Monday, March 30, 2009

Mass Hysteria's Super Spectacular Baseball Preview - NL West

Baseball season is almost upon us. As the weather (hopefully) gets warmer, we at Mass Hysteria will be previewing all of MLB's divisions to prepare you for what will inevitably take over your life over the next seven months. The format is eerily similar to what HZMLS did with our NFL Previews, so I guess imitation is the highest form of flattery. This is Part 1 of 6: The NL West.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Why The Diamonbacks Will Win The NL West

The D-Backs have a ton of youts on their roster ready to contribute and...what's that? Youts. Oh, I'm sorry. Youtttthhhhs. Anyway, Arizona has some quality youngins at keys spots on this team. Of course we know about 28 year old Dan Haren and 29 year old Brandon Webb, the anchors to the D-Backs rotation. But they also have some young studs on offense. Conor Jackson (26), Mark Reynolds (25) and Josh Whitesell (26) make up a strong combo of young corner infielders, while Alex Romero (25), Chris Young (25), and Justin Upton (21) look like the outfield of the future. Throw in Chris Snyder (28) and Miguel Montero (25) behind the plate and this is a young-ass team. They also have a young pitcher who is ranked #8 in their system by Baseball America and could have a breakout year. His name is... is... oh god. Oh dear god no. This can't be right. Oh shit. Oh fuck. Oh jesus shit no, they're fucked.

Why The Diamonbacks Won't Win The NL West

Yes: Haren, yes: Webb, no: everyone else. The D-Backs are going to battle with guys like Jon Garland and Doug Davis in their rotation, which doesn't exactly spell "division title" to me. Garland is apparently trying to add two new pitches to his repertoire, and with disastrous results to the tune of six runs in two innings in the game he decided to break out his new cutter and curveball. Meanwhile Davis says he's been bothered by a nerve condition in his throwing arm for the past five years. FIVE YEARS! And as for Arizona's bullpen, well... Chad Qualls is their closer, and they signed 283-year-old Tom Gordon in the offseason. So you might want to throw that in the "weakness" column as well.

Colorado Rockies

Why The Rockies Will Win The NL West

Short of playing an actual game on the moon or being in Raquel's bedroom on a Saturday night, I don't think you'll ever see balls flying all over the place as much as you do at Coors Field. It's been in the top 5 of the most hitter-friendly parks every year since they started tracking park factors in 2001 and it ain't going anywhere. We heard all about the humidor and the "that 475-foot bomb would have been a pop up to short in most parks!" during the 2007 World Series so I'm not going to bore you with it, but you know no matter what crap this team puts on there on offense, someone's hitting 20 homers. The home/road splits for this team on offense continue to be ridiculous year in and year out.

Why The Rockies Won't Win The NL West

You see that guy? That's Matt Holliday. Notice anything different about him? Yeah, he's not wearing a Rockies' uniform anymore. This now leaves them with Garrett Atkins, Brad Hawpe, and Troy Tulowitski as their best offensive threats. Couple that with a shaky rotation, a washed up bullpen, and Huston Street as their closer and they seem to be in a bit of trouble. Good god, how many homers is Street going to give up in that stadium?

Los Angeles Dodgers

Why The Dodgers Will Win The NL West

MANNYWOOD! In all seriousness, an offense that includes Manny Ramirez has the potential to be pretty damn dangerous. Add in Kemp and Ethier and that's a pretty stacked outfield; plus it gets Pierre out of there, so that's some nice addition by subtraction. Add in a stud catcher, some fresh new infielders and a promising young pitching staff and the Dodgers look like a favorite to win this division.

Why The Dodgers Won't Win The NL West

Ah yes, Manny Ramirez, the blessing and the curse. No one knows his antics more than us Red Sox fans, whether his hamstring acts up again right in the middle of a crucial stretch of games or he defecates in the ivy at Wrigley during the 7th inning stretch. You never know what kind of bullshit he's going to pull, and not even Joe Torre can prevent it. If he burns you down the stretch, Dodger fans, don't come looking to us for sympathy.

San Diego Padres

Why The Padres Will Win The NL West

After being the subject of 4,861 trade rumors this off-season, Jake Peavy is back and ready to be a bad-ass pitcher once again. I know PetCo Park is like crazy huge and shit, but this guy can still deal. Add in Chris Young at the top of this rotation and the Pads continue to pack a solid 1-2 punch. Couple that with Adrian Gonzalez in the heart of their lineup and they have some decent offensive punch as well.

Why The Padres Won't Win The NL West

This is not a photo from the Middleboro Padres 8-10 year old Little League team. This is, in fact, David Eckstein, 34-year-old Major League second baseman and SPF 130 aficionado. The Padres acquired him for his grittiness, guttiness, and X-Factor-ness this offseason, and they're going to love his bunts, infield hits, and soft throws to first. Throwing this singles hitter in your lineup automatically makes you worse, and even though he's a WORLD SERIES MVP!!!111!!!oneoneone, he's also a short, pasty glass of suck.

San Francisco Giants

Why The Giants Will Win The NL West

Here's a fun analogy:


Seriously. He probably just shot his wad all over his keyboard. And I'd make fun, except I can't say I'm any different myself. Tim Lincecum is straight up FILTHY. Like might-be-the-best-fucking-picther-in-baseball filthy. And what's so appealing about him to guys like me is he looks like a skinny little dork. And I'M a skinny little dork! Watching him work is an experience, too. He has a crazy long stride, he's all legs, and it ends up as just a tornado-like blur of cleats and limbs and awesomeness. He won the Cy last year and smart money says he's gonna win it again.

Why The Giants Won't Win The NL West

Remember this guy? He used to be good at baseball! What the hell happened? Seriously, he went from Cy Young caliber ace to 5th starter, send-his-ass-to-the-bullpen garbage. I keep thinking he can turn it around (as evidenced by the fact that I draft him EVERY year in fantasy), but it's time to start accepting that he won't. Hell, the Giants brought in 78-year-old Randy Johnson because they didn't trust Zito. The Big Useless even took Barry's 4th slot in the rotation, relegating him to the 5th spot and a vote of no-confidence from the Giants front office. Oh well, at least they're not paying him a fuckload of money or anything...

Smarty Barrett's pick to win the NL West: The trendy pick here is to take the Dodgers, and normally I'm one to buckle to whichever way the wind is blowing, but I'm going to buck all trends and say the Diamondbacks are going to take this. I like their pitching and I love their young offense. I'm thinking break-out season for the Justin Upton.

HZMLS's pick to win the NL West: Though they have less offense than a girls' softball team, I am going to go out on a limb and say the SF Giants. The combination of Cain, Lincecum, and Big Useless should be enough to take this shitty division.

GHABBY's pick to win the NL West: I'm going to take the Dodgers, if only because of the Manny Factor. For fuck's sake, the dude hit .396 with a .489 OBP in half a season in LA, so even if he produces at 3/4ths of that level for a full season, he'll give LA enough to win what is otherwise a shitty division. Eric Devendorf hits harder than all of the other teams in this division, and LA has enough pitching (Chad Billingsley makes me feel tingly in my man-parts) to win.

APNDR's pick to win the NL West:

Sometimes I just don't get you guys.

All these teams have good pitching staffs. However, only one team can actually score runs. Let's look at the projected total runs scored by team for 2009, shall we?

Dodgers: 766
D-Backs: 101
Padres: 14
Giants: 13

Yeah, I'll go with the team with actual hitters, thank you very much.

W.P. Foxtrotty's pick to win the NL West:

What care have I for these wretched out-post clubs of bases-ball! May God spare their women from the perfidity of the Spaniards and the savagery of the Indians! Although I do wish no ill-will, and indeed actively wish for the safety of, the jeunes fils / homo-sexual paramour of Mr. David J. Drew of the Fens-way, Master Stephen Drew, who plies his trade in the Phoenix settlement. Now leave me be!

What say you, readers?


dubbschism said...

Dodgers and I don't think it will be close. they'll take it by 7 games.

Raquel said...

The contrast between Garland's delivery and Lincecum's finish is... overwhelming. Do they both actually play the same sport?

Also, the Diamondbacks had the exaaaact same shit going on last year and gave up pretty much mid-July. I second the above prediction: Dodgers, and it ain't even close.

J said...

I resent the above remarks.

Him shirtless in that commercial on the other hand...