American League, Red Sox Round-up: Tools of Ignorance returns!

One week away…
Without further ado here is a 33 Problems break down of the American League teams this season.
This is in no particular order.

The Tribe
I love Major League. I quote it constantly. You know the part where the Japanese grounds crew says “they’re shitty”? Well, get used to that. They’re shitty. Mark Shapiro has a bad habit of getting fleeced in trades. Who do they have to show for trading Lee, Sabathia, Victor Martinez, Coco Crisp, etc.? Maybe time will tell and some prospects will blossom into future trade bait for Cleveland. In the mean time, you’ll be saying, “Good we’ve got the Indians next, they’re good for a couple W’s”.

The Rays
It really depends on their rotation. Which, I know, is kind of an obvious and stupid thing to say. They’re gonna hit and be the most exciting team that NO ONE WILL WATCH in baseball. (I’m sorry but the state of Florida does not deserve the quality baseball teams it has had). They’re success is going to be determined in the first half of the season. If their are injuries or the Wade Davis doesn’t blossom, they’re going to move guys. They have to because of the crummy division/budget ratio. Crawford and Pena are gone at the end of the year. If the brass in Tampa doesn’t think they’ve got a good shot at the playoffs they’ll Scott Kasmir those guys and starting thinking 2012 real fast.

Everybody is high on these guys. Stat dorks, love their defense make-up, sportswriters love the “will Bradley go off the reservation like he did in Chicago or will Griffey chill him out” angle (which, by the way, is kinda racist), they’ll get much more national airtime because on the nasty Felix/Lee 1,2. Problem is they can’t hit. Expect more sound than fury this season unless they get a power bat or two.

Have you heard they’re focusing on defense and pitching? Run prevention? They could win the whole thing, they could miss the playoffs like when they had a similar mantra in 2006. It really rests on David Ortiz. If he has a ’09 repeat, big trouble in Bean Town. If he hits… well, look out. Jacoby Ellsbury to have a break out year while pissing off Yankee fans with his new number 2.

If they can get a quality closer and stay healthy they should walk away with the division. The Mauer signing has signaled a sea change in Minny. Ownership has a ton of cash and seems more willing to spend. Their rotation suggests they won’t go deep into the post season, once that ship is righted, expect rings.

Blue Jay
The thing about the Blue Jays is that they are not going to win many games because the players on the Blue Jays are not very good at playing baseball. That is why they will struggle. They’re not good at the thing they should be good at.

Oakland A’s
If Sheets makes it through the whole season, I’m a monkey’s uncle. That’s a terrible contract. Billy’s lost his magic. Expect a cellar finish.

Solid all around. Only weakness might be bench and bottom of rotation. With Justin “I refuse to call him Joba” Chamberlin in the 8th they shorten the game quite a bit. Granderson will do great there. Health will be an issue. Nick Johnson is a Ming Vase and I wouldn’t expect Burnett to have three healthy seasons in a row. Will be a force, but won’t score as many runs as last year.

They’ll dazzle before they eventually disappoint. They don’t have the guns to hang with the big boys yet. Expect some three and a half hour slugfests in Arlington this summer. Plus, their manager is a coke head.

White Sox
Could be better than you think. Depend if some NL guys can play the same in the AL (see Peavy, Jake). Also, if… I’m sorry when… the Padres fall out of contention in the NL West, Adrian Gonzalez might be coming to Chi-town which would be a game changer. Obama would love it.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim of California of whatever
They’re always good, but Lackey will be missed more than they think. Vlady’s easy replaced by Matsui. LAA is always a good team but I think Seattle may take this division.

Love the Oriels. They’re a year or two away for replacing Tampa as the third power in the AL East. Talk about a town and and fan base that deserves a winner.

If everything works out the best is can in KC, I’ve got the Royals winning 70 games. Sorry, Grienke can’t pitch every day.

Red Sox

Then who knows. They’re is such a disparity in good and bad teams the wild card race will be crazy this year.

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