I can’t believe it’s time again for Alexander’s Great Baseball Picks. This week I’ll give you the American League. Next week, the National League.
Remember this is for fun only. Don’t put up the deed to your home and car. This year I am going to include SI’s estimated major league payrolls for each team. They have to get a hard cap in baseball or this will eventually ruin the game.
AL-WEST: Now how can I pick against the Angels ($136,000,000) when they are celebrating their 50th anniversary? It seems like just yesterday (1961) that a singing cowboy named Gene Autry fielded a team in the old Pacific Coast League’s Wrigley Field in Los Angeles.
The next year they moved into Dodger Stadium and then to Anaheim Stadium in 1966. They’ve been a lot of fun ever since except for the current name of the team, The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Owner Arte Moreno will never be invited to my Super Bowl party!
So, even though there may be a couple of better teams in the AL-West I’m going to say that the Angels will find some offense and maybe even a bullpen some time.
The starting lead rotation of Jered Weaver, Dan Heren and Ervin Santana are good but I don’t see any bullpen.
Mike Scioscia, my favorite manager of all time, starts his 12th season with the Halos. If it’s possible, Mike will find a way to win.
Meanwhile the AL pennant- and division-winning Texas Rangers ($95,000,000) have a bunch of great hitters again. But they don’t have much pitching. This gives the Angels a shot.
The Oakland Athletics ($77,700,000) have great pitching and no hitting and that gives the Angels a shot. Meanwhile the Seattle Mariners ($106,500,000) probably wish they could move to Anaheim.
AL Central: As most of you know, I have to pick the Minnesota Twins ($115,300,000) every year to avoid family troubles. But every year they come up with a way to win! Thank you Twins.
I don’t understand why the Twins had to have a new ballpark last year. Target Field doesn’t have a roof and believe me; the good weather is bad in Minnesota.
The Mosquitoes are as big as your fist in the summer and winter lasts until June. It’s so cold people use their backyards for ice skating rinks. No kidding!
Anyway, the Twins hung on to Carl Pavano and Brian Duensing so their pitching will be great again and Tsuyoshi Nishioka will see if he can duplicate last year’s .346 batting average to lead the Twins.
Detroit ($108, 200,000) seems to be really improved this year and has vowed to take the division title.
The Chicago White Sox ($125,200,000) seems mediocre this year even if their manager, Ozzie Guillen isn’t. The fiery, ill-tempered 8th year manager has lasted longer than I predicted he would. I said he wouldn’t make it to year two!
Cleveland’s ($54,200,000) payroll is low but the other bottom-feeder, Kansas City ($44,300,000) is lower!
AL East: I really wish I could pick the Rays but I just don’t know how you beat the All-Star Yankee ($202,300,000) club. Names like Jeter, Teixeira, Rodriguez, Cano, Posada. How can you beat that offensively? Then they have great pitching starting with CC Sabathia. Sorry. The Yankees will win.
The Boston Red Sox ($161,500,000) are picked by most to win this division and with Adrian Gonzalez (31 homers and a .298 batting average last year) maybe they can!
Who do I want to win the AL-East? How about the Tampa Bay Rays ($50,000,000) with a payroll that is less than one-fourth of the Yankees and have fans that have to be home by nine?
But with Evan Longoria, Johnny Damon and some good pitching they’ll be right up there. Meanwhile the Baltimore Orioles ($90,600,000) and the Toronto Blue Jays ($65,400,000) would be better off spending their money on improved hot dogs.
Next week, I take a look at the National League