Read Everything That Dunks Must Converge

Read Everything That Dunks Must Converge
by Bryan Harvey

Truth & lies in Pixar's 'The Good Dinosaur'

Truth & lies in Pixar's 'The Good Dinosaur'
by Bryan Harvey

A world of child soldiers & cowboys

A world of child soldiers & cowboys
by Bryan Harvey

To their own devices: Pablo Larrain's 'The Club'

To their own devices: Pablo Larrain's 'The Club'
by Bryan Harvey

MLB 2010 Preview: Steroid Era

April 6, 2010

For our 2010 MLB preview, we're lumping teams into the eras we feel they most resemble. This will cause our rankings to look more like Power Rankings than Divisional rankings, but, like most things at LCB, I wouldn't take any of it too literally. Enjoy, comment, critique, lambast.
Illusions are a weird thing, in the moments before you realize everything is a facade you find yourself enjoying life more than ever before. It's those moments when reality and illusion collide that everything can fall apart and the joy collapses into itself leaving you confused and angry. This was the truth in just about everything in the 90's and early 2000's. Our sluggers hit it long often, and we loved every second of it. It didn't matter that these men were more juiced up than the stud at the local track. Our stadiums became retro, we sat comfortably convincing ourselves this was the way baseball was meant to be enjoyed, sitting in a stadium that re-purposed old buildings while eating sushi and drinking microbrews. It didn't matter what neighborhoods were demolished in order for us to enjoy a game. Our food was delicious, it didn't matter that the animals were a byproduct of labs and chemicals we wouldn't subject our grass too. None of it mattered because we didn't know or care to know. We were just stuck in the moment enjoying the game for what it was.

Then the calendar shifted, records were broken, books were written, test results released, asterisk's affixed and we cared once more about things like integrity, or that headhunting was a form of integrity. We became angry. We scolded these men for their atrocities against the game. We still enjoyed the stadiums (because they're awesome), but even the stadiums were like a hall of mirrors, appearing to be from the days of the Babe and Teddy Ballgame when in reality they were not.  In reality, they were funhouses, where the outfield fence was always closer than it appeared, and the men who worked the Carnival like bearded ladies stole from the game through a gamut of cheap thrills and sleight of hand and deserved to face the music. However, were we really mad because they cheated or because we bought into their deceptions?

Carnival rides are never cheap and rarely are they safe.  All of these teams have flaws, but, if they angle the mirrors just right, then they just might pass themselves off as more than they are.

Chicago Cubs
Key Additions: Marlon Byrd (OF), Xavier Nady (OF)
Key Losses: Milton Bradley (OF), Kevin Gregg (CL), Rich Harden (SP)
Storyline to follow: It seems like just last year the Cubs were a couple outs from a World Series, but it's been almost 7 years. They still have the talent necessary to end a century's worth of agony. Dissolving maybe, but they have it. However if it doesn't happen this season, it could very well be a long time before we talk of them even being contenders let alone ending their seemingly endless list of curses.

Detroit Tigers 
Key Additions: Johnny Damon (OF), Max Scherzer (SP), Jose Valverde (CL)
Key Losses: Edwin Jackson (SP), Curtis Granderson (OF), Fernando Rodney (CL)
Storyline to follow: Jose Valverde thinks he can save 74 games this season (the record is 62). I don't really have anything to add, I just think its admirable yet annoyingly naive for someone to be that confident in his skills.

Los Angeles Dodgers
Key Additions: Jamey Carroll (INF)
Key Losses: Randy Wolf (SP), Orlando Hudson (2B)
Storyline to follow: If the pitching staff can match their output of a season ago, they may just find themselves in the same place they've been the past two seasons, the NLCS. If not, they could be joining the Padres as the ignored children of divorce. 

Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Key Additions: Rafael Soriano (CL)
Key Losses: Akinori Iwamura (2B)
Storyline to follow: Thanks to GM Andrew Friedman the Rays can boast one of the best rotations from start to finish and a youthful yet loaded squad. So why are they among these teams? Two reasons. The first is the most obvious, their division. The second, last season they couldn't close games late. And whether it was because of the bullpen or their youth, if they want to make a dent in the AL East it's something they have to improve upon. 

Texas Rangers
Key Additions: Vladimir Guerrero (OF/DH), Rich Harden (SP), Darren Oliver (RP) 
Key Losses: Kevin Millwood (SP), Marlon Byrd (OF), Hank Blalock (1B/DH)
Storyline to follow: Early in spring training, the Rangers announced that their manager Ron Washington tested positive for cocaine last season. They also added that he then completed the MLB's treatment program and even though he is not required he has continued with the program. So why bother announcing these sordid details after this much time has passed? My guess, they are just prepping for disappointment and this is their way of readying for a mid-season replacement.


Teach said...

Don't forget the Cubs have the new Zambrano; instead of getting mad, he just gets yanked.

April 6, 2010 at 6:29 PM
Langston said...

Yeah, if yesterday was any indication, we ranked Chicago in the wrong group.

April 6, 2010 at 7:13 PM

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