Sunday, May 9, 2010

From the Author, Preseason predictions

Every year, hope, love, death, chaos and a quiet cosmic harmony spring eternal, and I take a little time to write some predictions for the coming baseball season. While I realize the baseball season is a month old already, I promise I didn't cheat and revise any of these. I haven't released them until now for very important reasons involving the government, but I think it should be fine now. I'll dish these out over a day or three. Enjoy-

It's here people! Didn't you know that every year I predict the baseball season? It's as true as whales. There are but a few rules: 1. The Mets Win. 2. Baseball is cosmically meaningless, miniaturely meaningful, meaningfully cosmic, meaninglessly miniature, comically full of seems (at least it seems that way), seemingly meaningful, meaninglessly cosmic. 3. There Are No Rules.

The A.L. Fucking East.

Don't you see what's happening people? They are accruing all the power! They are only pretending to fight each other, when really they build in strength until they will unite and crush the other divisions. The only hope to stop them is in the defector: Toronto. We can only assume that this has to do with them being in Canada. Stay in St. Louis Albert. Stay there or cross the border. Honestly, I'm sticking to Rule 1, but right now, I'm not sure the Mets deserve you.

1. The Yankees

All of a sudden, as if awaking from a dream, upon which, nothing that was previously obvious still is, I find myself surprised that the Yankees are the best team in baseball. The Red Sox and Rays seemed to have outsmarted them, and an acidic element seemed to erode the Yankees' invincibility over time. Even the team that spends about three times the league average and 50% more than the next highest, even they cannot lock time into the late 90s.

It was odd how much talk there was of them "deserving" their World Series win. Tonya Harding doesn't deserve to win. The Yankees played baseball than anyone else. Thus, I am comfortable anointing them best team of 2009. This seems simple enough. It is also simple enough that the front office paid a lot of money in support of this, and that they dished out well over $400 million dollars in contracts the previous winter. Would a world in which C.C. Sabathia, charming and talented as he is, does not make $18 million dollars every year (or however much- if I don't look it up, it's because it doesn't matter), along with certain other changes, like drinkable water made accessible to the developing world, would that world be better? Is there any greater-scheme connection between A-Rod's salary and those paid to teachers? That's where things get more complicated. I guess I don't care whether the Yankees deserved to win. Baseball is miniaturely meaningful. Deserve doesn't much enter the picture for me.

As for the games they will play, their rotation and lineup are both solid and loaded. Granderson might get a new jolt and give them a whole new deal at the top of their lineup. Jeter, Tex, A-Rod... these men are good at Whackstick. As if out of thin air they acquired Javy Vasquez. Their rotation is many things, but I can't imagine it won't be really good (by the way, in actual use, double negatives often don't mean exactly the same of the positive version of the statement.)

I like Mariano Rivera because he is the only pitcher who basically just throws one pitch, and you can't confidently claim that he will age at anything like a normal rate until it happens.

2. The Rays

More gut than anything. That, and they are probably the second or third best team in the league. I mean this is the psycho division after all. I think Joe Maddon has another year's worth of doing his magic dance, and since they went berserko two years ago, they've always seemed to have an ambrosia flow of talent. Several scouts have used those exact words.

The Red Sox

These men wear red socks, and they are expected to be nifty at hitting, tremendous at defense, and monsters of the mound. Them winning the division seems as likely as any other outcome, and yet here they are in my predictions, looking longingly upward from third place. I guess I'm loosely skeptical of this "new emphasis on defense." Yes the Mariners are charming, and my favorite play that I've ever seen in any sport is- well maybe you'll hear about it when I get to the Mets, but it's a defensive play. I just don't think it's the ticket to winning that recognizing on-base percentage for what it is was. Beltre is great, but I'm not saying DANG the Sox got BELTRE. I love Scutaro, but, I mean, it's Scutaro. I actually love how this team is constructed. Awesome pitching, everyone capable with the glove and the bat, sneaky speed... it's just that I feel I described the Santana-Liriano Twins team, and that team would probably not have won this A.L. East.

But these Red Sox might. I believe these are the three best teams in baseball, with none of them significantly above any other. The Phillies could have been on that list, but we'll get to them.

4. The Orioles

There is a place called Baltimore.

It's... see once I... I've heard the bars are... the Wire took place in... there's this museum...

Adam Jones, Nick Markakis. I hear they're good. Other people too. Like Wieters. That's all I have to say about the Orioles.

5. The Blue Jays

It will be nice when this team can talk about the playoffs again. I don't know when that will be. No one does. It might be soon. It might be a decade or more. I have a reasonable amount of faith in the folks who run that team, whoever they are, but their division is a jungle. The Yankees aren't even crazy old any more. I feel like I could basically run the Mets. I don't know if I could run the Blue Jays.

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