So now that you know everything you could ever want to know about the National League let’s move on to the Junior Circuit. For inspiration I cranked up my old friend TiVo and determined which shows are the best indicators of future performance in the American League. So naturally I ended up with a comedy, and action-comedy, and a drama. But the real drama [*takes off glasses and turns head sideways*] will be at the end of this column…
Ok, enough Caruso, it’s time for the predictions…
A.L. East (Big Bang Division)
1. Tampa Bay Rays (95-67) – Penny
2. New York Yankees (92-70) – Sheldon
3. Boston Red Sox (88-74) – Leonard
4. Toronto Blue Jays (85-77) – Howard
5. Baltimore Orioles (64-98) – Raj
What, you thought I would put one of the guys first?! I’m going with style, confidence, and fun in this one and I don’t care that very few will agree with me. Sure you could go with the obvious “genius” and go with Sheldon, but there are some missing social graces (oh, and the Yanks are getting old…which has to bite them eventually). Last year Boston flamed out like Leonard’s first attempt at dating Penny. They’re hoping that this year is more like the current beta-test. Toronto is that awkward guy who knows he’s outclassed by the rest of the division, but puts up a front and tries to convince everyone that he belongs. And well… Baltimore is the guy who can’t talk when there’s a pretty girl in the room.
A.L. Central (Chuck Division)
1. Detroit Tigers (93-69) – Chuck
2. Kansas City Royals (81-81) – Sarah
3. Cleveland Indians (79-83) – Casey
4. Minnesota Twins (76-86) – Morgan
5. Chicago White Sox (66-96) – Jeffster
There are a thousand reasons that I didn’t want to pick Detroit, but after last season I’m convinced that the only thing left for us to see from Justin Verlander is for him to turn and look at the camera and say “I know kung fu!”. And then there are my beloved Royals. Like Sarah the Royals are exciting and on the rise, but in the end they are just a little damaged and won’t be able to bring it home. Cleveland feels like they will be aggressive but they will end up leaving too many weapons in the Crown Vic. If all works out with Mauer, Morneau, & Liriano the Twins could be Intersect Morgan, but it’s likely that it will be more like Buy More Morgan. And what can you say about the White Sox. Only a key-tar can add appeal to this flawed team.
A.L. West (Castle Division)
1. Anaheim Angels (98-64) – Beckett
2. Texas Rangers (95-67) – Castle
3. Oakland Athletics (66-96) – Esposito
4. Seattle Mariners (64-98) – Ryan
The Angels are the best looking lineup and loaded up their weapons this offseason a la Nikki Heat. And the Rangers have been to the Series two straight years and all they did was add Darvish, move Feliz to the rotation and hire Greg Maddux as another “mentor” for the pitching staff…It’s like being successful and then adding the double-threat of brains and charm. The A’s are kind of like a bull in a china shop and that just won’t get you top billing in this division. And Seattle’s record will end up like Ryan’s attempts to wear the pants in his relationship… not pretty.
So that’s how the regular season will play out… Now let’s get to the beauty that is October baseball!
Wild Card Round:
Rangers over Yankees
Nationals over Diamondbacks
Angels over Rangers
Tigers over Rays
Nationals over Phillies
Giants over Cardinals
League Championship Series’:
Angels over Tigers
Giants over Nationals
Angels over Giants
So there you have it… in 7 months I’ll be able to write the “I Told You So” column… Or more likely, I’ll write a column mocking myself and my own brilliance… but it will be fun either way. And the best part of it all is that it’s just about time to say… PLAY BALL!!!