2003 AL West Baseball Preview

Monday, March 31 2003

Contributed by: norcalfella

Hereís my take on the ALís Best, err AL West division. Oakland Athletics: Let me make this simple for you. Their starting pitching 1-2-3 is the best there is, so the only question is whether or not they have enough hitting at the bottom of the lineup and pitching in the bullpen to get it done in October. Winning the division (or the wild card) is a foregone conclusion. They have too much talent not to make one final run before they have to watch Tejada move on.

Anaheim Angels: The word ďluckyĒ comes to mind. So do the words ďcareer yearsĒ in reference to many of their players. Midway through the season people will wonder how the hell they won 99 games, then beat the Yanks, Aís and Giants to win it all. The truth is, they got on a roll, much like the New England Patriots. It happens, and itís not going to happen again because like the Patsies they will miss the playoffs and their chance to defend.

Seattle Mariners: These guys won 93 games and finished in third place, which is a crime when you look at the AL Central. Now they have even more team speed with my man Randy Winn (same high school as yours truly) batting behind Ichiro. I think they have enough pitching to challenge 100 wins again, and most certainly will give Oakland a run for the division title.

Texas Rangers: Itís all been downhill for them since Bush left. Okay, seriously they have some potential with a strong lineup of batters, but unless the former Dodger duo of Park and Valdes find some sort of special potion they will lose a lot of 8-7 games. I canít see them climbing out of this gutter, not with the strength of the division. Perhaps they can petition for a move to the AL Central, where they might win.

AL West bottom line: Iím taking Seattle to win the division, just because I donít want to be a total homer. Oakland will get the wild card to be sure. Anaheim will be this yearís hard luck loser while Texas will be light years away from contending with this tough trio.

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