Monday, April 10, 2006
AL East Preview (Featuring U2)
And so, naturally, it’s my sworn duty as a goofy blogger to completely make light of the message of a song like “One” by likening it to the sad plight of Seth McClung. Nah, not really. It’s pretty easy to show how hideous the D-Rays pitching staff is without disgracing a piece of lyrical beauty. Enough ranting, here we go...
1. New York Yankees (One Tree Hill)
The Yanks will win the division behind a monster hitting attack once again, so let’s blow past the ho-hum stuff and take a look at some lesser-known awards some Yankee players might take home.
Player most likely to be irrationally torn to shreds by idiot media-types for his imaginary lack of clutch ability: Alex Rodriguez
Player most likely to have his sub-par defense praised by said idiot media-types and beer-swilling New York morons: Derek Jeter
Player most likely to go all Ed Whitson up in this bizzle: Kyle Farnsworth
Player most likely to deteriorate into his avert-your-eyes 1997 self: Aaron Small
Player who most resembles Adrian Brody: Jorge Posada
Player who most resembles the thing that popped out of the car at the end of Stephen King’s From a Buick 8: Randy Johnson
Player whose name will feature in the most off-color double entendres: Chien-Ming Wang
Most worthless player who has Leo Mazzone to thanks for a paycheck: Jaret Wright
Coach who is a Stankeye fave due solely to his connection to the ’86 Mets: Lee Mazzilli
Coach who I’m sad won’t be in the national spotlight anymore: Don Zimmer
Blogger most likely to take a bat to his own dome after Joe Buck repeatedly channels Brokeback Mountain with his gushing over Jeter in 2006: John Ryder.
2. Boston Red Sox (A Room at the Heartbreak Hotel)
The Red Sox really don’t impress me that much, but I don’t have the balls to pick the Blue Jays to finish second, so here we are. Yes, even as a random Giants blogger I have a sick fear of a bruised ego.
If Curt Schilling and Josh Beckett can stay healthy they've got a much-improved starting staff, but their bullpen is still a mess, and I think they'll fall short of the Wild Card this season. Some questions remain: Can Manny go two weeks without whining or demanding a trade? Will Kevin Youkilis walk a whole bunch and break out a Mark Bellhorn-type year underappreciated by the Fenway faithful? How bizarre will J.T. Snow look in a Sox uni to us Giants fans? How many FOX commentators will continue to blow the Sox/Yankees rivalry ridiculously out of proportion? How long before the letter bombs begin to pile up at Mike Lowell's doorstep? I'm giddy with anticipation.
3. Toronto Blue Jays (Is That All?)
The Jays are like a 10-year-old kid who stumbles upon a $100 bill. Suddenly the recipient of a heretofore unheard-of amount of money, they go out and blow it all on a bunch of senseless crap, like light-up roller blades or something. The Blue Jays went out and hurled all kinds of cash on B.J. Ryan and A.J. Burnett, apparently not realizing that the former was a reliever who really won't do a whole lot in the win-loss column in the long run, and that the latter was an injury-prone pitcher who really wasn't all that great in the first place. These guys were going to be expensive, yes, but while it's one thing to have to play to the market, it's another to let the market completely bone you.
GM J.P. Ricciardi is known as one of the "Billy Beane-Era" guys, but he doesn't belong in the same sentence. I see them around 87 wins, but that's not enough in this division. Their moves were intended to provide sauce for the goose in the AL East, but instead their goose is cooked.
4. Baltimore Orioles (Running To Stand Still)
The Orioles looked like they had turned the corner early last year, then around the All-Star Break they fell apart and it was business as usual back in fourth place, with a Rafael Palmeiro falling from grace like Tony Montana. Just like Sysyphus, rolling the rock up the hill only to have to start back over again when it inevitably comes falling back down. We'll see how much Leo Mazzone helps that questionable pitching staff, but early returns are ominous.
Just a side rant, Miguel Tejada is a moron. I've never liked this guy, and his irate trade demand a few months back made me want to take a two by four to his cranium. Tejada wanted to be dealt because he claimed he was "duped" by the Orioles, who convinced him they were building a winner. Two years later, they still sucked, and Tejada was mad as hell, and he wanted out. Look, Miguel, you dumbass, in 2003 you left a team that had been to the playoffs four straight years, a proven winner. You could have taken less money to stay with that team, a team you knew had a chance to go to the World Series, but instead you took the big bucks to go to the Orioles. When was the last time the Orioles made the playoffs? 1997, shit-for-brains. There was no indication in the world that Baltimore would contend anytime soon, but all you saw were dollar signs, and now you're bitching that you were fooled. Criminy. Go cry to all your millions. For all his talent, Tejada has been a whiny, stupid player since day one, and this just took the cake.
5. Tampa Bay Devil Rays (Endless Deep)
The DRays are starting to resemble a legitimate franchise but that pitching staff is like something straight out of the Ravenholme level in Half Life 2. They've got to get some quality arms. Dig up some AAA vets, scour the indy leagues, call up Phil Neikro and ask him if he can strap it on. Anything is better than a season of Sseth McClung and Mark Hendrickson.
With the young hitting talent they have on hand here, the Rays will in a few years take on a 1969 Mets quality. One year they'll just suddenly bust out, make the playoffs, and bitch-slap some heavy favorite in the playoffs, all the while being cheered on by America because of their former lovable loser tag. They're worth watching now, because they've got some good young bats, and with new management coming in there's some hope. They're trying their hardest to no longer be the David Lynch entry in the AL East film festival.