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MLB Confidential

This story appears in ESPN The Magazine's March 30 MLB Preview Issue. Subscribe today!


IT'S AN ODD-NUMBERED year, and you know what that means: A team not named the Giants actually has a shot at winning this year's Fall Classic. So who's up? According to the 117 major leaguers* we polled anonymously, this is the Nationals' World Series to lose. But -- spoiler alert -- players also tagged the Marlins as this season's zeros-to-heroes squad, picking up where the Royals left off. That means the NL East owns the action in 2015, and that's just the beginning of Confidential gems we've uncovered. Read on as we canvass pros on everything from whom they love (Mike Trout) to whom they'd love to be (Tom Brady).




Who will win the World Series?

Nationals 30 percent
Mariners 17 percent
Angels 10 percent


Which team will be the 2014 Royals?

Marlins 25 percent
Cubs 18 percent
Padres 12 percent
"Miami Marlins. Two words: Dee. Gordon." -- American League catcher


Yes or No: Baseball games are too slow.

Yes 40 percent
No 60 percent


Yes or No: I like the idea of a pitch clock.

Yes 22 percent
No 78 percent


Yes or No: I like replay.

Yes 84 percent
No 7 percent
Neutral 9 percent
"I like replay, but for the love of god, speed it up." -- American League pitcher


Who is the best overall player in MLB?

Mike Trout 61 percent
Miguel Cabrera 10 percent
Clayton Kershaw 8 percent


Who is the most overrated player in MLB?

Bryce Harper 41 percent
Yasiel Puig 15 percent


What percentage of players do you think use PEDs?

Average answer 10 percent


Yes or No: I'm happy to see Alex Rodriguez back from his yearlong suspension.

Yes 41 percent
No 29 percent
I don't care 30 percent
"He burned the union. That didn't sit well with players, so we'll see how that plays out on the field this year." -- American League pitcher


You're commissioner for the day. What is the first thing you would do?

Top answer: Shorten the season 19 percent
"We get two days off a month. People with regular jobs get more days off than that!" -- American League outfielder


Which player would make the most entertaining reality-show star?
"C.J. Wilson. He's into racing cars, he travels everywhere. and he's [married to] a supermodel." -- American League outfielder

"It's Yasiel Puig. He's completely insane. He's got to be up to some wacky stuff. That would be the show to watch." -- American League pitcher

"Didn't Madison Bumgarner bus down his cattle for spring training? And he bought his wife a baby bull as a wedding gift. You're telling me you wouldn't want to watch that?" -- American League pitcher

"Wade Miley. It'd be like Duck Dynasty." -- American League pitcher


Should the Royals have waved Alex Gordon home in Game 7 of the World Series?

Yes 41 percent
No 46 percent
I didn't watch 13 percent


Grade Bud Selig, A-F, on his baseball legacy.

A 50 percent
B 40 percent
C 8 percent
D 2 percent


If you could trade lives with one other famous athlete, who would it be?

Top answers: LeBron James and Tom Brady 14 percent each
"I'd be Tom Brady. Playing in the Super Bowl, sleeping next to Gisele? C'mon!" -- American League pitcher


*Not all athletes answered every question. Percentages are rounded.





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