The major league baseball season opened on Sunday night with the Rangers traveling to Rangers Ballpark in Arlington South to face the Astros. Most of the teams started up yesterday, and the rest of the league will get under way today.
With the season starting, it's time once again to make a fool of myself and make a few predictions for this upcoming baseball season. So the Astros will suck, Jim Crane will continue to say stupid things and fans will continue to be gouged whenever they set foot in Minute Maid Park.
Now for the rest of baseball.
1. Tampa Bay Rays Joe Maddon is perhaps the best manager in baseball. The rotation is the best in the American League. When healthy, Evan Longoria is perhaps the best third baseman in baseball. It's a shame that nobody in the Tampa Bay area really cares about the Rays.
2. Baltimore Orioles Buck Showalter worked magic with this team last season. That magic got the Orioles into the playoffs, and they're going to need that magic once again this season.
3. Toronto Blue Jays The Blue Jays are the Miami Marlins of 2013, especially since they traded for many of the key players on the 2012 Marlins squad. And everyone knows how the 2012 season turned out for the Marlins.
4. New York Yankees Alex Rodriguez, injured. Derek Jeter, injured. The team is old, and didn't go on a big money spree this offseason.
5. Boston Red Sox Last season wasn't Bobby Valentine's fault. Nor was it the fault of Carl Crawford or Adrian Gonzalez. The team just got old, and it got bad. This season will not be any better.
AL CENTRAL: 1. Detroit Tigers The Tigers are about the only thing associated with Detroit that still works.
2. Cleveland Indians Because some team has to finish in second place.
3. Chicago White Sox Douchebag Cubs fans may no longer come to Minute Maid Park, but now they'll be replaced by White Sox fans, who really aren't much better.
4. Kansas City Royals George H.W. Bush was president the last time the Royals were relevant to the game of baseball. George P. Bush might be president the next time they're relevant.
5. Minnesota Twins This team has faded into nothingness. Thankfully the Astros are around to prevent them from being the worst team in the American League.
AL WEST: 1. Oakland A's GM Billy Beane is the smart kid of the smart kids in baseball management circles. The A's don't have a big budget. They play in a crappy ballpark. And yet the A's find a way to win.
2. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Josh Hamilton. Albert Pujols. Mike Trout. Mark Trumbo. This is a Murderer's Row. Just think of the damage these guys will do to that abomination that Jim Crane put up in left field.
3. Texas Rangers Thanks to suckiness, ineptitude and the inability to get the Astros on TV anywhere outside of Houston, the Rangers are becoming the national team of Texas. Yeah, it sucks.
4. Seattle Mariners The Mariners would like to thank the Astros for joining the AL West as that means they're no longer the worst team in the division.
5. Houston Astros The Astros move from worst team in the National League to worst team in the American League. They're the worst team in baseball. If Jeff Luhnow's radical rebuild plan doesn't work, the Astros will be known as the new Kansas City Royals.
NL EAST: 1. Washington Nationals The Nationals are, without a doubt, the best team in the National League, and perhaps baseball.
2. Atlanta Braves I remember when the Braves sucked and nobody showed up for their games. The team is good, but still nobody shows up for the games.
3. Philadelphia Phillies Ed Wade returns and the Phillies begin missing the playoffs. Is there a connection? I say yes.
4. New York Mets I have hated the Mets since the 1986 playoffs, so it's nice to see this team sinking into suckiness.
5. Miami Marlins It's amazing that the ownership of this club has been thrown into prison for fraud. Jim Crane is nothing compared to the crooks running this club.
NL CENTRAL: 1. Cincinnati Reds Because I don't want the Cardinals to finish in first place.
2. St. Louis Cardinals Am I the only person sick of hearing about what great fans the Cardinals have? And about how classy the team is? Suck it, Cardinals.
3. Pittsburgh Pirates The National League version of the Kansas City Royals who were also last relevant during the administration of the first President Bush.
4. Milwaukee Brewers Has Ryan Braun been nailed with any new PED charges since the end of spring training? It's kind of hard to keep track.
5. Chicago Cubs LOL Cubs. But at least you can turn on Cubs games and hear Jim Deshaies doing analysis.
NL WEST: 1. San Francisco Giants The Giants win games the old-fashion way, with standout pitching. Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval are standout position players and hitters, but it's always a wonder how they're going to score runs.
2. Los Angeles Dodgers New owners. Huge budget. New players. But they're still depending on guys like Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford, and Josh Beckett to stay healthy, and those guys aren't known for their ability to play every night.
3. Arizona Diamondbacks A gritty team of gritty grinders that traded outfielder Justin Upton during the off-season because he made it look too easy. In a just world, the D-Backs are new members of the American League West this season. So here's to a losing season.
4. San Diego Padres Yawn.
5. Colorado Rockies Nice ballpark with a view of the Rockies that Jim Crane would probably destroy with a billboard.
WILD CARD: Orioles beat Angels and Braves beat Cardinals.
DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS: Rays defeat Tigers and A's defeat Orioles. While in the NL the Giants beat Braves and the Nationals defeat Reds.
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Rays defeat A's and Nationals defeat Giants.
Rays defeat Nationals in seven.