Thursday, January 20, 2011

AL West Season Preview

Albuquerque Banana Slugs
Owner: ****ky
Previous Season Record: 44-100
Best Player: Ching-Lung Huang
Key signing/loss: 
Random Trivia: The banana slug comes from the genus Ariolimax, which comes from the root, areola---this is a clear indication the owner intends to, as they say, "suck hind teat."

Ah, the Banana Slugs--an accurate name for the consistent performance these tankers continually put up. Finishing at the bottom of their division with an abysmal 44-100 record, not to mention the 3rd-worst pitching performance in all the land with a putrid 7.31 ERA, all of Albuquerque and WIB grow tired of the lack of effort in trying to win that this franchise shows.

The returning roster for these bottom feeders leaves little doubt that they will continue their putrid trend, leaving everyone wondering why the owner, he who shall not be named, ****ky, even bothers.

Predicted lineup: 48-96

LF Jose Tavarez
3B Ching-Lung Huang
2B Skeeter Rauch
SS Carlos Rivera
CF Ken Terrell
RF Ernie McCartney
1B Livan Vincente
C Danny Darwin
DH Alvin Carey

Rondell Peters
Norm Coles
Paul Hogan
Al Jose
Sam Velandia

Glen Francona

Salt Lake City Osmonds
Owner: bobkordecki
Previous Season Record: 73-89
Best Player: Davey Caballero
Key signing/loss: Signing Miguel Armas
Random Trivia: The city of Salt Lake celebrated the arrival of the Osmonds with nice, big, ice cold pitchers of....milk.

While new to WIB, veteran HBD'er bobkordecki immediately makes a move out of the cavernous confines of San Diego and into a more offensive-friendly Salt Lake City. Making one of the bigger splashes in this year's free agency, however, the Osmonds were most focused on pitching than offense with the addition of soft-armed Miguel Armas, opting to use him in a setup/closer role. The addition of Armas to a fantastic rotation including youngsters Felix Rothschild, Stuart Tracy, and Eddie Griffith, plus flamethrowing right-hander Aramas Benitez and newly-signed free agent Brutus Wright shows that the Osmonds are working to improve on a Season 12 pitching performance that was only marginally above league average, despite playing in San Diego.

The big question for the Osmonds will be how they respond to an offensive performance from Season 12 that puts them at or near the bottom of virtually every major statistical category. The departure of slobberknocker Phil Norton was mitigated somewhat by the arrival of budding star Paul McCorley, as McCorley will provide a noticeable upgrade behind the dish. The addition of Andre Fabregas and Branch Clayton also attempt to bolster a lineup, and should provide noticeable upgrades over their replacements from last year as well. These additions, along with the move to a new park, should provide a spark for the Joseph Smith-inspired Osmonds.

Predicted record: 82-80

DH Branch Clayton
RF Rich McMahon
1B Davey Caballero
LF Andre Fabregas
2B Stewart Guthrie
CF Brutus Moreno
SS Rick Freeman
C Paul McCorley
3B Allen Combs

Felix Rothschild
Stuart Tracy
Aramis Benitez
Brutus Wright
Eddie Griffith

Miguel Armas

Honolulu Sea Warriors
Owner: jmaese
Previous Season Record: 71-91
Best Player: Thom Donnells
Key acquisition/loss: Darrell Parrish (Left via FA)
Random Trivia: Honolulu tried for the more-fitting name "Rainbow Warriors," but found out that it had already been used.

Normally when you talk about a team's best player being the closer, that's not a good thing. Sadly, this is a normal case. With ace Darrell Parrish leaving the tropical paradise of the newly renamed Sea Warriors for the desert in Santa Fe, that leaves Honolulu with a gaping hole in an already questionable rotation. With a big league lineup containing aging stars Rickey DePaula, Leonardo Rauch, and Jim Pulpisher, the outlook here is equally as questionable.

The big questions for Honolulu: 1.)  Can Armando Molina assume the role of ace effectively? 2.) Can newly-signed veteran Dale Lombard bolster a rotation that was a combined 33-38 last season? 3.) Can young star Garrett Liverman build on last season's breakout performance (.293/.393/.525 with 25 home runs) and bolster the lineup?

Predicted record: 68-94

CF Sid Walton
2B Kelly Brow
1B Garrett Liverman
3B Rickey DePaula
C Nick Wilson
DH Leonardo Rauch
RF Diego Chavez
LF Jim Pulpisher
SS Pascual Gil

Armando Molina
Dale Lombard
Bennie Ventura
Al Marichal
Alton Price

Thom Donnells

Seattle Rainouts
Owner: farren83
Previous Season Record: 46-116
Best Player: William Maier
Key signing/loss: William Maier
Random Trivia: The inspirations for Seattle's team name include rapper T.I. and the similarities between Seattle weather and the franchise's recent performance.

In what is quite possibly a first in WIB history, a player taken in the Rule 5 draft immediately becomes the best player on the team. While it doesn't take much to be the best player on this team, that is actually not an indictment of the pick, slobberknocker William Maier. After being left inexplicably unprotected by Anaheim, Maier goes first in the Rule 5 draft and changes the outlook for the hopeful Rainouts....but not much.

While it is clear that Seattle is looking to improve from their WIB-low 46-win season under new owner farren83, there aren't many signs pointing to a miraculous run to a wild-card for this squad.

Predicted record: 63-99

RF Dan Martin
3B Diego Santana
1B William Maier
C Norberto Infante
LF Billy Strange
DH Junior Howard
SS Andrew Drew
2B Spud Malone
CF Vinny Wise

Tomas Prieto
Lewis Scott
John Kondou
Courtney Moore
Raymond Choate

Gary Walker

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