Sunday, April 02, 2006

AL West Preview: 100% Real Team Mottos (not real mottos)!
By Zach

Oakland Athletics: Suck It, Morgan!

What I Like: They have arguably the best rotation in baseball…Rich Harden, Dan Haren, and Joe Blanton form the best young trio of pitchers in the sport…Huston Street looks like he could be a rock of a closer of years…Milton Bradley was a nice addition to the outfield…the offense could be middle-of-the-pack, good enough with their pitching.

What I Don’t Like: Barry Zito could be traded mid-season…they overpaid a bit for Esteban Loaiza…Haren and Blanton are still young, and Haren struggled in the first half last year…the offense is still fairly weak…Eric Chavez is coming off his worst full season as a pro…Jason Kendall and Frank Thomas are huge injury risks…Nick Swisher and Dan Johnson are still unproven.

What Will Happen: The young pitching comes together, and the A’s return to the playoffs with perhaps the rotation to advance for the first time since 1990.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: Fight the Man – Screw Anaheim!

What I Like: They have the best bullpen in baseball…starting rotation could be quite good…Colon is overrated, but Lackey is underrated, Weaver could have a good season, and Escobar was great when healthy…Ervin Santata could break through this year…The lineup is fairly solid…if healthy, Vlad Guerrero is one of the best players in baseball…Garrett Anderson remains a solid hitter…Chone Figgins provides a nice dose of versatiliy.

What I Don’t Like: Darin Erstad is washed up…Garrett Anderson could be too…Adam Kennedy and Orlando Cabrera provide no power up the middle…Casey Kotchman isn’t ready for prime-time…Colon could eat one or two of his teammates…Juan Rivera is a below-average DH.

What Will Happen: The Angels will have a decent season, but I see them taking a step back. Say 82-86 wins, and a fairly boring October.

Texas Rangers: Whither Chan Ho?

What I Like: The offense…they could lead baseball in runs scored…quite possibly have the best infield in the AL…Kevin Mench has had a huge spring…Brad Wilkerson was a great pick up…Rod Barajas provides decent power at catcher…Francisco Cordero is a nice closer.

What I Don’t Like: Their big offseason pick-up was a terrible match for the team: Kevin Millwood is a fly-ball pitcher at one of the best hitter’s parks in baseball…the rest of their rotation sucks (Vincente Padilla, Kameron Loe, R.A. Dickey, John Koronka)…Adam Eaton is hurt…the bullpen outside of Cordero is no good…they employ a guy who threw a chair at a fan.

What Will Happen: The same thing that always happens for Texas: they hit, don’t pitch and win 75 games.

Seattle Mariners: Incremental Improvement (we’re still gonna suck, but please buy tickets and overpriced beer).

What I Like: “King” Felix Hernandez is the best young player in baseball…Ichiro is still one of the best players in baseball…Richie Sexson had a huge year last year…Adrian Beltre can’t be as bad as he was last year…Yuniesky Betancourt is a fantastic defensive shortstop…Kenji Johjima was fantastic in Japan…they turned Matt Thornton into someone not terrible…the bullpen should be strong.

What I Don’t Like: Jamie Moyer is 43…Joel Pineiro and Gil Meche suck balls…Jarrod Washburn is mediocre and vastly overpaid…they paid $3.5 million for the decaying, dinosaur-disbelieving carcass of Carl Everett…also signed a guy who used horse steroids (Matt Lawton)…Willie Bloomquist will get starts…Mike Hargrove sucks as a manager.

What Will Happen: They’ll win more than 69 games, but will still be out of the race by June at the latest. King Felix will have a great year, Ichiro and Beltre will bounce back, but it won’t matter. I’ll start talking about the Seahawks by the end of April (NFL Draft).

1 Comments:

Blogger David Arnott said...

If Loaiza is just as good as Washburn and Millwood, but the A's paid much less for him, did they still overpay? I think that, in a market where Paul Byrd got 2 years at $7mil per and Jose Contreras got a 4 year extension at $8mil per, signing Loaiza for 3 years at $7mil per (and a draft pick) is, at worst, the going rate for a guy with his track record at his age. And yes, you can do some chicken-egg arguments since he was the first "big" name off the board.

2:03 PM  

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