Sorry about the delay between previews. The Champ got a little hung up in being a corporate juggernaut, postgrad supernova. Let’s continue. Time to let you Texas fucks have a little fun. Today, I dissect the AL West.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
The Angels spent more money this offseason than their name has letters, signing Albert Pujols and CJ Wilson to contracts that would only make sense in California. But outside of that, the Angels have one of the best rotations in baseball and will finally see Kendrys Morales back in their lineup after missing nearly two full seasons after breaking his leg celebrating a walkoff home run. The rotation is top notch. Jared Weaver, CJ Wilson and Dan Haren headline the rotation with Ervin Santana rounding out the four spot. Pretty impressive when you have a guy who would be most teams’ ace in the four spot. But outside of that, the Angels are a very old team. They’ve really gone all-in for the next three years. Torii Hunter, Bobby Abreu, Vernon Wells and Albert Pujols all began to show signs of regression last year. I just don’t think the Angels have done enough to overtake the juggernaut that is the Texas Rangers in the AL West.
92-70, 2nd AL West, 2nd Wild Card
Moneyball was pretty good, yeah, but the A’s are pretty far removed from what they used to be a little over a decade ago. The A’s seem to be a franchise without much direction right now. It seems that Billy Beane has mailed it in until the A’s are finally out of the broken-down, house of horrors that is the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. The A’s traded away Trevor Cahill, Gio Gonzalez and Andrew Bailey, getting a total of ten prospects back in return. Not a bad haul, but things won’t get any easier for the A’s after a 74-88 season last year. Beane did dip into the free agency pool though, shocking literally everyone by signing coveted Cuban outfielder Yeonis Cespedes and then REALLY shocking everyone by signing the man-child Manny Ramirez. Desperation seemed to be the theme in the bay this winter, and it might blow up into full fledged panic among the 5,000 loyal fans at the big O each night.
72-90, 3rd AL West
Alright, I’m guessing you skipped past the first two previews in this article to read this paragraph. I don’t blame you, the Rangers are good enough to warrant that. The lovechild of George W. Bush and Nolan Ryan will be back on top again this season. The Rangers definitely shook things up this offseason, adding Yu Darvish to their fantastic rotation and moving Neftali Feliz out of the closer’s role and into the starting five. The Rangers will try to fill the void left behind by Feliz by signing Joe Nathan, who hasn’t done anything of note since I was living in the frat (three years ago). But other than that, Texas is just too damn good. Their lineup is absurd, the rotation is gravy and the bullpen is among the best in baseball. The only thing Texas has to worry about is keeping Hambone sober and not turning into baseball’s version of the Buffalo Bills. Doubt that happens. The ‘Gers take home the Commissioner’s Trophy in 2012. Book it.
97-65, 1st in AL West
Writing this after previewing the Texas Rangers just seems cruel. Yeah, the Mariners have the best hurler in the game in Felix Hernandez, but outside of that, the M’s are the worst offensive club in baseball and play the most boring brand of hardball I’ve ever seen. Dustin Ackley is as big as prospects get, but man the Mariners are going to struggle on offense this year. I liked the Michael Pineda/Jesus Montero trade, but it always makes me uneasy when a team trades a proven commodity like a stud pitcher like Pineda for an unknown prospect like Montero. Montero profiles as a DH, so his value is awfully limited and the Mariners could have been set at 1-2 in their rotation for the next decade with Pineda and Felix pitching every four days. You would think any lineup with Ichiro in it has to be taken seriously, but as a whole, I can’t take a look at Seattle‘s lineup without laughing. Their offense is flat out offensive. After King Felix, the rotation isn’t much and the bullpen is a scrap work bunch of veterans. Just a shame to see my favorite team of the 90’s fall apart like this.
68-94, 4th AL West