We wrap up our 2010 MLB Preview today with a trip to our beloved National League West where CJS’s hometown team is finally picked to win the division. There are other teams there too, but whatever. Go Rockies!
1. Colorado Rockies
Last Year’s Record: 92-70
Predicted 2010 Record: 95-67
Pertinent Line from Real Team Preview: “But the Rockies, who won a franchise-record 92 games last year and finished three games behind L.A., are in good shape to win the first NL West title in their 17-year existence. The homegrown roster features patient hitters, who were second in the NL in runs in ’09 (804), and the league’s best infield — Helton at first, Clint Barmes at second, Troy Tulowitzki at short and Ian Stewart at third. As Dodgers third base coach Larry Bowa says, “Colorado is probably deeper than anybody.” – Pablo Torre, Sports Illustrated
Something(s) To Love: What are we talking about here? If you’ve followed us for any length of time, what don’t we love about the Rockies? The talent is homegrown. Despite existing in a mid-market, the Rockies have fielded a competitive team for the last three years and look to continue. Troy Tulowitzki is becoming a leader, a star, and an icon. The humidor. The comparatively cheap beers at Coors Field. Excitement personified in Dexter Fowler and Carlos Gonzalez. War horse Todd Helton. Like we said, what don’t we love about these Rox?
Something(s) To Hate: We’d like to be unbiased here and come up with something, but we’re not, so we’ll just say that most of the bars in Lower Downtown suck balls.
Fred the Homeless Dirtbag’s Appraisal: “I wash myself with a rag on a stick. I lost that rag three years ago though.”
2. San Francisco Giants
Last Year’s Record: 88-74
Predicted 2010 Record: 90-72
Pertinent Line from Real Team Preview: “The problem for the Giants is that there isn’t much trouble in Colorado. They’re talking World Series in the Rockies’ camp, and though that might be a bit strong, it’s hard to question their worth as division favorites. No need to get too riled up, for this is the headquarters for Dead Wrong in Public, but I’ve got the Giants finishing second.” – Bruce Jenkins, San Francisco Chronicle
Something(s) To Love: Between garlic fries, sitting right on the Bay, and the fact that it’s not dreadful Candlestick Park, the Giants play in one of the finest stadiums, hands down. Pablo Sandoval goes by the nickname “Kung Fu Panda.” Tim Lincecum might just implode one day with that wacky delivery of his. No more Barry Bonds. They’re not the Dodgers.
Something(s) To Hate: Our favorite team has to face Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, a much-improved Barry Zito, and Jonathan Sanchez multiple times. Aaron Rowand takes positively forever between pitches. One of Dagger’s least favorite players ever, Will Clark, used to play here. San Francisco has an alarmingly high quotient of smug assholes that live there.
Funniest Name on 40-Man Roster: P Brian Wilson (Good! Good! Good! Good vibrations!)
Fred the Homeless Dirtbag’s Appraisal: “You can make a lot of noise on the street in San Francisco before someone stops you or even says anything. A LOT of noise.”
3. Los Angeles Dodgers
Last Year’s Record: 95-67
Predicted 2010 Record: 82-80
Pertinent Line from Real Team Preview: “Despite [Manny] Ramirez’s woes, the Dodgers finished first in the National League in on-base percentage, in a virtual tie for first in batting average and fourth in runs scored. However, they were 23rd in the majors in homers. A return to form by Ramirez and a little more pop from James Loney would be welcome.” – Chris Bahr, Sporting News
Something(s) To Love: Manny Ramirez has stopped talking to the media. Joe Torre will pick his nose roughly 8 zillion times on television this year. Casey Blake, James Loney, Andre Ethier, Blake DeWitt and a ton of other guys you can’t keep straight are all good, young players. Jonathan Broxton looks like he took down a whole buffet before each outing. The brake lights in view after Kirk Gibson’s iconic homerun.
Something(s) To Hate: Manny Ramirez has stopped talking to the media. The Rox went like 3-12 against them last year. They’re the Dodgers.
Funniest Name on 40-Man Roster: RF Andre Ethier (You can’t look at that and tell me it doesn’t look like a typo)
Fred the Homeless Dirtbag’s Appraisal: “Dodge this!” [throws empty bottle of hooch] “Hahahahaha!!!”
4. Arizona Diamondbacks
Last Year’s Record: 70-92
Predicted 2010 Record: 77-85
Pertinent Line from Real Team Preview: “Webb is on a slower track than everyone but his doctor anticipated following August shoulder debridement surgery, and he has set a goal of returning in late April or early May. He had not thrown to hitters entering the final week of spring training. That obviously hurts the D-backs’ chances of contending, inasmuch as Webb was the mainstay of the rotation in 2006-08 — finishing first, second, second in NL Cy Young voting in those years. With Haren and newly acquired Edwin Jackson, Webb, at least in theory, gives Arizona a top three that could match any in the league.” – Fox Sports
Something(s) To Love: You get to call them the D-Bags with ease.
Something(s) To Hate: Couldn’t sell out playoff games in 2007. Won the World Series in 2001 after existing as a team for 3 measly years. Eric Byrnes was a key part of this franchise. Phoenix is hotter than hell and will now have all the Spring Training teams in its metro area. Everything else.
Funniest Name on 40-Man Roster: P Blaine Boyer (On its face, one of the outright douche baggiest names I’ve heard in quite some time.)
Fred the Homeless Dirtbag’s Appraisal: “What’s ‘d-bag’ stand for? … What’s douche? … Oh God!”
5. San Diego Padres
Last Year’s Record: 75-87
Predicted 2010 Record: 72-90
Pertinent Line from Real Team Preview: “Very little about the NL West is easy to predict. Four teams have a real shot at contending. Unfortunately for the Padres, they are quite obviously the fifth. San Diego played above their heads in the final two months of ‘09 (33-25) and were able to beat out the star-crossed D-Backs for fourth place. I don’t see it happening again, especially if Adrian Gonzalez and Heath Bell (among others) move on at the trade deadline. The Padres are clearly in rebuilding mode and thus far I think they’re doing a pretty good job of it. They know what they’re looking for out of the 2010 season and it doesn’t have anything to do with wins.” – Matt Seybold, The Sporting Hippeaux (appearing on InsidePulse.com)
Something(s) To Love: After getting beat up in the greatest game ever played in 2007, the Padres have taken a turn for the adorable as they try to exist while their owner goes through a divorce, payroll dwindles to nothing, and fans remind themselves they don’t have to overpay for parking since they can just as easily stay home and grill steaks on the patio. I’d feel bad for the Padres, but this is the only team in the West I don’t have to worry about.
Something(s) To Hate: Thanks to the vagaries of the park, fly balls go to die here which means fans are treated to 3-2 snoozefests night after night that’s only tempered by the lovely San Diego weather. Adrian Gonzalez, seemingly born to be a Padre, will likely be traded because the owner’s going through a divorce. Parking around the stadium is criminally expensive.
Funniest Name on 40-Man Roster: P Clayton Richard
Fred the Homeless Dirtbag’s Appraisal: “All the college kids call it a ‘whale’s vagina.’ I’ve never seen a whale’s vagina, and I don’t want to. I’ll bet they have one in San Diego.”
Enjoy the 2010 season, everyone! We’ll see you at the park!
01 Apr 2010 E Dagger