Nothing about this post will do with me or running. Sorry in advance. It's all about baseball. I'm a big baseball fan. I'll watch any game that is on. I tried to become one of those uber-statistics guys a few years ago, but I find it is hard to enjoy games when you are focused on the underlying statistics instead of what you see on the field. If you want to be able to explain to someone why you love you some UZR, I won't stop you, but very few people are going to care. This brings me to this baseball season.
I'm an Oakland A's fan. Have been since I was 8, watching the Bash Brothers, or Steroid Brothers, while I was an impressionable youngster out here in Kansas. The 1989 World Series was the first one that I remember watching, but that was only because the baseball was secondary to the Loma Prieta Earthquake right before Game 3 of the series. Since then, I've been immersed in all things A's. Even though the franchise makes no money and hardly draws any fans to their games, they have a fervent base of die hard fans that follow the team religiously, which I suppose you could say about every team. This spring brings about new hope that a team with severe financial limitations can compete with the big spenders in the Majors.
The A's, for a lack of a better word, have been flat abysmal offensively since, I don't know, 2003?! None more so evident than last season when the team leader for Home Runs was 16 (!), and they finished a paltry 25th in the Majors with a slugging percentage of .378. This season, armed with some offensive upgrades, I would expect Oakland to, at the worst, be able to field a league average offense, where even 60 more runs could yield a significantly higher amount of wins.
What will carry the day for the A's will of course be pitching. A team that lead the AL in ERA appears to have become deeper and better, with significant additions to a bullpen that was racked with injuries last season, much like the whole team. The fact that the pitchers had to go out last season and basically put up shutouts every single night in hopes to get a win should hopefully be relieved a little bit by the improved offense.
Texas will be a major player in the AL West, of course. I think the division will come down to those two teams when all is said and done. While Texas made some offensive moves, their pitching will take a major step back, and that is how you win in the Majors. One thing to keep an eye on will be how Texas does in interleague play. That is basically the number one reason they made the playoffs last season. Texas finished .500 against AL teams, but dominated NL teams last year on their way to winning the West. Anyways, I'm excited for baseball to start, and hopefully there are some baseball fans that read this blog and feel like voicing their opinions/favorite teams, because baseball talk is always welcome. Until next time....later.