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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Oakland A's - Team to beat in the AL West

  I'm declaring it right now, the Oakland A's are the team to beat in the AL West this year, and my word is just about law. The AL West usually seems to be wide open as it is, now that the Angels are irrelevant, and it's Oakland's time. The Rangers making it all the way to the World Series last year was a one time thing, especially considering they lost their ace when Cliff Lee went to Philly and a team that's always bragging about clubhouse unity has 2 starting third basemen, one of whom clearly hates his current franchise. Josh Hamilton, everyone's favorite success story, despite winning MVP last season, is not nearly as good as he gets credit for. I understand he was a super meth head and now he's clean, but is anyone else over that story? He's constantly hurt, rarely playing a full season and the last really cool thing he did was 2008 Home Run Derby, since then he's been coasting off of a good back story and average talent.Boom! Roasted!
    The A's are the scrappy young upstarts you always seem to hear about in sports, a hungry team full of young talented guys. Their starting rotation is full of young guys ready to prove themselves who started showing flashes of greatness last year, such as Trevor Cahill's 18 wins, Gio Gonzalez's 171 strikeouts, and that douche Dallas Braden's perfect game. A team 3.56 ERA had them in first place in the American League, 4th in all of baseball. Pretty fucking solid for a team where the pitching staff has an average age of about 25. Their bullpen is sold as well, boasting the always almost great Andrew Bailey, who pitches to an excellent ERA but tends to get injured. If he, along with the rest of the staff can remain healthy? The A's could easily post a league best ERA again.

The A's also have solid defensive and offensive potential on the field this season, Kurt Suzuki, the catcher is just waiting to have a breakout season. He's a hugely talented player with good speed, a solid bat and despite the inevitable shitty car jokes, he's primed to become a household name. Kevin Kouzmanoff at third base is also primed for a breakout, years of consistent production from him make him a solid player. Coco Crisp, the most delicious name in baseball is perched on the edge of a bounce back year, and if he has it, the A's offense and defense changes dramatically. Ryan Sweeney is one of my favorite players, hes not a power hitter, but for a young player is .294 batting average is a sign of good things to come. Also, and how the fuck can you beat this...they got Matsui. Godzilla is going to be crushing baseball's and hobbling around on the worlds rustiest knees.

   They open the season tomorrow against the God-awful Seattle Mariners, but are up against Felix Hernandez who besides Ichiro, is the only good thing the Mariners have going for it. You heard it here first folks, the Oakland A's are the team to beat in the AL West.
P.S. Holy fucking shit, opening day is tomorrow. My Paul O'Neill jersey is primed and ready to go.

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