Ed. note: This is going to be the first in a random series of baseball previews, because we are all baseball fans. Despite the title of the series, I consider John to be a very reputable source of the AL East. But the other five... six? six divisions. Seven divisions are anyone's guess. Five divisions.
Since this is the only blog anyone cares about, I figured I'd limit my baseball outlook to the only division that anyone cares about, the AL East. The east is on a whole other level. The rest of the AL still exists only for fantasy baseball purposes at this point, and the NL's only real purpose is to ultimately determine an opponent for the AL East in the World Series. So without further ado: your contenders...and the Orioles.
Let me start by saying that I am an avid Red Sox fan, and have been all my life. The only thing better than being a Sox fan is growing up in the Baltimore area wearing a Sox hat everywhere. I've gotten the complete spectrum of heckling, ranging from the nonsensical ("SPYGATE! SPYGATE!" at Camden Yards) to the downright awesome. ("Why don't you go masturbate with razor blades you emo bitch" while walking the streets of downtown Annapolis) Gotta love Baltimore fans. When you're team sucks this bad, misdirected rage takes some of the most creative forms I've ever seen. Anyway, without any more further ado: your contenders...and the Orioles.
Just drop "Devil" from your name and Jesus grants you a miracle season. It's not gonna happen again, though. He'd die for you one time but never again. They won't be taking anyone by surprise this year. They've still got the pieces, though. They've been pretty quiet during the off-season, keeping the young talent alive while bringing in some veteran depth to the outfield. Assuming Upton stays healthy and Percival can shut down the late innings, the Rays will still be in the running.
It's like losing your virginity. The first time, you're just caught up in the thrill, you have no idea what's going on, you have no idea what to expect, you just get caught up in the moment. That was the Rays last year. They were put in a great position, but had no idea how to handle it and just went with it. This season will be like the second time. You've been there, but don't really know how you got there, so you try and recreate the scenario and over think everything and it just gets awkward. You end up laying on her hair, elbows go places they shouldn't, the dog keeps staring at you like he knows....mocking you...where was I going with this? Oh yeah, the Rays. Like trying to keep yourself going by thinking about baseball, the Rays need to keep thinking about sex to stay afloat in the AL East. There was a point in there somewhere. If you find it, let me know.
Homerisms aside, Boston is stacked. All anyone can talk about is Boston's "off year" last year. If getting a game away from the World Series is an off year, you are looking at a scary team. Smoltz is a great pick up. He's the kind of guy that would deck his own kid in a backyard football game if it meant getting the win. Pedroia is the reigning MVP, and Youk finished 3rd in the voting. Coco is gone, leaving Ellsbury with free range over Center. Hopefully he can win me another free Taco. And a ring. I could go on forever with this team, so I'll stop it here. They are wicked awesome.
Fuck em. And steroids. That is all.
Next time you get in a conversation with a baseball fan, stop them in mid-conversation and ask them to name 5 players on the Blue Jays. I don't think it can be done. A plummeting economy has lead to a forgettable off-season. In the AL East, you need to constantly improve to stay competitive. Not even the Blue Jays are expecting the Blue Jays to do anything this year, so why even waste the time elaborating. Besides, they bombed the Baldwins.
Help us, Matt Wieters, you're our only hope. I love ya, Baltimore. Outfield is solid, infield is solid, bats are alive, on paper it looks great. The only problem is MLB rules dictate that a team must have a Pitcher start every game. Knowing Peter Angelos, he will probably focus his time and money on trying to amend this rule rather than actually investing in some good young pitching. So close, Baltimore! I must say, though, don't be surprised the see the division rest on a few key series at Camden Yards down the stretch, and except the O's to show up. Just like their fans, if they have to be miserable they are gonna take as many people down with them as they can.
Predictions (random, arbitrary numbers totaling 162):
1. Boston 98-64
2. Tampa Bay 95-67
3. New York 88-74
4. Baltimore 75-87
5. Toronto 69-93