Tuesday, January 29, 2008

AL West Season 2 Preview

by Sweetnss355 (Originally published in HBD forum 1/18/08)

1) Anaheim Angels
The Angels look to defend last season’s AL West crown and best record in the majors but it will be a dogfight this season. Rabbit Tracy was a good addition to Haywood Charles and Benny Chouinard in a young rotation; the starting staff should be much improved this year. Chouinard tries to put an embarrassing off-season behind him; he was in US Weekly several times, linked in romantic encounters with Lindsey Lohan, Paris Hilton, Lance Armstrong, Nicole Richie, and Betty White. The bullpen won’t be as good as last year, with Mike Roberts traded away and Jorge Sierra suffering a serious injury in spring training.
The lineup will be fierce. DaRond Wagner and Tony Contreras will set the table, and Darryl Whitaker and Arthur Boggs will mash. Recently acquired Elmer Adams adds to the potent offense. Adams, of course, is well known for in incident several years back where he took off his cleat and attacked an umpire with it. The Angels hope that the rumors of his “finding God” are true.

2) Portland Beavers
New GM viperhoops was very aggressive in the offseason, and the fruits of that aggressiveness should pay dividends in his first season at the helm. Slugger Robert Dunham was acquired as part of Cleveland’s fire sale and will put up big numbers. He joins incumbent sluggers Bobby Dawkins and Luis Reynoso for what should be an improved offense. Dawkins was quoted after the trade for Dunham: “It’s about time I got some f_____g help around here. S__t, I’m a man not a machine. I needed Cortisone shots all year from trying to carry that offense on my f_____g back.” Einar Elcano and Boots Savage were also acquired to shore up the defense up the middle.
The starting staff is back from last season, which might not bode well for the Beavers since they gave up the 2nd most runs in the AL in season one. The rotation’s ratings exceeded their performances, so expect this staff about middle of the pack in season 2. The big pitching acquisition for the Beavers is Preston McMillan, an excellent reliever who should provide stability to the Portland pen. Donatello Buckley was arrested in the offseason for possession of marijuana and went with the defense of “In Portland, everybody smokes pot.” He is on probation in Texas, and the team has yet to announce whether he’ll make the road trip to face the Rangers.

3) Seattle Mariners
The Mariners finished at .500 in Kinsella’s debut season, and they should be right in the mix for the division crown this year. They bring back more or less the same lineup. Brandon Curtis and Edgard Baez lead the way. Baez recently tested positive for HGH and horse tranquilizers, but won his appeal and will be in the lineup for opening day. Richard Ishii and J.J. Campbell should again form the best left side of the infield in the division.
The Mariners lost their ace in the offseason, as renowned wife-beater and general dirt bag Alex Kubinski signed with Florida. While this helps the Mariners in the clubhouse, it hurts them greatly on the field. Seattle will try to fill the large gap with youngsters Bo Whitaker and Diego Ibarra. Graham Brown is a top notch closer and had a solid season one, despite the fact that his owner and GM intermittently aired his frustrations publicly on the league message board.

4) Oakland A’s
The Athletics bring back a similar team and many prognosticators have Oakland as their surprise team in the American League. Lariel Sardinha was added as a DH in the offseason and hopes to put his issues from Florida behind him. With the Marlins, he feuded with players, coaches, the manager, the GM, the owner, fans, and parking attendants. He blames it on the fact that he was going through a divorce at the time. We are happy to report that he has a hot young girlfriend now and is much happier. Patrick Romero and Wade Baker lead the way for the offense.
The youngsters in the Oakland rotation, Dave Hayes, Guillermo Martin, and Vic Diaz all had rough rookie seasons and hope to turn things around in season 2. Veterans Benji “Yeah I’m gay, so what?” Vazquez and Bill McKnight will try to provide the kids with some tutelage. Max Duran is an excellent lefty reliever. Hal Frederick is not a very good pitcher, but he keeps the other players loose in the bullpen with plenty of “hot foot” and “bubble gum on the cap” type antics.

Season 2 All-Division team
(C) Patrick Romero- Oakland
(1b) Robert Dunham- Portland
(2b) Tony Contreras- Anaheim
(SS) Richard Ishii- Seattle
(3b) Luis Reynoso- Portland
(LF) Edgard Baez- Seattle
(CF) DaRond Wagner- Anaheim
(RF) Brandon Curtis- Seattle
(DH) Darryl Whitaker- Anaheim
(SP) Josias Rosado- Portland
(RP) Graham Brown- Seattle

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