Does anyone want to win the AL West? Seriously, anyone? Some people seem to think that the division being so tightly bunched is going to make for a wild playoff race, but what I see is a the early signs of the AL West being setup to be this year’s media punching bag for the division that is going to be sending some 86-win team to the playoffs while a 91-win team ends up sitting at home since they were just in the wrong division at the wrong time.
Maybe it won’t happen, but if it does, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Texas Rangers – Well, crap. Texas is back in first place and their fortunes appear to be changing. They’ve been scuffling to get any momentum going this season but they just got Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz back from the disabled list and they both homered in their first game back, as if to announce their return with authority. Good thing for the Angels that neither one of them can pitch (actually, Hamilton probably can), but now the Ranger offense is once again so potent that it may not really matter. In other words, they are now built to be the exact polar opposite of all the other AL West teams.
Oakland Athletics – The A’s broke out of their losing streak last night against the Halos, but the fact remains that Oakland is headed in the wrong direction and fast. I hate to side with Brian Fuentes in anything, but he ripped manager Bob Geren to the media after Monday’s game because Geren apparently fired Fuentes as the team’s closer but didn’t bother telling Fuentes until he was called into Monday’s game in a non-save situation. In Geren’s defense, Fuentes is terrible and has now taken the loss in four straight appearances, but even the dumbest manager has the common deceny to let a player know he has been demoted. If it says anything about how respected Geren is in the clubhouse, it wasn’t like any other Oakland player jumped to the skipper’s defense and told Fuentes to shut up.
Seattle Mariners – What is it with the Angels ending losing streaks? The Mariners appeared to finally accept their birthright and settle into the basement of the AL West by dropping six games in a row… and then the Halos came to town. As we all know, Seattle swept that two-game set, which ignited them apparently since they went on to sweep three games against the Padres on the road and then extended their winning streak to seven against the Twins before falling to Minnesota last night. Now, the M’s have hedged ahead of the A’s and look like they could hang around for a little while, especially if they continue to draw such an easy schedule.