I'm looking forward to visiting Marlins Park in one week as the Marlins return home ro welcome my beloved Astros for the first weekend series in their ballpark on 4/13-15. 

I'm excited to get back on the road to visiting ballparks after missing out last year on my annual summer baseball trip(s).  (Settling into a new job with limited vacation time was my excuse, but I hope to make up for it this summer! And besides, there wasn't a new ballpark to visit last year.)  Also planning a visit to Arlington over Memorial Day wknd, and possibly short trip to ATL in August for Braves-Astros wknder.  

This will be #41 for me and will get me back up to date with visiting all 30 active ballparks.  Of course this pales in comparison to what fellow ballpark chaser Chuch Booth is attmpting to do this year.  Already the world record holder of attending a ballgame in all 30 ballparks in 24 days, Chuck will be attempting to visit all 30 in 20 days this year.  His quest gets underway this week and you can follow his journey at The Fastest 30 ballgames  His schedule includes doubleheaders the first 5 days of trip, but as you can see from his schedule he has built in some contingencies if weather or travel delays bog him down.  Good luck Chuck, I'll be rooting you on!

Lastly, it's time to go on record with some predictions for the season.  My only hope for the Astros is improvement on last year with the promise of development for some of these youngsters as they gear up for the move to the AL West next year.  A good return of prospects for Wandy Rodriguez, and hopefully a taker for Carlos Lee, at the trade deadline would be nice too.  In looking at the expert predictions on ESPN.com, the Angels are the overwhelming favorite to win the WS with 18 (37%) of their 49 analysts picking them, followed by 7 for the Rangers and Rays, and 6 for the Tigers.  I like the Angels, Tigers, Rays to win their division with the Yankees and Rangers as WCs.  In the NL I like the Giants, Phillies, Brewers as divsion winners and Marlins and Nationals as the WCs.  And I'll go with the Phillies over the Angels in the WS.  Now, let's Play Ball!

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Comment by John Ialongo on April 18, 2012 at 7:39pm

I like the tigers in the american league and the reds in the national

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