PDA

View Full Version : Official AL West Thread


IrishRamMan10
01-11-2007, 12:23 AM
Ill start this off this the Truth.
The A's will win the AL west.

ACamp1900
01-11-2007, 12:30 AM
Ill start this off this the Truth.
The A's will win the AL west.

...

IrishRamMan10
01-11-2007, 12:32 AM
Lol the angels got NO shot....
No Big Hurt NO PROBLEM... i expect the same production of Piazza

ACamp1900
01-11-2007, 12:32 AM
Lol the angels got NO shot....
No Big Hurt NO PROBLEM... i expect the same production of Piazza

ROTFLMFAO!!!!!

Piazza?!?!

ACamp1900
01-11-2007, 12:34 AM
Okay in all seriousness... I'll say with confidence and fariness

Starting Pitching- Push (they are both STACKED)
Bull Pen-Angels
Defense-Angels
Hitting-A's
Baserunning-Angels
Manager-do you guys even have a manager?? lol- Angels

nuf said

IrishRamMan10
01-11-2007, 12:35 AM
Well if the big hurt can do it he certainly can... and thanks for the gift BTW ya jerk

ACamp1900
01-11-2007, 12:35 AM
Well if the big hurt can do it he certainly can... and thanks for the gift BTW ya jerk

lol!!! too funny

lesson learned... don't fuck with me or my Halos...

IrishRamMan10
01-11-2007, 12:36 AM
Okay in all seriousness... I'll say with confidence and fariness

Starting Pitching- Push (they are both STACKED)
Bull Pen-Angels
Defense-Angels
Hitting-A's
Baserunning-Angels
Manager-do you guys even have a manager?? lol- Angels

nuf said

Im going to pretend that u did not call the starting pitching equal

Nardo!
01-11-2007, 12:37 AM
http://www.celebopedia.com/detroit-tigers/images/detroit-tigers.jpg

IrishRamMan10
01-11-2007, 12:37 AM
Al West Al West

ACamp1900
01-11-2007, 12:37 AM
Im going to pretend that u did not call the starting pitching equal

ah, If anything ours is better... explain your comment

MINUS ZITO

ACamp1900
01-11-2007, 12:42 AM
1. Rich Harden vs. Bart Colon...

advantage you guys, BARELY, Bart has experience and a CY YOUNG! but isn't healthy and that the ONLY reason this isn't a push...

2. John Lacky vs. Dan Haren...

push... both are up and comers and GREAT pitchers, maybe slight advantage to Angels

3. Jared Wever vs. E. Loaiza???

BIG ADVANTAGE ANGELS

4. Ervin Santana vs. Joe Blanton

Push... mush like number two on a lesser scale POSSIBLE advantage A's

5. Kelvim Escobar vs NO ONE!

Advantage Angels

reserve

Joe Saunders vs. NO ONE!

Adantage Angels



I think it's fairly easy

IrishRamMan10
01-11-2007, 12:43 AM
forget zito.. never a huge fan

Harden- all he needs is his fastball
Haren- wicked stuff
Blanton- Gives solid starts every time
Loaiza- Unhittable some nights but has his bad games
Sarloos- Always gives Quality starts

angles

Lackey- fat
colon- fat
Escobar- hate the glasses or is that krod?
weaver- great start to last season... not the finish
santana- actually descent

ACamp1900
01-11-2007, 12:48 AM
forget zito.. never a huge fan

Harden- all he needs is his fastball
Haren- wicked stuff
Blanton- Gives solid starts every time
Loaiza- Unhittable some nights but has his bad games
Sarloos- Always gives Quality starts

angles

Lackey- fat
colon- fat
Escobar- hate the glasses or is that krod?
weaver- great start to last season... not the finish
santana- actually descent

Bart... all he needs is HIS fast ball... due to injury he didn't have it last year... we all saw what he can do WITH it for what? seven years? including a Cy Young?
Lackey is fat??? His stuff is fat... one of the best breaking pitches in baseball
Escobar one of the most versatile pitchers in baseball
weaver... he had a bad finish? I watched every game and must have missed that.... anyway one can assume he won't be THAT good but still a GREAT number three
Santana is our worst pitcher and you say "he's actually decent"

IrishRamMan10
01-11-2007, 12:51 AM
santana did descent against the A's what can i say lol...
O ya i almost forgot about my favorite baseball game ever....
Rememeber when Krod dropped the catch from the catcher near the mound LOL TOOOO FUNNY

ACamp1900
01-11-2007, 12:57 AM
santana did descent against the A's what can i say lol...
O ya i almost forgot about my favorite baseball game ever....
Rememeber when Krod dropped the catch from the catcher near the mound LOL TOOOO FUNNY

yep, clearly... my fav ever.. the one year aniversary of 9/11... remember THAT one??? I was at that game, as well as many playoff games... Tim Salmon said the feeling from the fans was never more intense in his career as it was in that game vs. the A's... I agree... WS noise couldn't compare to that crowd... Incredible

IrishRamMan10
01-11-2007, 12:59 AM
nvm i got it

IrishRamMan10
01-11-2007, 01:03 AM
enough about the past 2007 is the year for the A's

ACamp1900
01-11-2007, 01:06 AM
nvm i got it

I edited... sorry... I was sitting nest to the rocks in left field behind David Justice that day... we(me and da fellas) chanted EVERYTHING from "Halle Berry"... to saying things like, "Hey Justice!? Beat any good wives lately?!"

By the 6th inning he had enough and went over to Chris Singleton to complain... EVERYONE in our section stood up and cheered when it was clear he was bitching about us... anyway, if you remember the A's had JUST ended their 20something game win streak and the Angels who were just two games back when the streak started were now only FIVE BACK... that's how hot both teams were, it was the second of a four game set if mem serves and your "team" jumped up BIG early... but as we did ALL YEAR that year we made a post 7th inning comeback and won the game... I love that monkey!!

they gave away white shirts for sept. 11th and everyone was waving them... AMAZING visual in person if you've never seen AND we had thunder sticks... CRAZY LOUD... Tim Salmon called it the most memorable game of his career and this from a guy who hit a game winning HR in the W.S. and won a W.S.... that tells you something

IrishRamMan10
01-11-2007, 01:08 AM
i always enjoy the hanging of the rally monkeys in the left field bleachers when the angels come to town.

ACamp1900
01-11-2007, 01:08 AM
i always enjoy the hanging of the rally monkeys in the left field bleachers when the angels come to town.

in that "ballpark" of yours????

IrishRamMan10
01-11-2007, 01:12 AM
HEY.. we are buildin a new one in Fremont. it will be VERY NICE... but i g2g we will continue this later

ACamp1900
01-11-2007, 01:13 AM
HEY.. we are buildin a new one in Fremont. it will be VERY NICE... but i g2g we will continue this later

wait!!! hold on a bit... can you???

IrishRamMan10
01-11-2007, 01:13 AM
hurry

ACamp1900
01-11-2007, 01:15 AM
hurry

pm'd you...

IrishRamMan10
01-11-2007, 01:17 AM
why?

ojo_223
01-11-2007, 01:17 AM
Rangers will win it.

ACamp1900
01-11-2007, 01:31 AM
Rangers will win it.

Go suck a bean Red Suck boy!!!

God if there's one team I HATE in sports.... lol

ojo_223
01-11-2007, 01:51 AM
Angels stink. But Guerrero is a stud.

IrishRamMan10
01-12-2007, 12:48 AM
rangers have NO pitching depth... they got no chance

ACamp1900
01-12-2007, 12:51 AM
rangers have NO pitching depth... they got no chance

while your studs are impressive the same could be said for the A's.... Harden goes down again.... it won't be good...

IrishRamMan10
01-12-2007, 07:12 PM
If Harden gets hurt AGAIN ima kill that Canadian lol

jboxer562
01-12-2007, 07:36 PM
NY YANKEES OWN ALL THESE TEAMS now taht we finally got some pitching YOUNG PITCHING

IrishRamMan10
01-12-2007, 08:33 PM
al west thread

ACamp1900
01-13-2007, 01:56 AM
at least it wasn't a bosox fan... all I'm saying

IrishRamMan10
01-13-2007, 01:57 AM
LOL... i hate em all in the AL east

Iron Machine
01-13-2007, 02:40 AM
AL west, phhhhh, who cares about the AL west. The AL Central is where its at, Cleveland's going to take it this year. GO TRIBE!!!

Jason Pham
01-13-2007, 02:52 AM
at least it wasn't a bosox fan... all I'm saying

Scooper went all out on gifts. Does this have anything to do with that whole blowing up in your face thing? Or beef curtains?

:puke:

ACamp1900
01-13-2007, 02:58 AM
Scooper went all out on gifts. Does this have anything to do with that whole blowing up in your face thing? Or beef curtains?

:puke:

no, it has to do with his jealousy of my sher sexual power...

Iron Machine
01-13-2007, 03:10 AM
The Angles are going to take the West, the A's don't have a stud rotation and their hitting isn't great, its good but not great.

ACamp1900
01-13-2007, 12:14 PM
The Angles are going to take the West, the A's don't have a stud rotation and their hitting isn't great, its good but not great.

I second... only thing that stops the Angels this year is the Angels.... and health

IrishRamMan10
01-14-2007, 10:27 PM
Is it just me or wasnt the Angels the favorite to win the division last year?

ACamp1900
01-14-2007, 10:28 PM
Is it just me or wasnt the Angels the favorite to win the division last year?

It's just you...

ACamp1900
01-14-2007, 10:28 PM
A's were fav's by 7 or 8 out of 10 "experts"

IrishRamMan10
01-14-2007, 10:30 PM
I dont know about that...

ACamp1900
01-14-2007, 10:31 PM
I dont know about that...

lol... trust me they were the BIG popular choice... some had us and fewer still had Texas... most had you guys...

IrishRamMan10
01-14-2007, 10:33 PM
ok ok... ill believe u
But u like my gift?

ACamp1900
01-14-2007, 10:34 PM
fvk u

IrishRamMan10
01-14-2007, 10:36 PM
Hahaha

jboxer562
01-15-2007, 08:50 PM
the a's were predicted to win to the W.S. by some people.... what happened with that??? HOWEVER I WILL SAY THAT I LIKE THE A'S

ACamp1900
01-18-2007, 12:48 AM
hear that IRF?.... it's the sound of Billy Beane'sego inflating daily.... how many titles does he have to make him god's gift to the sport of Baseball anyway? must have a lot... certainly more than that idoit Bill Stoneman from Southern California,... certainly....

IrishRamMan10
01-18-2007, 12:50 AM
how much money get got to work with compared to your halos?
IRF.. is taht me? if so it should be IRM...

ACamp1900
01-18-2007, 12:53 AM
how much money get got to work with compared to your halos?
IRF.. is taht me? if so it should be IRM...

whatever... :devil_2:


and when the Angels won the title the payroll's were fairly simalar...

some teams just have the heart of a champion... others have elephants on their sleeves and move from city to city every 35 years or so...:wink:

IrishRamMan10
01-18-2007, 12:54 AM
last years payrolls
Los Angeles Angels 103,625,333
Oakland 62,322,054

Id say Billy is doing a pretty damn good job getting the players he has with that 41 million dollar difference

ACamp1900
01-18-2007, 12:55 AM
last years payrolls
Los Angeles Angels 103,625,333
Oakland 62,322,054

Id say Billy is doing a pretty damn good job getting the players he has with that 41 million dollar difference

Stoneman's ego... this big




Billy's ego...THIS BIG!!!!

IrishRamMan10
01-18-2007, 12:56 AM
no

ACamp1900
01-18-2007, 12:59 AM
Lmfao!!!

ACamp1900
01-18-2007, 01:00 AM
:devil_2:

IrishRamMan10
01-18-2007, 01:01 AM
good one... i should report u to urself

ACamp1900
01-18-2007, 01:03 AM
good one... i should report u to urself

all in good fun my friend, all in good fun

IrishRamMan10
01-18-2007, 01:03 AM
i c...

IrishRamMan10
01-18-2007, 01:05 AM
KEEP THE A'S IN OAKLAND!!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlTvSUCCqPo

ACamp1900
01-18-2007, 01:06 AM
It's a sad day in mudville when A's fans have nothing more to pump their chests about then their feble payroll...

IrishRamMan10
01-18-2007, 01:09 AM
u watch the vid?

ACamp1900
01-18-2007, 01:09 AM
KEEP THE A'S IN OAKLAND!!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlTvSUCCqPo

that's a pretty gayly vid there buddy... here's a good one for you... lol

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nV6Y65EoRS8

ACamp1900
01-18-2007, 01:10 AM
this one's calssic!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpqPVJFzKdc&mode=related&search=

ACamp1900
01-18-2007, 01:11 AM
u watch the vid?

okay okay.... not all of it... hold on

IrishRamMan10
01-18-2007, 01:12 AM
u gotta be a true OG to appreciate it

ACamp1900
01-18-2007, 01:13 AM
alright, I'll admit.. that was fucking hilarious!!!

good qual too for a am vid

IrishRamMan10
01-18-2007, 01:13 AM
alright, I'll admit.. that was fucking hilarious!!!

good qual too for a am vid
waht?

ACamp1900
01-18-2007, 01:16 AM
waht?

what?...


anyway it's good quality for an am video

IrishRamMan10
01-18-2007, 01:16 AM
o ok i gotcha

IrishRamMan10
01-18-2007, 01:20 AM
i no ur just jelous of me cuz u have never hung out with Nick Swisher at a deli like i have... lol it was sick, u should have been there.

ACamp1900
01-18-2007, 01:22 AM
i no ur just jelous of me cuz u have never hung out with Nick Swisher at a deli like i have... lol it was sick, u should have been there.

nick swisher? who the hell is nick swisher?... sounds like a gay porn name...

ACamp1900
01-18-2007, 01:25 AM
I went to Usher's birthday party in LA a couple years back and hung out with Jack Osborne and met Snoop last time the SB was in SD... jealous?:devil:

ACamp1900
01-18-2007, 01:27 AM
nick swisher.....:jerkit:

IrishRamMan10
01-18-2007, 01:27 AM
ya... im wasy jelous of jack osborne... lol
Jelous much that i met Brady Quinn and 21 other Irish players personally?
see my sig for pics of the autographs

ACamp1900
01-18-2007, 01:28 AM
ya... im wasy jelous of jack osborne... lol
Jelous much that i met Brady Quinn and 21 other Irish players personally?
see my sig for pics of the autographs

I am brady quinn

ACamp1900
01-18-2007, 01:28 AM
lol.. nah, that's pretty sweet man, where at?

IrishRamMan10
01-18-2007, 01:31 AM
My Uncle with his ND hook ups lived in (South bend and granger Indiana most his life) found out which hotel the team was staying at for last years stanford game at stanford. So we just hung out in the Lobby the night b4 the game and within 10 minutes players come down to chill or see family members that were there. It was pretty sweet. Also got to shake coach Weis' hand as he left to go somewhere with his wife

ACamp1900
01-18-2007, 01:33 AM
My Uncle with his ND hook ups lived in (South bend and granger Indiana most his life) found out which hotel the team was staying at for last years stanford game at stanford. So we just hung out in the Lobby the night b4 the game and within 10 minutes players come down to chill or see family members that were there. It was pretty sweet. Also got to shake coach Weis' hand as he left to go somewhere with his wife

:rock:

IrishRamMan10
01-18-2007, 01:35 AM
ya my uncle is heavily involved with ND basketball... he has talked with brey on the phone before and my aunt used to babysit matt dohertys kids when he was the ND coach.

ACamp1900
01-18-2007, 01:37 AM
ya my uncle is heavily involved with ND basketball... he has talked with brey on the phone before and my aunt used to babysit matt dohertys kids when he was the ND coach.

right on, wish Matt would have stayed... that didn't work out too well for either side there... but Brey is doing good even though we got clown stomped today

ACamp1900
01-18-2007, 01:38 AM
this is as sexy as videos get without naked women....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8_fpie6HjQ

ACamp1900
01-18-2007, 01:39 AM
and on that ultra sexy note... I'm off to bed... til next time elephant boy

IrishRamMan10
01-18-2007, 05:15 PM
elephant boy... really?

Irishman10
01-19-2007, 06:16 PM
Im going to pretend that u did not call the starting pitching equal


You're right. The Angels starting pitching is better after you lost Zito. And Piazza's power is no where near that of Big Hurts so why you think the production will be the same is mind boggling.

IrishRamMan10
01-19-2007, 07:20 PM
Frank Thomas was done b4 last years season... and Piazza was productive in the biggest pitchers park in the MLB last year... so how can u say that? Also ur name is way to similar to mine

Irishman10
01-19-2007, 09:56 PM
Frank Thomas was done b4 last years season... and Piazza was productive in the biggest pitchers park in the MLB last year... so how can u say that? Also ur name is way to similar to mine

Piazza is a good hitter but he isnt as good of a power hitter, that's just a fact. I mean he hasnt hit 30 HR in 5 years. Thomas had been injured the last couple years so once healthy again he went back to hitting the ball out of the park. I'm not saying Piazza cant/wont be good for you guys, he wont put up near 40 HRs like Thomas did though. I also wouldnt want an offense that relies on Piazza getting 100 RBI, something he hasnt done in awhile.

Sorry about the name :)

ACamp1900
01-19-2007, 10:14 PM
Frank Thomas was done b4 last years season... and Piazza was productive in the biggest pitchers park in the MLB last year... so how can u say that? Also ur name is way to similar to mine

that's what I thought.... lol

IrishRamMan10
01-20-2007, 02:11 AM
yes...

ACamp1900
01-23-2007, 02:44 PM
Others will copy this thread... but there is only one original... the AL West... and there will be only one chmpion of the OG divison....



Go Angels....

IrishRamMan10
01-23-2007, 06:32 PM
and who made this thread... o ya I did.

ACamp1900
01-23-2007, 07:24 PM
and who made this thread... o ya I did.

what's #73??

ACamp1900
01-23-2007, 10:35 PM
http://www.ballparks.com/baseball/index.htm

little info on where the fourth best team in the AL West will soon be calling home...

ACamp1900
01-23-2007, 10:47 PM
http://youtube.com/watch?v=7PgyxGQGucs

It satrts in half way through the vid, but they play it before every game... different highlights every year... chokes up the real Angel fans in the house as it goes WAY back... anyway at the 1:12 mark where you see the fans from the 80's waving the odd looking yellow halos around... I still have two of those from when I was a kid... good stuff...

ACamp Miss baseball

IrishRamMan10
01-23-2007, 10:59 PM
73 is the how high of a poster i am outa over 3,000 in a lil over a month..... Proving how much of a rookie i am lol

ACamp1900
01-23-2007, 11:03 PM
73 is the how high of a poster i am outa over 3,000 in a lil over a month..... Proving how much of a rookie i am lol

OH! wow... lil touche?

ACamp1900
01-23-2007, 11:05 PM
Number nine BITCH!!...lol... and ChestertonLep doesn't really count b/c he never posts anything other than his art and such... so call it #8

IrishRamMan10
01-23-2007, 11:07 PM
ya... July 06.... not december

ACamp1900
01-25-2007, 10:50 PM
Trattou to Gators???...

Okay, I'm officially ready for baseball....

IrishRamMan10
01-26-2007, 12:17 AM
seriously.... i guess he doesnt care about playing time and getting an oppertunity early....

ACamp1900
02-01-2007, 07:44 PM
Another day closer to spring training and the A's still have no shot to compete with the Angels.....

IrishRamMan10
02-01-2007, 07:55 PM
Haha Good One............................................... ................................not

jiggafini19
02-28-2007, 02:03 PM
Is Gary Matthews Jr. really hitting first in the lineup for Anaheim?

ACamp1900
03-01-2007, 06:23 PM
yep... not worried though... if he does what I think he'll do and flop he'll move to the bottom and Chone or Howie Kendrick will take over the top spot... lot of depth at the top of the order... now IF Matthews really has hit his stride.... watch out boys!

jiggafini19
03-09-2007, 02:45 PM
yep... not worried though... if he does what I think he'll do and flop he'll move to the bottom and Chone or Howie Kendrick will take over the top spot... lot of depth at the top of the order... now IF Matthews really has hit his stride.... watch out boys!

What is he, 32 years old, and just came off a career year?

Better late than never to hit your stride I suppose.

Horribly overrated in the field and overall.

LOVE Howie Kendrick.

IrishRamMan10
04-15-2007, 08:01 PM
.

IrishRamMan10
08-30-2007, 08:19 PM
ur a douche catman

ACamp1900
08-30-2007, 08:20 PM
I just want to take this time to congratulate the Oakland Elephants on their "Second half charge" and "Greatest Picthing staff ever," that helped them to the AL West title. They are obviously too much my beloved Angels and thier feeble pitching that only has them in a basic tie for best record in the major leagues...

I suppose I should address this to man Rammed since he is the official elephant slurper on this site... congrats my friend your teams, "Second half charge" truely did start early this year...

:wink:

HereComeTheIrish
08-30-2007, 08:22 PM
I just want to take this time to congratulate the Oakland Elephants on their "Second half charge" and "Greatest Picthing staff ever," that helped them to the AL West title. They are obviously too much my beloved Angels and thier feeble pitching that only has them in a basic tie for best record in the major leagues...

I suppose I should address this to man Rammed since he is the official elephant slurper on this site... congrats my friend your teams, "Second half charge" truely did start early this year...

:wink:

It's football season...What are you doin'???? ;) The Tribe's gonna beat on the Halos in the first round anyways. :p

(by the way...the Browns are playing as we speak...I'll keep you updated on Brady and our beloved Brownies!!!)

ACamp1900
08-30-2007, 08:23 PM
ur a douche catman

Note the times on the two posts... someone was cyber stalking me and noticed waht was about to happen... your a new definition of lame my friend

LMAO!

ACamp1900
08-31-2007, 10:04 PM
It's football season...What are you doin'???? ;) The Tribe's gonna beat on the Halos in the first round anyways. :p

(by the way...the Browns are playing as we speak...I'll keep you updated on Brady and our beloved Brownies!!!)

I thought you weren't gonna start drinking until Saturday morning?????

:wink:

HereComeTheIrish
08-31-2007, 10:07 PM
I thought you weren't gonna start drinking until Saturday morning?????

:wink:

lol...guilty as charged! ;)

ACamp1900
09-23-2007, 08:35 PM
YEAH BUDDY!!!


http://findthebesthere.com/anaheim_angels_logo1022504.gif

ACamp1900
01-31-2008, 07:04 PM
Man. a ton of talk round here today... apparently the Angels and now supposedly involved in the Bedard talks (stinks of a move out of fear to me if true trying to block the M's) AND may finally be moving forward with Kahlil Greene trade talks....

I would LOVE K Greene in that line up with Vladdy and Hunter... that would finally put us up there in offense with the best in the league the same way we have been the past five years with pitching... only thing is we would have to move Howie Kendrick in either move I'm sure... :(

IrishRamMan10
01-31-2008, 07:14 PM
Fuck the Angles.

ACamp1900
01-31-2008, 07:26 PM
Fuck the Angles.

lol... Here we go Freemont here we go!!!

SoCalDomer
01-31-2008, 07:27 PM
ahh, you two... glad baseball season brought you back together

IrishRamMan10
01-31-2008, 07:42 PM
im down with Fremont as long as the new stadium is nice. Comeback every summer and go to some games that would be tight... It wont even matter that fremont is basically a parking lot with a mayor. Quit your sassin catman as this thread reminds me

ACamp1900
01-31-2008, 08:50 PM
sassin or not... I miss baseball... although I must say I'm finally getting into hockey this year... versus is coming up huge showing more and more games

Newc
02-01-2008, 09:41 AM
I hear ya Camper....baseball cannot get here quick enough.

I just hope MLB 2k8 doesn't dissapoint.

ACamp1900
02-01-2008, 01:27 PM
I hear ya Camper....baseball cannot get here quick enough.

I just hope MLB 2k8 doesn't dissapoint.

I'm stoked about the new pitching system... seems harder and best of all certainly not pinpoint like most games are... not being able to point and throw with ease would be a huge upgrade on any baseball game... pitching is too easy

IrishRamMan10
02-01-2008, 02:01 PM
ill rent it...just to beat u camper

SoCalDomer
02-01-2008, 04:13 PM
I'm stoked about the new pitching system... seems harder and best of all certainly not pinpoint like most games are... not being able to point and throw with ease would be a huge upgrade on any baseball game... pitching is too easy

maybe you're just good? :)

SoCalDomer
02-07-2008, 05:38 PM
Division Tour: AL West

By Tim Brown, Yahoo! Sports
February 6, 2008

On Wednesday afternoon came news that Erik Bedard was still creeping toward Seattle, an oh-by-the-way press release that Kelvim Escobar was rehabbing a shoulder hardly anyone knew was sore, and an announcement Nolan Ryan was returning to the Texas Rangers.

Which pretty much sums up the AL West.

The Mariners will clear out the top end of their farm system for pitching. The Angels have enough to cope with whatever it is that ails Escobar, the 18-game winner. And, not to diminish Ryan's return, but the Rangers are thrilled just to stand near a great pitcher and call him president.

The coming days, hours perhaps, will determine just how hard the Mariners will push the Angels. Bedard, it's fair to say, is very different than Carlos Silva, even if Silva is uncommonly effective against the Angels.

So, we wait.

LOS ANGELES ANGELS

First impression: Consistent scoring has been a moving target for the Angels for years now, so that even in a season where the offense finished behind only the Yankees, Tigers and Red Sox in the American League, it's still quite capable of rolling out all of four runs in a three-and-out division series against the Red Sox. This has become a fairly common theme for them; the Angels have lost seven of their last eight playoff games and averaged fewer than two runs per game in them. You'd like to say Vladimir Guerrero has needed some help, but Guerrero has batted .183 in 60 postseason at-bats (over four series) for the Angels, and he's hit one home run. We don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves, but five years have passed since the Angels broke through in October, and the franchise has grown to the point where division titles are nice, but not the ultimate goal. They'll be favored to win the West again, and again the critical part of the Angels equation is whether the bats can be equal to the arms. To that end, new general manager Tony Reagins went out and signed Torii Hunter, who, on the occasion of his walk-year with the Twins, put up 28 home runs, 107 RBI and 18 steals in a career-high 160 games. Not only will he hit in the middle of the order – and, probably, fourth, directly behind Guerrero – but he'll take center field from Gary Matthews Jr. He'll be 37 when that $90 million contract expires. In the meantime, the Angels have themselves a charismatic, productive player who, incidentally, has batted .300 in 21 career playoff games.

Competition:One of the more curious trades of the winter was Orlando Cabrera for Jon Garland, a deal that seemed to portend the addition of a big infield bat. Say, Miguel Cabrera's. The Angels – OK, owner Arte Moreno – certainly made it sound as though that was the plan, and the club otherwise wasn't in a position to trade a middle infielder who drove in 86 runs, 65 from the second spot in the order, even if he was due for free agency after 2008. So, Chone Figgins, who does good things for this club, is back at third base and Maicer Izturis and Erick Aybar will fight it out at shortstop. Izturis, it says here, wins the job, based on his sure glove and a knack for getting big hits. With Garland in the rotation and Bartolo Colon gone, Joe Saunders, Ervin Santana and Dustin Moseley pitch for the fifth spot in the rotation, and maybe the fourth and fifth spots if Escobar's shoulder continues to ache.

Healing: Matthews finished his first season in Anaheim on a bum knee, but comes to camp healthy. Though there's talk of a rotation at DH between Matthews, Garret Anderson and Guerrero, it is likely the group's elder, Anderson, settles in there and Matthews becomes the regular left fielder. Between Guerrero's arm and the athletic ability of Matthews and Hunter, this has the potential to be a strong defensive outfield.

Next: Brandon Wood, who in the minor leagues has shown great power potential but a habit of swinging at everything, appears closer to taking a regular job on the left side of the infield. Right-hander Nick Adenhart, who pitches beyond his years at 22, could surface in the big leagues this season.

OAKLAND ATHLETICS

First impression: Well, along comes another extreme makeover in the East Bay, no doubt related to the health of Arte Moreno's Angels and a hardball revival in Seattle. While awaiting the next Big Three – Trevor Cahill, Fautino De Los Santos (from the White Sox for Nick Swisher) and Brett Anderson (from the Diamondbacks for Dan Haren) could arrive together someday soon – the A's began building for another season, and certainly not this one. Beyond turning Haren and Swisher into handfuls of prospects, GM Billy Beane might also find himself in the mood to do the same with Joe Blanton and Rich Harden, either in spring training or near the trading deadline. In the interim, an awful lot would have to go well in order for the A's to challenge in the West. Assuming they're healthy (a stretch in at least one circumstance) and not wearing another team's colors, Blanton, Harden, Justin Duchscherer and Chad Gaudin are a decent one through four in the rotation, and Huston Street and Alan Embree are OK on the back end of games. But, the offense, which strained to score runs last season and lost do-everything (OK, except hit for average), hit-anywhere Swisher, will be vulnerable again. The middle of the order will look something like Eric Chavez-Jack Cust-Emil Brown-Travis Buck-Daric Barton. For that to be anything but ordinary, the A's would need Chavez to be a 30-homer, 110-RBI again, and he's coming off three offseason surgeries (two shoulder, one lower back), along with big second seasons from Buck and Barton. Barton appears to do everything at the plate well and will be a leading Rookie of the Year guy, but carrying this much of an offense is a lot to ask from a 22-year-old.

Competition:The outfield, left to right, probably will be Buck, Chris Denorfia and Brown, and Ryan Sweeney (from the White Sox) should win a job as the fourth outfielder. Beyond that, the A's will spend six weeks separating about a half-dozen pitchers hoping to be the fifth starter. Lenny DiNardo, Dan Meyer, Dallas Braden, Dana Eveland, Greg Smith and Kirk Saarloos all will have their shots.

Healing: Harden, at 26, has managed one full, healthy, productive season, and that was four years ago. The following three seasons resulted in 32 starts, most of them pretty good. But each season begins or ends with Harden tending to a failed body part. Last season concluded in early July because of an inflamed right shoulder. And, in December, he required a cortisone injection to deal with biceps tendinitis. The A's again are willing themselves to be optimistic regarding Harden and have penciled him in to start against the Red Sox in Japan.

Next: Outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, trapped behind Chris Young and Justin Upton in Arizona, won't find those same obstructions in Oakland. He'll probably start the season in Triple A, where the A's will have him work on – say it together – "plate discipline," and could be in the big leagues by the end of summer.

SEATTLE MARINERS

First impression: Baseball's "now" is relative. "Now" in Atlanta means today. "Now" in the Bronx means yesterday. "Now" in Seattle? Hard to say, but the Mariners are racing to win "now," right now, because they won 88 games last season and had the Angels a little nervous in late August and just talked Carlos Silva into $12 million a year. Therefore, it looks as though they're going to abandon their best position-player prospect since Alex Rodriguez and a reliable set-up man and a young right-hander everybody seems to like for Erik Bedard, a very good left-hander who will stand atop a rotation of Felix Rodriguez, Miguel Batista, Silva and Jarrod Washburn. So, why is it so difficult to warm up to this trade? Bedard is 28, and coming into his prime. He struck out 10.9 batters per nine innings last season, best among pitchers with at least 100 innings. Strikeouts to walks? Better than Jake Peavy, Dan Haren and John Lackey. Two seasons ago, he made 33 starts. That he didn't last season – and fell short of 200 innings again – had nothing to do with his arm. So, yeah, the Mariners would pitch better, though probably still not as well as the Angels. And the Mariners will still have Brad Wilkerson (and Wladimir Balentien) in right field, not Adam Jones, whose opportunity to blossom shifts to Camden Yards. Same with George Sherrill, so it's Brandon Morrow in a setup role instead. And Chris Tillman, too, is developing in Baltimore, not Seattle. Plus, there are the holdover issues of Richie Sexson's production, Jose Lopez's growth, etc. Hey, you can get an ace, you get him. But, maybe, not now.

Competition:With Jose Guillen gone and Jones close to gone, the Mariners signed Wilkerson, who once hit 32 home runs but has been plagued by a sore shoulder for at least two seasons. He'll get a chance to play right field, as will Balentien and Jeff Reed, and could get some at-bats at first base if Sexson struggles again.

Healing: Sexson had hamstring issues last season, and the Mariners can only hope they had something to do with his .205 batting average and .295 on-base percentage. He's in the final year of a four-year, $50-million contract. The Mariners signed right-hander Chris Reitsma, coming off elbow surgery, to a minor-league contract. He could compete for a job in the bullpen.

Next: If not Jones, then left-handed-hitting catcher Jeff Clement, who batted .375 over a few big-league games last September. He's temporarily blocked by Kenji Johjima, but, at 24, is close to being ready.

TEXAS RANGERS

First impression: In a four-team division, the Rangers have finished fourth five times in the past eight years and third three times. If that makes little sense for a franchise that in that period has put Alex Rodriguez on the field, and Mark Teixeira, and Michael Young, and Rafael Palmeiro, and Juan Gonzalez, then perhaps the depth of its pitching inadequacies can hardly be comprehended. Going back to 2000, the year of the Rangers' last division title, they have had a better team ERA than a division rival in only one season: 2004, when the Mariners were worse. In that same era, their starting pitchers have never had a season equal to or better than that of a division rival. And, if we're going to lay even some of this on their hitter-comfy ballpark, the Rangers' road ERA has been lower than two division teams in eight years: The Mariners in 2004 and the Mariners in 2006. And that, friends, is the long way to lead into a 2008 rotation composed in part of Kevin Millwood, Vicente Padilla, Brandon McCarthy and Jason Jennings, who last season were a combined 23-43 with a 5.51 ERA and seven trips to the disabled list. Rangers starting pitchers threw fewer innings than any staff in the game, a tradition that began in 2003 and has seen the Rangers finish in the bottom four in each of the past five seasons. To that end, presumably, young Jon Daniels insisted on starter Brandon McCarthy when he dealt John Danks and Nick Masset to the White Sox last winter, on Kason Gabbard when he traded Eric Gagne to the Red Sox last summer, and this winter leaned in on the early talks for Johan Santana and Bedard while settling on a one-year contract with Jennings. Still, they're well behind the Angels, A's and Mariners here, and again explain why the AL West is still too big for them to contend in.

Competition:The Rangers have some sorting out ahead at first base. It's either Ben Broussard full-time or in a loose platoon with Jason Botts and/or Chris Shelton. Frank Catalanotto might also get time here. The fifth starter job is likely to play out between Gabbard and Luis Mendoza, another former Red Sox farmhand. Assuming Marlon Byrd does not go to the Chicago Cubs before then, the Rangers could open the season with an outfield of Byrd, Josh Hamilton and David Murphy (Boston again: Gagne trade), with Milton Bradley extending his knee-surgery recovery at DH. Jarrod Saltalamacchia and veteran Gerald Laird will contend as catcher. If Laird wins, Saltalamacchia probably goes to Triple A, where he could further sharpen his defensive skills. If Saltalamacchia wins, Laird could be traded.

Healing: The Rangers are counting on a big comeback year from third baseman Hank Blalock, who was limited to 58 games last season because of a nerve/rib procedure. He returned in early September and batted .313 with five homers and 17 RBI.

Next: Third baseman Chris Davis and shortstop Elvis Andrus, the jewels in a farm system that has improved drastically in the past year, have been invited to camp.


Tim Brown is a national baseball writer for Yahoo! Sports. Send Tim a question or comment for potential use in a future column or webcast.


.

ACamp1900
02-07-2008, 07:12 PM
One of the three... Kendrick, Kotchman or Wood MUST rise as a true homerun threat for the ANgels to be considered a real contender past the division race... All three have multi all star promise... I'll take Kotchman to finally put together the only part of his game that is NOT yet household caliber... power numbers

ACamp1900
08-01-2008, 02:30 PM
I just want to take this time to congratulate the Oakland Elephants on their "Second half charge" and "Greatest Picthing staff ever," that helped them to the AL West title. They are obviously too much my beloved Angels and thier feeble pitching that only has them in a basic tie for best record in the major leagues...

I suppose I should address this to man Rammed since he is the official elephant slurper on this site... congrats my friend your teams, "Second half charge" truely did start early this year...

:wink:

I would like to congratulate the A's once agian........

sorry rammer...