In honor of the return of baseball, here’s my preview on what to expect from the 29 major league baseball teams and the Mets.
ESPN reads a map of the U.S.A. like Hebrew, right to left. Well, I save the best for last, so here’s my west to east look at what to expect from baseball this year.
Now with more talent!
Move over hippies, cause the Giants bandwagon is filling up! How could it not? Last year’s freak squad was an accurate reflection of the city those players represent… as on point as Tampa Bay’s empty stadium reflecting the emptiness of Florida’s Gulf Coast and Texas teams having larger fans than anywhere else. The Giants 2010 story won over oddballs, underdogs, and pitching fans everywhere. Plus, I can say the Giants are champions, which reminds me of Superbowl 42… also know as The Best Day Ever in the History of All Sporting Events Ever. San Francisco’s rotation is still great. Fans are now into that team… and players love trying to hit it to the people in boats behind Telephone Field. This comment has everything to do with the availability of pot in California: I think San Francisco will ride the high.
If someone was going to write a book about the Rockies 2011 season, they’d call it Into Thin Air. But then it would be confused with the already existing Everest book of the same title and that would be bad and I don’t think Colorado will be that bad… they can’t possibly blow this season the way they blew last season. The only person that can blow that much is Katy Perry.
As long as they have Don Mattingly, they won’t win. Luckily, their fans won’t notice in the four innings a game they go to. They’ll just think, “some of these players are good, and some of them are not,” which is an accurate assessment.
San Diego is still a part of this country, and until they start with the pesos in that city, their team will try as hard as they can to succeed in America’s Pastime, or at least do well enough to mess it up from someone else. Spoiler alert! They’re they spoilers.
BOLD PREDICTION! I think Arizona will be awful this year. Really, really, really, really bad. Write them off immediately, not that you actually would write-them in. Start feeling pity for Justin Upton now. Or maybe start yesterday.
The Better Teams Wear Red!
Cincinnati, home of the awesome beast known as Joey Votto, is home to the NL Central defending champs… a team that likes dramatic victories. The off-season brought the addition of veteran shortstop Edgar Renteria and the already demoted Dontrelle Willis. But the young talent on that team should bring success, something manager Dusty Baker can handle… as long as no fans reach in during the playoffs and mess it all up.
St. Louis is home to the best player in baseball who is supported by a couple other stars, but not quite enough to shoot through the entire league. Picking up Ryan TheRiot to be a decent lead-off hitter, and saving Lance Berkman from the retirement home are just not going to help enough unless Pujols can spread his magic with the same ease the cast of Jersey Shore has as they spread herpes. Also, having Adam Wainwright out is a huge setback for this team.
Milwaukee: they race wieners, but aren’t gunna be winners. Wamp wamp, I know. Prince Fielder looked more like the artist formerly known as Prince last season. Fans will enjoying watching exciting players like Ricky Weeks grow… wait for it… every week! They’ve got talent in pitching with Greinke, Marcum and Gallardo. Behind a new coach, this team has put all their eggs in one basket. Like an easter basket, it may only be good for a month or so… depending on how long you can nurse the sweetness.
If you haven’t bought into the Cubs curse at any point over the past century, you should reconsider. Baseball is about ridiculous behavior and superstitions, very notably the curse of the Cubs. Even if they had the skill, which they don’t, they can’t win it all and that’s all their fans want them to win. To make the situation worse, Carlos Zambrano is as questionable as who will be the Republican’s presidential nominee. Like the Republicans, the Cubs won’t be able to be more than an occasional pitiful conversation. What? I’m a New Yorker. I’m completely in the bubble, so that’s the viewpoint.
Who’s worse: the Houston Astros or the Pittsburgh Pirates? Tough question… hmmm… I mean, recent history where Pittsburgh sucked more than anyone has sucked before, point predictions of losing in their direction. But really neither of these teams stand a chance… they’re both getting beaten up like a hooker at the Plaza hotel with Charlie Sheen. Outdated, yes. True, also yes.
Baseball’s 2nd Best East Division
“Oh, Those Phillies – Back Again” – New Weird Al Boyz II Men parody that hasn’t been made (that I know of). Most ridiculous rotation ever. Someone call Tonya Harding and have her get to work. Injuries may be the only thing that can stop this team. Perhaps Utley will start a trend. But even if they get some players on the DL for a little bit, their division isn’t too competent… I mean, competitive.
The Marlins are as unloved as the Rays and as underfunded as the A’s. That combo is a terrific motivator for
underachieving athletes. Oh, and they have Hanley Ramirez, a pretty good ace on their pitching staff, an All Star catcher and a kid whose supposed to be some pretty hot shit. Plus, I can see Javy Vasquez thriving in an environment with no pressure… just to piss me off. Could pretty wild down there this season. Like a wild card, perhaps.* *unless Tonya Harding really comes through
I’m not even a Braves fan and I’m not over all those Brooks Conrad errors from the playoffs. Yikes. You know what teams don’t win? Teams that don’t remember the Little League core basics of baseball and/or are too nervous, incompetent or lazy to perform such necessities on the field every day. Luckily for this team, Billy Wagner has retired and can’t provide those clutch loses every team doesn’t need. Plus, let’s be realistic, Bobby Cox doesn’t want them to win the year after leaves, and he deserves that respect.
The stars of the Mets have to align to make that team have just enough life in them to suck their masochistic fans back into
caring sometime before the inevitable downward spiral. Those stars (Reyes, Wright, Bay and Santana – when he returns this summer) will have their moments, maybe even days, possibly weeks of quality performing before they hit a slump and beat up their father-in-laws or something. Los Mets ares gunna have as rough a season as they will Madoff lawsuit… an event that may mark the first time in which admitting they have no idea what’s going on will actually help them.
They can only do better, but likely only a little better. Their 15 minutes of Strasburg fame should occur again, but that’s it for Washington, who does not seem to have enough to get it done… just like that damn district which is home to our crappy-ass government. By the way, is there something ironic about a team moved from Canada being renamed the Nationals? I kinda think there is and they’re paying for it. Blame Canada!
The Best Around
If you can’t beat the phenomenal Philly rotation, go for the next best pitching plan: a solid bullpen. The Soriano/Mariano combo is a wet dream. Sure, Mariano has been getting old for years now, but last year’s accomplishments make it seem like there’s at least another season of solid pitching in that arm. If the Yankee big hitters (A-Rod, Teixeira, Swisher, Posada and the still-growing productivity monster that is Robinson Cano), can bring in get-er-done players (Jeter, Gardener, Granderson and Martin), this team is pretty tough. Burnett may or may not decide to be a poison in what is already a mediocre rotation behind a spectacular ace.
The Boston Red Sux acquired Carl Crawford for a ton of money. He may have played like he was worth that last year, but this year in
the big lights, pressure, higher than Charlie Sheen during a Dateline interview expectations and more people having to regularly look at his ugly neck tattoo than ever before, it may not be a smooth transition for Crawford, who is coming from a damn good team. Also, like a white trailer trash cousin of Joba Chamberlin, Papelbon is not actually smart and/or dedicated enough to be the closer he should be.
No money? No fans? No problem! No, really. They’re used to playing for no one but themselves… a way of thinking that Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez are quite fond of. The veteran presence of said former Red Sox, who combine for a below than average IQ, won’t help this team as much as the actual talent of Price and Longoria.
Vladamir Guerrero could be the worst veteran presence, as he swings at anything within five feet of the plate, strategery that the youngins best not try to replicate. Newly acquired Lee, Hardy and Reynolds have the same chance of success that the unreliable pitching staff has. On the bright side, this team is run by the all-awesome Buck Showalter. Should be an interesting season in Baltimore, who will likely see heart break as well as create heart ache. Ya know, real give and take thing.
Oh, Canada. Wrong players, wrong year, wrong sport… almost the right logo, just gotta turn the bird into a “B”. Then at least the team will be in on their joke. Like the old saying, however, “every Jay has his day,” or something… maybe.
With Great Talent Comes Great Irresponsibility
It’s still winter in Minneapolis for another month or two, so it may take this team a little bit of time to warm up – ha! eh. Even if the Twinkies have the success that Liriano, Mauer & Morneau may bring them, they’ll lose in the playoffs to the Yankees. Not necessarily, but probably.
The White Sox have a pretty solid line-up, a ridiculously entertaining manager and now, Peavy to pitch them to heart ache and/or break. With Bobby Cox out of the game, it’s time for Ozzy Guillen bring the drama. I’m relying on him to make enough scenes that baseball can be officially considered the original Reality TV show.
Census reports show that the city of Detroit’s population is down 25% from a decade ago. But don’t blame that on Jim Leyland, he’s been there since 1963 (with a few vacations). The Tigers got rid of their biggest problem in the off-season: Armando Galarraga. Phew! No more ripped off perfect games for them!
It’s another year in rebuilding for Cleveland. But this team could have a huge impact on the league if they are willing to trade away Sizemore and Carmona in the early summer months, when they’ve solidified their inability to compete.
Kansas City is the best minor league team in the majors. No doubt about that.
Home of the Sober Cowboy
Who likes a story where the golden boy is a recovering drug addict who is now clean and life is just dandy? I don’t! If he was doing roids, he would’ve been forced to testify against himself and then everyone would hate him forever. For more information on how I feel about alcoholism, watch the South Park episode about it.
The Angels may be able to compete. Cliff Lee is gone from Rangin’ around, which is good for them. However, Vernon Wells has come southwest, which is not good for them (considering the price). Too bad they didn’t get Carl Crawford. He coulda been a California Carl Angel of Angeles… or something similar to that.
The A’s may be able to compete. Cliff Lee is gone from Rangin’ around, which is good for them. Even though nobody does the no money no problem thing as well as the A’s, they always start the season disadvantaged and not even Billy Beane can necessarily take this team to the top.
Ichiro will waste away out in the northwest. But at least they haven’t let the team go to Oklahoma City.