Monday, April 6, 2009

Mass Hysteria's Super Spectacular Baseball Preview - AL Central

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 5 of 6: The AL Central.

In case you missed it, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, & Part 4.

Chicago White Sox

Why The White Sox Will Win The AL Central

Carlos Quentin had a monster season last year and, given his age and history of playing time, there's no reason to think he won't be able to do it again. His injury at the end of last year kind of hurt their playoff chances, but the Pale Hose did win the division last year and they're returning almost the same team this year. Barring any injuries, they could make another run at it.

Why The White Sox Won't Win The AL Central

OK enough of saying nice stuff about the White Sox. I hate this team. I think Ozzie Guillen is a terrible manager and, by all accounts, a terrible human being as well. Fuck him. Their entire World Series run in 2005 was a complete fluke and they only took it down because all of their starters simultaneously started pitching like Bob Gibson. I firmly believe that Ozzie won't win another one as long as he lives... or at least as long as Kenny Williams is the GM.

Cleveland Indians

Why The Indians Will Win The AL Central

Take it easy, ladies. That is, in fact, Grady Sizemore, one of the nastiest players in baseball right now. They're going to need him to keep doing what he does first and foremost, but they're also going to need some help from a few other guys. First, they need Travis "PRONNNKKK!!!" Hafner and Fausto Carmona to return to their 2007 form. They also need Cliff Lee to replicate the season he had last year, and they likely need someone else besides Sizemore, Victor Martinez and (hopefully) Hafner to step up and produce. Asdrubal Cabrera, anyone?

Why The Indians Won't Win The AL Central

Their #3 starter is Carl Pavano. The dude has been hurt for like three years straight, and completely jacked the Yankees for a fuckload of money. Not that anyone should feel bad for the Bronx Bombers; they gave the dude a huge-ass multi-year deal after he really only pitched one good full season in the bigs. And speaking of injured pitchers, the Indians Opening Day closer? Yeah, it's Kerry Wood. So needless to say, this team has more than a few glaring question marks.

Detroit Tigers

Why The Tigers Will Win The AL Central

The Tigers offense is pretty well stacked. Besides Miguel Cabrera, they have Carlos Guillen, Maglio Ordonez, and Curtis Granderson to produce runs for this team. They're going to need Verlander to get back to dominating, and they're going to need some young pitchers in the rotation to make an impact right away.

Why The Tigers Won't Win The AL Central

Injuries. They haven't even played a game yet and already Joel Zumaya is on the DL until early to mid May. And it's worse than a Guitar Hero-related injury, it's a shoulder problem. This really weakens their bullpen, moving Fernando Rodney to closer and Ryan Perry (who?) into the hole left by Zumaya. Also relegated to the pen is bubblegum fanatic Nate Robertson, who has been deemed to sucky to remain in the rotation. So who knows how much help he can provide out of the pen.

Kansas City Royals

Why The Royals Will Win The AL Central

They're gonna win it with COCO CRISP LEADING THE WAY, BABY!! In all seriousness, they're going to win it with their decent array of good young players. Alex Gordon, Mike Jacobs, Mike Aviles... there's certainly some talent on this team. With stud Joakim Soria anchoring the bullpen, this team doesn't look all that bad.

Why The Royals Won't Win The AL Central

Zach Greinke is sad about stuff. If the Royals don't win, it makes him very very sad. :( In all seriousness, I just don't think they have the starting pitching to do it. Gil Meche has pitched well enough to make people forget the ridiculous contract he signed, but him, Greinke, Bannister, and Davies doesn't sound like a playoff rotation to me.

Minnesota Twins

Why The Twins Will Win The AL Central

The Twins are certainly very capable to take this division, and it's all going to start with this guy. They need Liriano to have a big year - if he does, they're in good shape. Slowey, Blackburn and the rest of the rotation is serviceable, but it's all going to have to start with their ace. Meanwhile, they have two of the best offensive players in the division in Morneau and Mauer, and one of the best closers in the game. Certainly a lot of positives on this side.

Why The Twins Won't Win The AL Central

Talk about a highly touted prospect who just hasn't panned out. The Rays dumped Delmon at just the right time, seemingly, and I wouldn't be shocked if you see a guy like Denard Span starting in left before the season is over. Also, this is the last season of the HHH Metrodome, so maybe they'll hold off on winning this year until they have a stadium that's not so much of a fucking eye sore.

Smarty Barrett's pick to win the AL Central: This division looks wide open to me; it wouldn't shock me if any of four teams won this thing. With that said, I'm going to take the Twins. If their pitching lives up to what it can do, they'll be able to shut down the White Sox, Indians, and Tigers.

GHABB,Y's pick to win the AL Central: While I think the Royals will be better than you think this year, I'm going to have to go with the Injuns. There's very few holes in their lineup, and I think that Fausto comes back with a 2007-esque year. I also see the White Sox and Twins going through a decline (Mauer's injury cripples Minnesota), and Detroit will sell off half it's team by the trading deadline. Miggy Cabrera would look GREAT in a Boston uniform. Just sayin.

What say you, readers?

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