MLB

2012 MLB Preview: AL West

The 2012 Major League Baseball season began last week with an already forgotten series in Japan between the A’s and the Mariners. Then we went back into Spring Training mode. Tonight, the Marlins host the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals. Tomorrow, some more teams will play baseball. The same thing happens Friday.

Eventually, all teams will have played a regular season baseball game. Yes, it’s quite a snazzy plan concocted here by Bird Selig and friends.

Last week we first took a peek at the NL Central, then we shadowboxed with the NL West. Yesterday, it was the stacked NL East.

Today, we head over to the AL.

Texas Rangers

2011 Record — 96-66, 1st place

Notable AdditionsYu Darvish. Some players already think he’s a conceited assclown. I think he’s funny.

Tragic Losses — CJ Wilson and his bevvy of supermodels. Thankfully, Dallas is beyond loaded with top shelf cougars. The Rangers will be just fine.

Good News — Ian Kinsler, Elvis Andrus, Josh Hamilton, Adrian Beltre, Michael Young, Nelson Cruz, and Mike Napoli. Just a relentless lineup, and fun to watch. The bats will be there all season long. Additionally, their farm system remains stacked.

Bad News — The past couple years I have found myself not being sold on their starting pitching. I feel the same way again this year, which means I don’t know jack shit considering the Rangers have made back-to-back World Series appearances.

Outlook — I loathe this division more than Tim McCarver despises Deion. I imagine anyone whose favorite team resides in the NL Central also hates this division. Outlasting three other teams compared to everyone else dealing with four and in one case, five, is complete horseshit. 91 wins, 2nd place.

Probable 2012 Anthem — Well, what else, John Daly singing John Daly’s “I Found It.” The jarring montage will melt your heart, and your brain.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

2011 Record — 86-76, 2nd place

Notable AdditionsAlbert Pujols. Yes, it’s still strange to say, isn’t it? If you’re a Cardinals fan, let me help you out there and finish wiping that self-respect off your face. Seriously, get a hold of yourselves. He’s 32. He’ll be nursing flappier breasts than the Samoan Brothers within the next 23 months. Embrace that shit. In addition to Albert, CM Punk’s favorite baseball player, straight edger CJ Wilson has joined in on the lively Conga line. And what exactly does CJ do for fun? Well CJ publicizes the cell phone numbers of former teammates that he was never really friends to begin with. Sounds almost as fun as a cheese grater to the sack.

Tragic Losses — Tyler Chatwood, Joel Pineiro, and Fernando Rodney. They won 86 games and this is all they’ve lost? I’m terrified. Just hand them the division crown right now.

Good News — If this were the NFL, it would be fun to guess which year Pujols would be waived. I would say three seasons in L.A. and then a humbling stroll to Queens to finish his career as a Met with a giant fork in his back. Somehow this fits into good news though? Oh. Tickets and merchandise. The Angels, regardless of record, will be cackling their way through the line at the bank thanks to the addition of Albert. And deservedly so.

Bad News — They are still known as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Hilarious. Kind of wish the Jets were officially known as the New York Jets of East Rutherford.

Outlook — Seriously, that’s all they lost? 95 wins, 1st place.

Probable 2012 Anthem — The opening theme to Fat Albert.

Oakland Athletics

2011 Record — 74-88, 3rd place

Notable AdditionsYoenis Cespedes, Josh Reddick, and Bartolo Colon. Love the addition of Fatolo. Signature A’s signing in getting what could be a very productive starting pitcher for next to nothing.

Tragic Losses — Josh Willingham, David DeJesus, and Hideki Matsui.

Bad News — Is the entire upper tier at “O.co Coliseum” still covered with a tarp? The name of the stadium really says it all. Seriously, was anyone else aware that it’s called the O.co Coliseum? That’s cute. Never change, Oakland A’s, never change.

Outlook — I’ve learned my lesson in thinking Billy Beane has another moonshot left in his bat, at least with this team. So naturally, by stating that (you know the drill by now) the A’s will rip through the division with the ease of a Cutco knife. Official prediction is 3rd place and 77 wins.

Probable 2012 Anthem — I picked the A’s to win the division last year. They repaid me for that courage with 74 wins. For that, I gift Beane and the fellas with Lou Bega’s “Mambo No. 5.” Treasure it with pride.

Seattle Mariners

2011 Record — 67-95, 4th place

Notable Additions Jesus Montero, Hisashi Iwakuma and George Sherrill. I was all set to bash these additions, but with the opportunities I saw Montero get last season, the guy was a delight. I honestly think Seattle has a very special hitter here, which certainly assists in, well, shooting for 68-plus wins.

Tragic Losses — Chris Gimenez, Jack Cust, Wily Mo Pena, Aaron Laffey, Adam Kennedy, and Josh Bard, also commonly known as a towering glass of who-gives-a-shit. Michael Pineda was seemingly a big loss, but he’s already got a comfy seat on the 163-day DL with a torn hammy and a bad shoulder to along with a pair of bruised testicles.

Good News — There’s no way the Mariners lose more than 95 games. Even better, they might win 68. Seriously, that’s all we got until the Yankees unload their entire prospect mill for the services of King Felix.

Bad News — Justin Smoak is storming his way to stardom, but not really. Remember when Cliff Lee used to pitch in Mariners-branded clothing? Those were the days.

Outlook — Disturbingly overcast with a 106% chance of showers. Last place. Again.

Probable 2012 Anthem — “Breath” by Pearl Jam from the Singles soundtrack because it’s Seattle, bro. And somewhat of a forgotten gem.

Since this was mentioned in the Angels portion, here you go:

Previously: 2012 MLB Preview — NL Central
Previously: 2012 MLB Preview — NL West
Previously: 2012 MLB Preview — NL East

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