Since today is the final day of 2007, I've decided to mention the goods and bads of the year that was in baseball.
Most Improved Franchise: Chicago Cubs
It's amazing what happens when teams decide to spend money more freely (EX: Mets, Red Sox, and Tigers recently). The Cubs went from the laughing stock of the worst division in the NL, to the Champions of the highly improved, yet still; worst division in the NL. Still, they showed that if you're willing to spend big bucks to bring in guys like Alfonso Soriano and Ted Lilly, you could make a great improvement in a short period of time. Not to mention the contributions made by the Rich Hills and Ryan Theriots of the world.
Runner Up: KC Royals
Least Improved Franchise: Cincinnati Reds
Sure they recently made an "improvement" bringing in Dusty "Throw Prior and Wood Out There 'Til their arms fall off" Baker. And of course they picked up Josh Hamilton in the rule five draft... oh, forgot the traded him for, err.. well nobody of any significance (Edison Volquez [might be okay] and Daniel Herrera). Still, since their collapse late in '06, they have done little to improve. They didn't trade Dunn for anything useful (yet) and Bronson Arroyo has just gotten worse. Reds fans can only hope that Jay Bruce pans out, and soon.
Runners Up: Baltimore Orioles, Pittsburgh Pirates
Best Anti-Umpire Rant: Chipper Jones
He earned a lot of my respect with this one. I was hoping someday, somebody would stand up against the horrible umpires that roam the major league diamonds these days. Not only that, he didn't even apologize afterward. As a Met fan it is hard to say this... but here it goes, Chipper Jones is the most respectable player in the game today.
Runner Up: none
Steroid Face of the Year: Roger Clemens
Who would've though that the year that Bonds finally got indicted that he wouldn't be the biggest story of the year. He officially proved to me that the steroid era wasn't only good for baseball (it saved the game after the strike), it was also bad. Clemens might not be as hated a person as Bonds (except by Mike Piazza) but if this is true, at least Bonds didn't steal any rings with his steroid use.
Runners Up: Bonds, George Mitchell
Team with Brightest '08 and Beyond: KC Royals
Hear me right now: The Royals are a playoff team in '08. Mark my words, they will edge out the Tigers in the Central. They might not look as good on paper as the rest of their division, but they have the best bullpen in that division as well as a pair of future studs in Alex Gordon and Billy Butler. Also, I truly believe that Meche and Greinke will be the best 1,2 punch in that division next year. While it is a stretch, the Royals are, in my eyes the team to beat.
Runners Up: Tampa Bay Rays