April 5 - American League Preview
Is it just me or was anybody else out there not prepared for Opening Day? I’m not
sure if it was because I was afflicted with a huge dose of “George Masonitis” or if
it was because hearing the word “steroids” come out of Linda Cohn’s mouth
every thirty seconds made me want to gag.
In analyzing all the teams, it is clear that the American League is superior to its National League
brethren. I would sooner bet on the A’s, White Sox, Yankees, Indians, Angels, and Red Sox to win the
World Series than the St. Louis Cardinals. Although as many people who listen to the Sportscolumn.
com podcast have pointed out……..I did say the words “South Alabama could beat Florida” when
discussing the NCAA Tournament. So if you want to go the other way and drop in a futures bet on the
Cardinals, it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea.
Without further ado, here is our American League breakdown……..
“When does football start?”
14. Kansas City Royals
When Scott Elarton is your Opening Day starter……….there’s no better time than now to take up a
13. Baltimore Orioles
……….well at least there’s a good shot that somebody on this team is going to get to “do the honors”
with Anna Benson. I think it should be Miguel Tejada. He’s easily the best player stuck on the worst
team. Why not let him have a little lovin’ while he does time in baseball’s purgatory?
12. Detroit Tigers
I think Buddy Selig scheduled the Tigers and the Royals to face each other on Opening Day to ensure
that one of these two teams can boast about having a winning record at some point during the
season. The offseason acquisition of Kenny Rogers was nice and I like Pudge, Dmitri Young, and
Magglio Ordonez (when he is healthy) but this is still a team a few years away from contending. After
Mike Maroth the rotation is really shaky and the bullpen is depleted with Todd Jones and Troy Percival
already on the DL.
11. Tampa Bay Devil Rays
There’s worse jobs in sports than being the pitching coach for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays………..
…head coach of Duke University’s Lacrosse team is the first that springs to mind, but I’m sure if you
give me five minutes I can think up at least three more.
10. Seattle Mariners
An underrated place to visit in the summertime. Great weather. Good bar scene. Especially at this
place “Elephant & Castle” where they have $1.50 drafts of Hefeweisen until the keg runs dry. The
girls in Seattle are very friendly. All in all just a great experience. I bring this up in the hopes that
Ichiro doesn’t throw it in the tank by July when Seattle is 17 ½ games back of Oakland. He’s a big
part of my fantasy team, “Ridgemont High”, and we’ll need him at the top of his game.
9. Texas Rangers
For the first time in 657 years, the Texas Rangers actually went out and tried to acquire some pitching
in the offseason. Kevin Millwood and Adam Eaton lift this rotation from “absolutely terrible” to
“mediocre”. This Ranger team could be dangerous………especially if Phil Nevin can dip into the
Fountain of Youth.
“Nothing Wrong with Hitting the Links on a crisp October
8. Minnesota Twins
For Minnesota to compete for the AL Central crown and a Wild Card spot, Joe Mauer is going to have
to finally transform himself into the “great” Joe Mauer. I don’t think he will and I think Minnesota barely
wins 85 games.
7. Toronto Blue Jays
There’s one team a year that spends money like a drunken lottery winner at Scores and Toronto wins
the award. The amount of money they gave A.J. Burnett is absurd. They’ll be better because B.J.
Ryan will stabilize the closer spot and Troy Glaus will bring some pop. However, they are not beating
Boston or New York.
6. Anaheim Angels
I’m not sure why Anaheim let their team get gutted over the offseason. When they let Bengie Molina
sign with Toronto for chump change I think every follower of the AL West was in shock. They will miss
Molina. He batted behind Vlad and provided good protection. Plus, Molina absolutely raked Oakland
pitching. Not only that but the Angels let Jarrod Washburn and Paul Byrd go with nary a peep. I think
Anaheim was positioning for a Manny Ramirez or Miguel Tejada trade, which never happened. They
will take a step back.
5. Boston Red Sox
Boston will barely miss the most postseason. I don’t see Coco Crisp putting up the same numbers
as Johnny Damon and I also don’t see him coming close to matching Damon’s swagger. Boston is
going to suffer from not having guys like Johnny Damon, Kevin Millar and Bill Mueller around. They
were part of that great 2004 team’s character. Not having them is like not having guacamole with your
nachos. Sure you don’t need guacamole for it to be good, however there’s no chance of your nachos
being a big hit at a party if guacamole isn’t involved.
“Should Be Home In Time To Bring The Kids Out Trick or
4. Cleveland Indians
The unbalanced schedule gives the Indians the wild card over Boston and Anaheim. Getting to play
Detroit and Kansas City nineteen times each is like walking into quarter drafts night with a $20 bill in
your pocket. Cleveland’s offense should be nasty and it will be led by Grady Sizemore who is a
sleeper MVP candidate.
3. New York Yankees
You can win a 100 regular season games by outslugging your opposition, but you won’t win in the
playoffs that way. New York gets bounced in the first round and George Steinbrenner blows a
gasket. Randy Johnson and Mike Mussina are too old to be relied upon for a full season and with
Carl Pavano already on the DL; the pitching staff is just too shaky.
2. Chicago White Sox
Nobody is talking about the champs, yet they still boast one of the best pitching staffs in baseball to
go along with a lineup that is pretty stout. There were a lot of people patting them on the back for the
Aaron Rowand-Jim Thome swap, however I’m not one of them. Aaron Rowand played a very good
centerfield and put up decent offensive numbers. I think the White Sox will miss him……..especially
when Thome settles into his usual spot on the DL.
“It’s Our Time”
1. Oakland Athletics
Don’t use what happened on Opening Day as an indicator. I fully anticipated the
A's opening the season 2-18. This loss may surprise outsiders but not A's
followers. Oakland stinks coming out of the gate every year. It's like clockwork.
The A’s like to spot Anaheim 10 1/2 games just so they can make the summer
interesting. It's good for ticket sales. Oakland will represent the American League in this year’s
If you have any questions or comments feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.