As a baseball fan, I regularly mix wild optimism with Tokarzian despair and expectation of 2008/163-level disaster.
With one of the Tigers' most anticipated seasons in living memory only weeks away, I thought I'd share what the devils and angels are whispering into my ears these days and see what other BYB'ers might have going through their heads as well.
Hope: Prince Fielder's offensive output stays steady with the change in teams and leagues.
Fear: The centaur-shaped ghost of A-Rod's giant contracts haunts Prince and he presses too hard to prove he's worth the money. See: Miguel Cabrera, early 2008 season of.
Hope: Everybody stays healthy.
Fear: I'm sure I'll take heat from those of you who traffic in superstition, but let's be honest that there are at least three players whom we can't afford to have get hurt for any length of time this season based on the falloff in production in their position if they're not there: Verlander, Avila and (I'd argue) Peralta.
Hope: Doug Fister has the kind of season he teased during the second half of 2011.
Fear: Doug Fister has the kind of season that he had before he was traded to the Tigers. (Must...not...make...1988...Doyle...Alexander...reference...)
Hope: Rick Porcello continues his maturation and improvement
Fear: What we've seen is all we're going to get from not-such-a-kid-any-longer Rick.
Hope: 2010 wasn't a fluke for Alex Avila
Fear: Sophomore slump horrors, and much more G-Money behind the plate than we'd ever want to see
Hope: 8th & 9th innings continue to be automatic for the Tigers bullpen
Fear: The Potato falls back to Earth.
Hope: Some combination of Coke, Dotel, Balester and others TBD make middle relief something other than a horror show.
Fear: Daniel Schlereth
Hope: Offensive production offsets defensive woes.
Fear: Small sample sizes for oWAR and dWAR bite us during a short playoff series.
Hope: We find a serviceable fifth starter
Fear: Brad Penny starts looking good
Hope: Austin Jackson remembers how to hit
Fear: He continues to kick like a Rockette and posts a similar OBP.
Fear: First-half Raburn, DL Boesch
Hope: Prince coming in with the giant contract and replacing Miggy at 1B is handled by all with grace and aplomb.
Fear: Jeter/A-Rod redux
Hope: What seemed to be a great clubhouse last season continues to be one.
Fear: Losing respected senior voices like Carlos and Magglio leaves a leadership void.
Hope: 2010 JV
Fear: 2008 JV