SEAN LITTLE, Contributor
Baseball is in the air, my friends. Spring training has already begun for over half of the teams in Major League Baseball. Let’s take a look at the hopefuls, the hopeless and the contenders for this coming season by division.
American League Central
Let’s be completely serious. Not a single team in this division is good at playing baseball. The Ozzie Guillen-less White Sox, the not-quite-good-enough Cleveland Indians, and the never-been-good-in-the-history-of-ever Kansas City Royals aren’t showing any signs of decency in the pre-season. To be frank, they’re all hopeless. However, after signing Prince Fielder, the Detroit Tigers are looking to be contenders in the post-season. A batting line-up with Fielder, Miguel Cabrera, Delmon Young, and Victor Martinez could be one of the best in the league. Las Vegas odds makers give them 10:1 odds to win it all.
Let’s get the obvious out of the way, the Yankees will win a lot and Boston will too. Both were given 7:1 odds in Vegas to win the World Series this year. The Orioles and Blue Jays probably won’t be very good, but they’re always due for a surprise. According to the experts in Las Vegas, there are only eight teams more likely to win the World Series this year. They won 91 games last year, and they have Evan Longoria. Contenders.
The Seattle Mariners decided to start camp seven days earlier than the rest of the league. Now, I am all for Ichiro Suzuki. I have his poster above my bed. For ten straight years he was an All Star, a Gold Glover, and one of the most dominant hitters in the league. For an entire decade he hit over .300. But in 2011, the Ichiro that torched the league for ten years straight ceased to exist. I’m sorry Seattle, but with a washed up Ichiro Suzuki, an aging Chone Figgins and a pitching staff that leaves me asking, “Who?” I’m afraid you are among the bottom feeders. Hopeless. The Angels will not only win this division, but they will probably win it all.
National Leauge East
Let’s move across the country to a team that has a lot of people turning their heads: the Miami Marlins. If you haven’t seen their new uniforms (or as I like to call them, “outfits”) perhaps you should take a look. The boring old black and blue Florida Marlins are gone and the rainbow colored Miami Marlins have taken their place. Move over LeBron, the new Marlins uniforms (home, away and alternate) are looking more and more like Miami’s new ‘Big Three’ every day. Wait a minute, did you say they also signed Jose Reyes, Heath Bell and hired Ozzie Guillen as the manager? Contenders. Oh, and the Phillies are good, too.
Now let’s look at some teams you actually care about. The Brewers and the Cubs both landed 30:1 odds to win the World Series in Vegas this year. The Brewers star first baseman, Aramis Ramirez… wait a minute, what happened to the fat guy? Oh, right. With Fielder in Detroit and Ryan Braun on juice, they’re hopeless. As for the Cubs, there is always next decade. The Cardinals will win the division buty probably not have a chance to defend their World Series title.
Tim Lincecum. Enough said. The San Francisco Giants will take the NL West with ease.