Producer of the Wes McElroy Show from 3pm - 6pm
Jesse has been with Clear Channel Media & Entertainment since 2010. He considers himself a Richmond transplant as he has lived in the River City for over 10 years now but grew up in the Western Maryland area. Deciding to attend VCU he studied Broadcast Journalism and English while spending time working at radio stations WVCW and WRIR. Jesse is currently the producer for the Wes McElroy Show as well as other shows for Sports Radio 910. Being from the Maryland area he is a diehard fan of the Baltimore Ravens and the Washington Capitals. Besides his work at Sports Radio 910 he also writes a blog for VCU basketball’s radio website.
The springtime brings out many awesome things; warm weather, girls in sundresses, outdoor festivals, and baseball season! It’s time to enjoy those spring and summer nights at the ballpark with good friends and a few cold ones, or on the couch after a long day of work listening to voices of Gary Thorn or Bob Carpenter. Baseball brings out the kid in all of us because let’s face it, it’s a kids game played by grown men. My next couple posts are my thoughts and predictions for the 2013 MLB season. Below are my thoughts on the American League with teams in order I think they will finish.
1 – Baltimore Orioles - Maybe this is a homer pick but I truly believe that they have the confidence and the talent to prove that last year’s 90-win team wasn’t a fluke. Also if Jair Jurrjens returns to the form he was early in his career with the Braves, he will be the steal of this year's free agency period.
2 – Tampa Bay Rays - The Rays are hoping to get a full season out of Evan Longoria which they’ll need to help make up the hole in offensive productive with BJ Upton’s departure. David Price will contend for another CY young this year, but the pitching staff with miss workhouse James Shields. Look for Ben Zobrist to have a break out year along with Jeremy Hellickson.
3 – Toronto Blue Jays - A lot of people want to give the AL East crown to the Blue Jays for the steal of a deal they made with Miami, but remember a lot of those pieces were part of a Marlins team that lost over 90-games.
4 – New York Yankees - Too old, too banged up, and too desperate, Vernon Wells?! Really Yankees Really?! That move for Wells was more desperate than Lindsay Lohan at a casting agency.
5 – Boston Red Sox - Speaking of desperate to pay a 32-year old, banged up, unproductive Shane Victorino 39-million dollars was absurd. The Sox will have to rely on the health of Will Middlebrooks and Dustin Pedroia for offensive productive, and see if they can squeeze out the last bit of baseball left in David Ortiz. Prince George product Jackie Bradley Jr. could contend for rookie of the year
1 – Detroit Tigers - After getting swept in the World Series this team will play with a huge chip on its shoulder. On top of locking up the best pitcher in the game Justin Verlander to a monster deal, they brought in an old, but still productive, Torii Hunter to man the outfield alongside rising star Austin Jackson.
2 – Cleveland Indians - This may be my boldest pick of the whole preview, but I think Terry Francona will rejuvenate this franchise and fan base. The additions of Mark Reynolds, Michael Bourn, and Nick Swisher will help with run production. On the mound they will look to get see what they can get out of Scott Kazmir and Dice-k to go along with possible CY young contender Justin Masterson. Also Matt Capps will provide some help out of the pen.
3 – Kansas City Royals - For once this fan base should be excited about this season mainly to the arms this team has. They added a workhouse in James Shields while both Wade Davis and Ervin Santana can be effective, plus their bullpen is stacked. Jeff Francoeur will provide some veteran leadership and Eric Hosmer looks to be the team’s next star.
4 – Chicago White Sox - The White Sox have had a consistent amount of success throughout the last couple years, but now it seems the team is going through a rebuilding stage. Chris Sale seems to be the next great young pitcher in the American league but he did almost throw 200 innings last season. At the plate they’ll see if they can get full healthy seasons from vets Paul Konerko, Adam Dunn, and Alex Rios.
5 – Minnesota Twins - Vance Worley is on top of a rotation full of no-names. Look for them to trade either Justin Morneau or Joe Mauer at the trade deadline, if not both.
1 – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim - The Angles won the Josh Hamilton sweepstakes and have assembled what could be the new era of murderers’ row. On the mound Jared Weaver will compete for the CY young again and they will look to get a full season out of a now healthy C.J. Wilson.
2 – Oakland Athletics - Do you really want to pick against this team?! Every year the pundits do and all Oakland does is prove everybody wrong and win 80-90 games. Yoenis Cespedes has some serious power, and while the pitching staff, led by Brett Anderson, is young there’s a lot of potential there.
3 – Texas Rangers - I want to say this team will finish second in the AL West this year. The lineup has the veteran leadership to do so but pitching, outside of Yu Darvish, is a big worry.
4 – Seattle Mariners - They could be the surprise of the division after adding Kendy Morales and Michael Morse to a lineup that already had some good young bats. Of course King Felix will hold down his court and UVA product Danny Hultzen could make his way into the rotation this season.
5 – Houston Astros - Do you remember how the move Major League started out? Fans were reading the paper about the new team and everybody was asking “Who are these guys?” Well I have a feeling Astros’ fans did that this year when the roster was announced.
AL Wild Card: Tampa Bay Rays over Oakland Athletics
AL Divisional Round: Detroit Tigers over Tampa Bay Rays 4-2
Los Angeles Angels over Baltimore Orioles 4-1
AL Championship: Los Angeles Angels over Detroit Tigers 4-3