Thursday, March 29, 2012

AL Central Preview: Kansas City Royales

Young, Strong, Pulp Fiction

We already had opening day, you guys.  I'm not sure if you knew since the games were at 5am and in Japan and involving terrible, terrible teams.  One third of the fans were wearing surgical masks and two thirds were wearing Ichiro jerseys.  I can't fathom getting up at 6:30am to work out, but I was up early for both of these mofos like my life depended on it.

The White Sox preview was done fully sober;  this one, not so much.  Let's see which is better.  BTW, I'm looking to get all of the AL Central complete by April 5th, which is the pseudo real opener. THE F'ING AMERICAN OPENER.

Key Adds:  Jonathan Sanchez SP, Jonathan Broxton RP, Yuniesky Betancourt MI

Key Losses:  Melky Cabrera OF, Jeff Francis SP, Jason Freaking Kendall C

Usually, I'd be mocking the team's ineptitude and mentioning how the best thing they have going for them is they're hosting the All-Star Game this year.  Instead, they're chock full of talent and on their way up in the AL Central.  Think '86 Twins or something.

They lost catcher Sal Perez this spring due to injury and made a move to bring in Humberto Quintero to catch.  This is a big downgrade, but the lineup still has a lot of upside.  They also lost Soria for the year.  A lot rides on whether Hosmer can keep trending up and whether Moustakas can avoid being Danny Valencia.  I think the first is likely but the second is unlikely.  Francoeur was actually quite good last year, but I have zero faith in that ocurring again.  Alex Gordon made a massive leap last year to the player they always though he could be.  Moving him to the lead-off spot is a gamble though. For a guy that's been used to batting in the middle of the lineup like a young Swan would, this is a big change. 

Oh Christ, what's with that come-over?

The Royales have some good, young starters and Luke Hochevar may be finally achieving some of the promise that was expected of him.  Danny Duffy is a talent as is Aaron Crow who is likely headed to the bullpen for now, but may move to the rotation.  With Soria being lost for the year, Greg Holland likely steps in ahead of Jon Broxton as closer.  Fat dudes get no love.

Hosmer looking ready to dominate.

I asked my esteemed internet friend, Dr. Detroit, for his comments on the Royales and here's what he had to say:

Jeff Francouer is now a five cat fantasy baseball stud. However, few know of the harrowing story of Francoeur's childhood when his brother Ned was caught sodomizing the family ferret. Jeff saved the ferret who ended up becoming the 34th governor of the great state of Alberta. To this day Francoeur credits the ferret for his prowess as baseball's pernnieal gold glove right fielder.

I dare you to tell me that's not 100% accurate.

Projected Lineup:

1. Alex Gordon LF
2. Chris Getz/Yuni 2B
3. Eric Hosmer 1B
4. Billy Butler DH
5. Mike Moustakas 3B
6. Jeff Francoeur RF
7. Lorenzo Cain CF
8. Humberto Quintero C
9. Alcides Escober SS

Projected Ro-Ro:

1. Luke Hochevar
2. Jonathan Sanchez
3. Bruce Chen
4. Felipe Paulino
5. Danny Duffy

Closer: Greg Holland/Aaron Crow/Zombie Soria

Thursday, March 22, 2012

AL Central Preview: Chicago White Sox

New Manager, No Buehrle Bear

It's always good times when your GM calls your upcoming season a "rebuilding year", which is what White Sox GM Kenny Williams has said.  Coming into 2012, the White Sox are a bit of a team without an identity as they lose gibberish-quote-a-minute manager Ozzie Guillen and replace him with former White Sox third baseman, Robin Ventura.  We all probably remember the ill-fated charging of Nolan Ryan, but at least one Sox fan believes it shows Robin's toughness.

Key Additions: Kosuke Fukudome OF, Dan Johnson 1B

Key Subtractions: Mark Buehrle SP, Carlos Quentin OF, Juan Pierre OF, Sergio Santos RP, Jason Frasor RP, Ramon Castro C

Buerhle looking svelte
 In 2011 the White Sox ended up 3rd in the AL Central with 79 wins.  They've since blown up their team: Buerhle, closer Sergio Santos, lead off man Juan Pierre and slugger Carlos Quentin are all gone. 
Mark Buehrle left by signing a 4 year, $58MM contract with the Miami Marlins.  This is a crapload of CASH for an old, soft-tossing, lefty.  Being that he's left-handed and doesn't throw hard, he's officially crafty though; so he's got that going for him.  Buehrle's 161 wins with the Sox is the 6th most in franchise history.  Santos was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for minor league pitcher Nestor Molina after saving 30 games in his first year as a closer for the White Sox.  Pierre led off for the White Sox for the last two seasons, stealing a whopping 68 bases in 2010, but his best years are behind him and he's looking at a bench role in Philadelphia.  Carlos Quentin hit 20+ homers for all four of his years with the White Sox, but has never been able to match the output of his first full season where he finished 5th in MVP voting.  Quentin was traded to the Padres for two AAA starting pitchers.

The additions aren't much to speak of as the White Sox look to give some of their young players a shot.  Kosuke Fukudome spent 4 years with the Cubs and displayed some on base ability but little pop and not much speed.  He'll likely be the 4th outfielder for the ChiSox.  Dan Johnson was invited to spring camp as well, but he's only worth mentioning for his epic pinch-hit homerun last year that helped oust the Red Sox from the playoffs and that he went to Blaine High School.  He's probably ticketed for the a bench role or the minors.  Here's a pretty hot reporter recapping that night:

2012 Outlook

The pitching looks solid with some veteran starters that can be successful and prospect lefty Chris Sale in the 5 spot.  There are no Cy Young threats here, but they're definitely better than what our beloved Twins are throwing out there.  The bullpen also has some talent with veterans Crain and Thornton and 23 year old flamethrower Addison Reed on the back end. 

The lineup is full of question marks.  De Aza had a great 150 at bats for the Sox last year, but I'm not sure he gets anywhere near .300 over a full season.  Ramirez and Konerko are solid pros and Dunn and Rios and Beckham are all looking to rebound.  Dunn had an all-time terrible 2010 and was paid a boatload to flounder like I do on the golf course.  Viciedo is a young Cuban with 20+ homerun power and Morel showed signs of life late in the year; so they both have upside.  I assume Cubans Viciedo and Alexei Ramirez smoke cigars and listen to awesome music in the clubhouse post-game.

We'll always love you, Ozzie
 2012 Projected Lineup

1. Alejandro De Aza, CF
2. Alexei Ramirez, SS
3. Paul Konerko, 1B
4. Adam Dunn, DH
5. Dayan Viciedo, LF
6. Alex Rios, RF
7. AJ Pierzynski, C
8. Brent Morel, 3B
9. Gordon Beckham, 2B

2012 Projected Rotation

1. Gavin Floyd RHP
2. John Danks, LHP
3. Jake Peavy, RHP
4. Phillip Humber, RHP
5. Chris Sale, LHP

Closer: Matt Thornton/Jesse Crain

Friday, March 16, 2012

Dunjpost 3 - Gopher Hockey Edition


I was flipping back and forth between watching Michigan and Duke shit in their mess kit and the Gophers crushing Susan. I reveled in the apocalyptic misery of the pretentious fucks from the marquee programs as they ended, then turned all of my attention to watching the rodents finish off [name redacted].

Then the dumpster fire of all dumpster fires started. At the start of the third period, it was 3-1. The Gophers were outshooting Dakota by orders of magnitude. Sue fans were hoping for the opportunity to shit on all of the Gopher fans. Then, Goal. Goal. Goal. Goal. Goal. All for the gnome worshipers to the north. We curl up in the fetal position with nary a whisper. Bang, we lose 6-3.

This shit is going to happen sometimes, I get that. But it consistently happens here to all of our major sports. Mason, Monson, Tubbi, now Lucia. It's one thing to fold up against a superior opponent, which is likely the case with the hapless basketball team this year; it's quite another to do so against an inferior team who who was on the ropes for the better part of 50 minutes. To say nothing of the fact that it was our biggest hockey rival. Glen Mason would have given the Miyagi nod to the performance tonight. As MV from FBT suggested, it hearkened back to 'The Punt' from the 2005 Wisconsin game. Let's celebrate that shit.

Fuck everything. I should have gone to a different school. Or been born in a different country.