy Young winner Zach Greinke, but other than that, it is a toss-up. Management tried to spend a little money two offseasons ago, but did not spend smartly and they are back to their normal Royal ways.

          The White Sox are another team that is in limbo. They don't know if they want to rebuild, but they don't know if they are good enough to compete for a ring. After ridding themselves of high-priced, wily old veterans, while taking chances on high-risk, high-rewards player projects, I think GM Kenny Williams will see how far Jake Peavy can carry Chicago and then make the decision to be a buyer or seller come July 31st.
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          In This Issue

          News

          • Can you name this place?
          • CWRU receives record number of applications
          • Have you heard about Undergraduate Student Nursing Association
          • LGBT center slated to open in April
          • Make it count: a guide to the 2010 US Census
          • SEC considering proposals concerning Greek funding

          Sports

          • Baseball team-by-team preview
          • Questions float through AL Central
          • Seasons end with wins at Carnegie Mellon
          • Seasons end with wins at Carnegie Mellon
          • Softball team-by-team preview
          • Spartan Spotlight: John Smetona
          • Spartans return offense and gain depth
          • Students turn out for Hoop-A-Paluza
          • Will freshman-heavy team be able to improve on last year's 0-8?

          Fun Page

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          • Killer Sudoku Solution
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          Opinion

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          • Defining "American" to Argentines difficult, at best
          • Editorial: A review of information accessibility
          • Revisiting Vietnam's legacy at Case Western Reserve
          • Urban farming in Cleveland: not far-fetched
          • What are you doing for Spring Break?

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          • Dressing handsomely at CWRU
          • Poets slam at UPB Poetry Jam
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          • Spouse hunting
          • Step up the drama with SEC
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          • Three Eighths, Black, whalenapper to open for Minus the Bear at Springfest
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