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Devil Rays Should Win Title In 2010

Jim Callis -Premium Content

The Indians should win the American League Central, thanks to Travis Hafner, Victor Martinez, C.C. Sabathia and Grady Sizemore. The Brewers will finally return to the playoffs, due largely in part to a young infield that includes Prince Fielder, J.J. Hardy and Rickie Weeks. Not exactly shocking predictions. But I made them in this space three years ago.

Minors | #2007#Column

New Team Has Great Plans For Great Lakes

Will Lingo -Premium Content

It has been more than 50 years since professional baseball has been played in the Saginaw Bay region of Michigan. But it has really been a one-year process to bring the game back. And though there was still snow on the ground in February and 200 workers were feverishly finishing construction on the ballpark, optimism was high as the first Opening Day for the Midwest League's Great Lakes Loons drew closer.

Minors | #2007#Column

Going Deep: Cooper Brannan

Alan Schwarz -Premium Content

Cooper Brannan's career as an infantry rifleman in the Marines ended two years ago, when on his second tour of duty in Iraq, a grenade blew several fingers off his left hand. Yet that horrific moment ultimately led to a second career beginning right now: Padres minor league pitcher. Brannan, 22, still has only four fingers on his left hand but will carry 40 times the normal life experience inside his new uniform. I spoke with the righthander about getting signed by the Padres, his experience in Iraq, and playing Wiffle ball in the desert with buddies who never came home.

Majors | #2007#Column

History Says Price May Not Be Right For No. 1 Pick

Jim Callis -Premium Content

We stand behind our initial coverage of the 2007 draft in this issue, our annual Early Draft Preview. But it's simply the nature of the draft that so much changes over the course of the spring. Players improve, regress or get hurt, and signability becomes a factor as draft day approaches.

Minors | #2007#Column

King Was One Of Minors’ Unheralded Innovators

Will Lingo -Premium Content

When most people involved in minor league baseball heard about the death of Dick King—if they heard about it at all—they probably weren't sure exactly who Dick King was. Yet he was as important as anyone among the handful of people who helped keep the minor leagues going in the 1950s and the couple of decades after that, paving the way for the rebirth that began in the late 1970s and continues even today.

Minors | #2007#Column