The real scoop on the American League this season   

Updated: April 1, 2008, 4:04 PM ET

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Editor's note: If you enjoyed DJ's National League preview, then you're going to love his American League preview below.

AL West

Torii Hunter

AP Photo/Jim Mone

Torii Hunter made his Angels debut Monday night ... in Minnesota.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
The Angels' biggest offseason acquisition was longtime Twins star Torii Hunter, who remains a fan favorite in Minnesota. Hunter not only bolsters the Angels' already strong outfield but also may allow the franchise to expand its marketing imprint to become the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and Also Much of the Upper Midwest.
Fun Fact: Third baseman Chone Figgins' first name is actually pronounced "Shawn." And his last name is actually pronounced "Weinberg" (it's a silent "Figgins").

Oakland Athletics
The A's will be celebrating their 40th anniversary in Oakland all season long. Because the 2008 A's may not be very entertaining to watch, I suggest Oakland fans instead focus on the past and enjoy the majesty that was Catfish Hunter's evolving appearance over the years. The conservative years. The sideburn years. And the full-growth years.
Fun Fact: You can now purchase a copy of "Moneyball" for $5.99 on the bargain rack at Barnes and Noble.

Seattle Mariners
Even with the acquisition of former Baltimore Orioles ace Erik Bedard, conventional wisdom is that the key to Seattle's success this season is a return to form by first baseman Richie Sexson. Last year Sexson hit just .187 with runners in scoring position. But, really, is that Sexson's fault? I mean, let's not forget he hit a sweet .212 when runners were not in scoring position. It's not his fault his teammates didn't get on base in front of him when he was mashing the ball.
Fun Fact: With just 130 more hits, Ichiro will have 3,000 hits between Japan and MLB at just 34 years of age. Whoop-dee-do. Between playing Little League and "RBI Baseball" on Nintendo, I had, like, four times that many hits by the time I was 13.

Texas Rangers
There's not too much to work with yet in Arlington, but new team president Nolan Ryan will get the Rangers moving in the right direction. At the very least, he'll keep the team fired up for each game by beating the snot out of Robin Ventura every day in the locker room.
Fun Fact: This month the team will retire the jersey of the greatest Texas Ranger of all time.

AL West predicted order of finish: Four-way tie.

AL Central

Ozzie Guillen

AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

Ozzie Guillen is a master of profanity.

Chicago White Sox
The key to Chicago's success will be the bottom of its rotation: John Danks, Jose Contreras and Gavin Floyd -- all of them had ERAs higher than 5.25 last season. But there is hope. They just need to focus on throwing the ball with such velocity that it hits catcher A.J. Pierzynski in the mask so hard, it smashes his stupid face. That is easy motivation.
Fun Fact: Want to learn how to say @#$!% %$@&) *$@%&er #$!^^&!ing %^#$ing #@$^#er in Spanish? Ozzie Guillen can tell you.

Cleveland Indians
The Indians will go as far as ace C.C. Sabathia takes them. But don't expect Sabathia, pitching in a contract year, to be around next year -- the small-market Indians can't afford him. Heck, they can't even afford to get him a hat with the brim sewn on correctly.
Fun Fact: Paul Byrd's dentist gives his patients a free toothbrush and free syringe of HGH after each visit.

Detroit Tigers
The Tigers could have one of the best offenses we've seen in many years. But all the new faces could present some chemistry problems in the clubhouse. Miguel Cabrera, Dontrelle Willis, Edgar Renteria, Jacque Jones -- Gary Sheffield maintains they ain't all the way Tigers yet.
Fun Fact: Miguel Cabrera decided to sign a long-term contract with Detroit after he learned that the guy who owns the Tigers also owns Little Caesar's Pizza; Cabrera demanded that half of the value of his $153 million contract be paid in meat-lover's-with-extra-cheese pies.

Kansas City Royals
The Royals' new manager is Trey Hillman, late of the Nippon Ham Fighters. Will his aversion to ham survive in Kansas City, home of delicious barbecued pork? It's the most intriguing question surrounding the Royals this season.
Fun Fact: The Royals have had just one winning record in the past 13 seasons. But that's pessimistic talk. They've had two winning records in the past 15 full seasons.

Minnesota Twins
People are overlooking the Twins because they lost Johan Santana and Torii Hunter in the offseason. But don't forget they still have talented hitters like Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau as well as a dominant bullpen. And that bullpen should have plenty of opportunities to show its dominance thanks to the Twins' starting rotation.
Fun Fact: Delmon Young has only 26 walks in 681 career plate appearances. He tends to throw his bat at every pitch. And also at many umpires.

AL Central predicted order of finish: Wouldn't you like to know.

AL East

Brian Roberts

AP Photo/Gail Burton

How desperate do you think Brian Roberts is to be traded?

Baltimore Orioles
This is the worst team in baseball. They'll struggle to win 50 games this season. In fact, the Orioles' players are so bad, the team equipment manager has written on every player's bats the same words that were on Billy Ripken's bat in his 1989 Fleer baseball card.
Fun Fact: Oriole Park at Camden Yards is only a short walk from West Baltimore, one of the worst inner-city areas in the country. And I totally know what it's like to live there, because I've seen numerous episodes of "The Wire."

Boston Red Sox
After winning their second World Series title in four years, Boston now faces the pressure of going back-to-back. And Red Sox fans desperately want them to do it. There are millions of poor, poor New Englanders born after 1916 who have never seen a repeat champion in their lifetime.
Fun Fact: Josh Beckett is such a great big-game pitcher because he can knead his gut like a stress ball whenever he gets anxious.

New York Yankees
If the Cubs are supposed to have motivation to win a World Series on the 100th anniversary of their last title, then the Yankees have just as much motivation to win it all in their final season in Yankee Stadium. And the historic venue's sense of history, stale beer, urine and rat feces might be enough to push this talented team over the top.
Fun Fact: The New England Patriots went 18-0 this season before losing to the New York Giants in the Super Bowl as huge favorites.

Tampa Bay Rays
The up-and-coming Rays are stocked with great athletes at the major league level and throughout their system. Unfortunately, many of these great athletes are better at other sports than they are at baseball.
Fun Fact: New closer Troy Percival hasn't saved a game since July 7, 2005. In Tampa, he has a great shot of running that streak to three years.

Toronto Blue Jays
The Blue Jays made some solid additions this offseason, including Scott Rolen, Marco Scutaro, Shannon Stewart and David Eckstein. This should allow them to finish in a much more solid third place than they normally do.
Fun Fact: Starting pitcher A.J. Burnett injured himself this offseason when he closed a car door on his fingernail. Toronto management has told Burnett to trim his fingernails from now on.

AL East predicted order of finish: 1. Yankees; 2. Red Sox; 3. Blue Jays; 4. Rays; 6. Orioles.

DJ Gallo is the founder and sole writer of the sports satire site SportsPickle.com. He is also a regular contributor to ESPN The Magazine and has written for The Onion and Cracked. His first book -- "SportsPickle Presents: The View from the Upper Deck" -- is on sale now.


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