Here it is, what you've all been waiting for. Your American League preview. Although I have to warn you I went out to dinner with my parents and had a bunch of beers, so I'm probably just going to half-ass this thing. Or at least more than usual.
1. NEW YORK YANKEES. It pains me, physically pains me to pick these jackasses to win. I almost win went another team here, but then I realized that would just have been picking against the Yankees because they were assholes, especially your boyfriend Derek Jeter, and as a professional journalist who was once named a top 100 sports blog in America I just can't have that kind of impartialism running rampant on such a respected blog, so I pick the Yankees first. Seriously though, that Nick Johnson signing is perfect for this team and the exact type of signing they used to not be smart enough to make. So I guess what I'm saying is the Yankees might be back. I mean Jesus Christ their fifth starter is Phil Hughes. How is that even fair? He'd be second on the Twins. You heard me.
2. TAMPA BAY DEVIL RAYS. It seems like they have an endless supply of young talent, much like Vivid. And most of them work out well, which is what makes them different. This year, keep an eye out for "fifth" starter Wade Davis and the guy who will be the Carlos Gomez we always wanted, Desmond Jennings. I'm not certain that Rafael Soriano is actually the answer to their bullpen questions but why is the guy from those Miller High Life commercials on Cougar Town? Side bar: this show is terrible.
3. BOSTON RED SOX. I just wish they'd go away already, but somehow ($200 million payroll) they keep staying relevant. But who fills in for Jason Bay's numbers? Victor Martinez? Please. Although I do want you all to know that I'm sharing a fantasy baseball team with Snake this year and he said our second round target should be V. Martinez so feel free to all point and laugh at him. Adrian Beltre should be a monster though.
4. BALTIMORE ORIOLES. I feel bad for these guys. They finally seem to have it together, with a bunch of nice young arms and a bunch of good young bats and it doesn't matter remotely because of the division they are in. If the O's were in the central or west they'd be in contention for a division crown, but being in the East they are screwed. Look out for both Adam Jones on the bat side and Brian Matusz on the arm side. I got a game he throwed last year and I think he's probably the real deal (not the J.D. Durbin kind). Also wieters wieters wieters wieters wieters wieters wieters wieters wieters wieters wieters wieters wieters wieters wieters wieters wieters wieters wieters wieters wieters wieters wieters wieters wieters wieters wieters wieters wieters wieters.
5. TORONTO BLUE JAYS. Trading Halladay was the right move since they suck, but they need to pray to Poseidon that a bunch of those prospects pan out because this is uglier than that chick from that one show. Travis Snider is a complete pimp, as are Adam Lind and Aaron Hill, but the rest of the lineup features guys like Jose Bautista, Alex Gonzalez, and Lyle Overbay. And that's better than the rotation, which is just like the Twins rotation how every starter is kind of on the same level except if that level was Glen Perkins.
1. MINNESOTA TWINS. I'm almost kind of glad about the whole Nathan injury because it puts a flaw into what was shaping up to be a little too perfect of a team. Kind of like going into the season everyone was expecting the Vikings to hit the Super Bowl, that's how the Twins offseason was shaping up. Now that there's a chink (NOTE: not racist) in the armor maybe they are ready to take it. Feel free to expect Kubel to become the third member of the current team to win an MVP. Also, Delmon Young: .310/.360/.500. Believe.
2. DETROIT TIGERS. I'm very intrigued by what they are doing here. It's a very nice mix of young (Austin Jackson, Scott Sizemore, Max Scherzer) and old (Mags, Miggy, Verlander) with a shitbox of a bullpen. Does anybody still believe in Joel Zumaya at this point? Because he's officially closing now, a solid three or so years after he should have been ready. Did you know Brandon Inge struck at 170 times and OBP'd at .314. God that guy sucks. If I wasn't lazy I'd try to find video footage of his 0 home runs in the derby last year. But here we are.
3. CHICAGO WHITE STOCKINGS. That rotation is super good if you believe Peavy is back, which any smart human does even though that sucks worse than your life for the Twins. Funny that the offense basically keys on if Carlos Quentin, who looks like a retarded mexican Eric Cartman, is back to form, which he won't be. So you can expect a lot of 2-1 losses for Chicago this year. Oh, and if you want a prediction you can consider this a guarantee - Bobby Jenks implodes this year. Mark Wohlers-style.
4. CLEVELAND INDIANS. They don't really have much of a chance to compete this year, and will definitely trade Kerry Wood and should think about trading Grady Sizemore, but they seem to at least have an idea of what they're doing and are stockpiling some talent. Matt LaPorta, Lou Marson, Carlos Santana, Luis Valbuena, Asdrubel Cabrera, and Michael Brantley are very good young hitters who aren't there as a group yet but will get their soon. Luckily the rotation is brutal and the bullpen might be even worse. There is a lot of chatter about Fausto Carmona and being back to form coming out of spring training. I'd dismiss it, but I'm basically buying in 100% to the Frank Liriano hype so I have to respect this, right. I don't want to be some kind of hypocrite like Oksana Baiul.
5. KANSAS CITY ROYALS. I want to believe in KC, I really do. Partially for Zack Greinke and partially because it should be unconstitutional for such a beautiful ballpark to house such a shitty team (see: TCF Bank and the Gophers). Every time it seems like they might be moving in the right direction, like stockpiling a good amount of young arms, they go out and sign the worst lineup anybody has ever seen ever in forever. Just terrible. It's like, I feel the Pirates are starting to figure it out but the Royals are the younger, more retarded brother who has had the same plan explained to them and acts like they get it but then signs Jason Kendall to a 2 year/$6 million contract. Honest to god his agent must have shit himself when he saw that come through on facsimile.
1. CALIFORNIA ANGELS. Sort of by default here. All these teams are pretty close to even, but when you're in a cut-throat business like blogging you have to make a stand and I guess my stand is picking the Angels and also I'm bored. Does it even matter? These teams (sans the Rangers) all play way the hell over on the west coast where sports are over by 8pm and then every one is bored. Unless the Oscars are on, in which case the whole city shuts down and if you happen to be out there for new job orientation you can't go to the hotel bar and watch a basketball game because every TV is on the stupid Oscars and god forbid you ask if they can change one little tv in the corner because the bartender will judge you like he was Mills Lane and then not change the channel at all.
2. SEATTLE MARINERS. I have to pick them here because I love their strategy of going after pitching and defense in that gigantic park, and also because I put some money on them already at 16-1 two win the AL. Now that I think about it, that's a pretty stupid bet and if I really like them I should have just waited for their win OVER/UNDER to come out and roll on that and hold on one minute. Ok I now have the Mariners to win over 83. Also Twins OVER 82, Rockies over 84.5 (heavy here), Giants UNDER 82.5, and ATHLETICS UNDER 78. That was fun.
3. TEXAS RANGERS. I have never heard of any of these pitchers. I wish it was Friday. I want to draft a team. And also drink beer. And also drink beer with Snake while we draft a dominant team which will have no Rangers at all unless Justin Smoak gets called up. That guy is going to make Justin Morneau look like a girl.
4. OAKLAND ATHLETICS. This is, frankly, pretty awful. I love Billy Beane and he basically turned the league's front offices upside down by looking at the game in a different way, but it's not really working anymore and I don't think you could fault the A's if they chose to go in a different direction. Also when/if that happens I will be first in line for the "Fire Bill Smith hire Billy Beane" movement. Somebody just let me know when we meet and what I have to bring. I just concocted a pretty good dry rub for some chicken wings, so if it's going to be that kind of party somebody let me know. Also let me know if it's the kind of party where ding-dongs are getting stuck in the mashed potatoes. I'll call Q-Tip.
AL WILD CARD - Rays
AL PENNANT - Twins (believe it)
AL MVP - A-Rod (runner up = Kubel)
CY YOUNG - Felix Hernandez (runner up = Matt Garza)
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR - Matusz (runner up = Jennings)
WORLD SERIES WINNER - Phillies. Sorry homers.