The Full Nelson: AL forecast: Cloudy with rain

With baseball season almost under way, we at The Hatchet thought it was time to jump on the prognosticating bandwagon. So the following is my take on the American League, with each team’s predicted order of finish followed by a brief comment.
Alan Siegel’s National League picks will be available next week.

AL East

Yankees – Some men buy big houses. Some men buy fancy cars. George Steinbrenner bought A-Rod. Think he’s over-compensating for something?

Red Sox – The Cubs attempted to break their curse by blowing up the Bartman ball. The Red Sox are discussing a similar experiment involving Ben Affleck.

Blue Jays – Turns out SARS was not a Bill James statistical category, thereby reducing the win-share value for last year’s Toronto players.

Orioles – Over the past few years Peter Angelos has built a solid farm system and saved his money. Now those prospects are starting to emerge and Angelos acquired some big-name free agents. And he accomplished all this working from Hades.

Devil Rays – Can there be any doubt that Pedro Martinez is the boss of a Latin Mafia? He’s respected, he’s moody, he always has to get his way. And when someone dares to challenge him (Don Zimmer), they end up in Tampa.

AL West

Angels – What do you get when you add Vlad Guerrero, Bartolo Colon and Kelvim Escobar? A first-place finish and three more translators on the team bus.

A’s – Billy Beane only drafts players from college, refusing to take anyone under the age of 18. Conversely, R. Kelly refuses to take anyone over the age of 18. And yet these opposite decisions have put limitations on both men’s success. Go figure.

Mariners – After a successful stint in Fox’s “Biased Brother Broadcasting” program last October, Bret Boone will attempt to emulate his brother Aaron by hitting a championship series-ending home run and then acting as a catalyst for the acquisition of Alex Rodriguez.

Rangers – Upon hearing of his trade to the Rangers, Alfonso Soriano said he was excited for the opportunity. He then swung and missed at three straight pitches in the dirt.

AL Central

Royals – When you acquire Benito Santiago, who looks like a 70-year-old man, and Juan Gonzalez, who gets hurt more often than a 70-year-old man, and that makes you the best team in your division, it says an awful lot about the division. And I emphasize the word “awful.”

Twins – Expectations for native son Joe Mauer have risen so high that he’s being asked to handle the Twins’ pitching staff, provide an explosive bat and cut down on Daunte Culpepper’s turnovers.

White Sox – Someday I’m going to tell my kids that Frank Thomas was one of the best players in baseball while I was growing up. And they’ll say, “Who?”

Tigers – Let me get this straight. Ivan Rodriguez wins the World Series while playing in sunny Miami, and then signs with the doormat Tigers to play in gloomy Detroit? That’s like making it with Miss America and then dating, well, Miss Detroit.

Indians – Name three players on Cleveland, not counting Coco Crisp. Seriously.

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.