With opening day on Sunday, and due to our love of baseball, we thought we would get on the band wagon and give you our 2010 MLB preview reports. Over the next three days we will cover all 30 teams. We’ll start with the east and like Lewis and Clark, work our way west. The mornings will have our AL previews and at 12:30 (MST) you can catch the NL previews. Now let’s toss out the first pitch and get things under way.

1. Minnesota Twins 

Last Year’s Record: 87-76

Predicted 2010 Record: 93-69 (heh, heh)

Pertinent Line from Real Team Preview: You would not have been alone if you had the Minnesota Twins repeating as AL Central champions at the start of spring training. Now, though, things have changed. Nathan is as valuable as anyone not named Mauer on the Twins roster. It is impossible to replace him. Luckily, though, there are still things you like about this team. For one, they have the best manager in the game who always has his team in the thick of things at the end. Getting Hudson as late as they did was a steal. Their rotation won’t dazzle you, but it is as solid as any of the contenders in the AL. Not to mention, they have this guy named Mauer. There is no dominant team in the AL Central. Even without Nathan they could make a push for a division title.” – Chris Ruddick, The Sports Network .

Something(s) to Love: Joe Mauer. This man has lived up to the hype surrounding him and watching him play is quite enjoyable. Also the Twins have made the end of the season race a lot of fun over the past few years and if they can bring that excitement again, I am all for it.

Something(s) to Hate: When this team does well we have to endure a whole new level of annoying from CJS regular Flickerbock. Also this team is in the same state that allowed Favre to ruin their football team.

Funniest Name on their 40 Man Roster: Jeff Manship, gross.

Fred the Homeless Dirtbag’s Appraisal: “I dated twins once. That was hard. I kept calling them by the wrong name, they don’t care for that. I got slapped a lot. Also I got this rash. Hey, does it look infected to you?”

2. Detroit Tigers

Last Year’s Record: 86-77

Predicted 2010 Record: 87-76

Pertinent Line from Real Team Preview: There undoubtedly is star power on this team, led by Cabrera and Verlander. Ultimately, bounce-back candidates (Bonderman, Guillen) and unproven rookies (Jackson, Sizemore) will determine the Tigers’ success. Detroit will be a factor, but there are too many questions to expect more than a third-place finish.” – Ryan Fagan, sportingnews.com.

Something(s) to Love: Magnum P.I. always rocked that Tigers hat so there has to be something to love about this team. The edition of some big time players should make this team a contender and, with the Twins, will actually make the AL Central fun to watch.

Something(s) to Hate: They are a sports team from Detroit. There are a number of reasons to hate them, take your pick.

Funniest Name on their 40 Man Roster: Brent Dlugach, nothing says comedy like a throat full of phlegm when saying a name.

Fred the Homeless Dirtbag’s Appraisal: “You ever see that Beverly Hills Cop? Man that guy was from Detroit. A real hard ass trying to play by his own rules in a by-the-books Beverly Hill jurisdiction. Man that was one funny movie. Remember when he put the banana in the tail pipe? Oh man that was good stuff.”

3. Chicago White Sox

Last Year’s Record: 79-83

Predicted 2010 Record: 79-83

Pertinent Line from Real Team Preview: There are a lot of things to like about the White Sox this fall. Their starting rotation is excellent and their bullpen should be very solid. Furthermore, there are some talented young bats that should continue to progress towards stardom. Then factor in that many of the Sox’s best hitters struggled with injury in 2009 and you have the formula for an improved team. The White Sox should also compete throughout the season with the Twins and Tigers for the Central Division crown but will fall short in the season’s final week to finish with 85 wins, good enough for 2nd place in the Central Division behind Minnesota.” – Matt Baxendell, mlbcenter.com.

Something(s) to Love: The pitching. You cannot deny the talent from Peavy and Buerhle. Watching these two work is nothing short of spectacular.

Something(s) to Hate: Ozzie Guillen is an angry mean little man. Just seeing his seething face I want to punch him. He makes Joe Torre look like a good guy.

Funniest Name on their 40 Man Roster: Brian Omogrosso.  Honorable mention to Tyler Flowers.

Fred the Homeless Dirtbag’s Appraisal: “White Sox? I can’t even remember the last time my socks where white. See, they have kind of grayish brown thing going on. Well this one is black; I found it in the dumpster behind Macy’s. It has a big hole, but it’s still functioning.”

4. Cleveland Indians

Last Year’s Record: 65-97

Predicted 2010 Record: 70-92

Pertinent Line from Real Team Preview: Even with Dorn in the owner’s box, the Indians are solid favorites to repeat in the East, and to go all the way to the World Series. And why not? Look at the lineup we have coming back. First of all, the Cuban Crusher, the voodoo man with a bad attitude, Pedro Cerrano. Even though his training methods were a little unusual, Pedro finished in the top five in homers, RBI’s, slugging percentage and total baldness. Also back is centerfielder Willie May Hayes, who came out of nowhere to lead the league in great catches and stolen bases. We’re told he starred in an action movie during the offseason, where he not only did his own stunts, but even his own acting. And don’t forget about catcher and team leader Jake Taylor. Despite chronic knee problems he had a fine season, and beat out the bunt that drove in the run that won the division title. And finally one of the brightest young stars in the game today, Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn. Vaughn began the season in the uniform of the California Penal League and had some control problems early on. But with the help of a pair of black hornrims, he went on to set a Major League record for strikeouts in a season by an ex-carcy. All in all, things couldn’t be looking better for the Tribe.” – Harry Doyle

Something(s) to Love: Eventually this team will be back to their glory days. In the meantime it can be fun to watch as relatively unknowns and players trying to gain proper recognition play hard for it.

Something(s) to Hate: This team has been in a rebuilding process for the past several years and it appears to be a union job. As an outside fan this is a hard thing to watch.

Funniest Name on their 40 Man Roster: I choo-choo-choose Shin-Soo Choo.

Fred the Homeless Dirtbag’s Appraisal: “How. Now we do a rain dance then smokem the peace pipe. Did you bring fire water?”

5. Kansas City Royals

Last Year’s Record: 65-97

Predicted 2010 Record: 60-102

Pertinent Line from Real Team Preview: This is a 75 win team that should be worse. The Royals need to trade Gil Meche and David DeJesus if they can. After generating unjustified off-season buzz for two years, nobody is too excited about the 2010 Royals. Has much changed? Not really, just a realization that the team is not and never was a young team on the rise. Instead, the 2010 Royals are still fueled by the dying embers products of the previous regime (Greinke, Butler, Gordon, DeJesus) and still waiting for the new GM to add more new coals to the fire. And no, in this metaphor, Jason Kendall is not a desirable lump of coal.” – Will McDonald, Royals Review.

Something(s) to Love: These poor hapless bastards try so hard but never succeed. It’s like Charlie Brown trying to kick the football. You keep hoping they’ll do it, but you know they won’t.

Something(s) to Hate: This team is just bad. The AL equivalent to the Pittsburgh Pirates. You wish someone would just pull the plug and end the misery.

Funniest Name on their 40 Man Roster: Roman Colon, huh huh.

Fred the Homeless Dirtbag’s Appraisal: “What the hell is a Royal? Is it like a king? Is the king in town? Should I bow? I’m not bowing for no king! Last time I checked this is America! What you want to do? I’m right here. I’m sorry man. <sob> I don’t want to fight you.”

Come back at 12:30 for game two of our double header.

lee.s.hart@crujonessociety.com

 cjs_final_mark.jpg