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How The West Was Won: Opening Statements

August 1, 2010

Berndon brings us his newest column, "How the West was Won," that takes a deeper look at the race for the division crown in the NL West. For the first post of the series, he takes a unique viewpoint, looking at the division from the player's perspectives:
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B, San Diego Padres:
I, Adrian, know that my Padres will win the NL West. And to think, I wasn't even supposed to be on the team at this point of the season. I'll admit we do thrive on pitching and defense. But putting all modesty aside, I'm pretty damn good at hitting the baseball. Do you really think I'd have 21 HR and 65 RBI if I played in Philly or Colorado? We do it with pitching and defense mostly, but last time I checked, it's worked pretty well for teams in the past. I mean, do you really feel comfortable hitting against our bullpen? Heath Bell, Luke Gregerson, Mike Adams, etc. You could go on and on. And that doesn't even begin to mention our starters. Plus we're scrappy as hell. I think scrappy is literally Eckstein's middle name. And did you see Everth Cabrera almost get in a fight with Mark Reynolds the other day? We beat L.A. again Thursday night, showing off our pitching ( 13 K's, 3 hits allowed), and how everyone on our team can come through at any time (Oscar Salazar with the game-winning RBI single in the 9th).  Oh yeah, and now we have Miggy to hit behind me. Not only are we going to win the West, we're taking home-field too.

Buster Posey, C, San Fransisco Giants:
I, Buster, know that my Giants will win the NL West. Everybody knew me before as a prospect. But I feel like I've proven, in my short stay in The Show, that I can be the NL's answer to Joe Mauer. We've been known for our starting pitching the last couple of years but with Aubrey Huff and Juan Uribe having career years, Andres Torres coming out of nowhere at the top of our lineup, and Pablo Sandoval about to go off at just about any time now; Timmy, Matt Cain, and Zito don't have to carry us. And to go into "coachspeak" from the most famous coach from my alma mater, FSU, "by golly gosh darn it, this hitting big league pitching thing is kind of easy." In case you haven't noticed, I can mash. The Padres are going down.

James Loney, 1B, Los Angeles Dodgers:
I, James Loney, am pissed off that I even have to put my last name in there to illustrate who I am. I'm arguably the best and most consistent hitter on our team. People knock me because I can't hit bombs, but I hit one at Petco on Thursday, where fly balls that are homers everywhere else go to die. And I have 66 RBI. I also play a little D, as I made 3 highlight reel plays the other night to save Vicente's behind against the Mets. We've been playing in October the last two seasons, and I don't see any reason why we can't go again this year. We're only 6 back, and we get the Padres in our place starting again Monday. We're going to get Manny back, Eithier and Furcal will get hot again, and Matt Kemp is the most talented player in the game. He can put us on his back at anytime. Clayton Kershaw is a stud, Billingsley is a horse, and Kuroda and Padilla are better than what most teams have at 3 and 4. Broxton throws about 127 MPH, and Kuo is impossible to hit against. As for me, I'm just going to keep knocking in runs, making plays on D, and staying out of the spotlight. Be scared San Diego, I know you still hear us.


Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Colorado Rockies:
I, Tulo, believe my Rockies are going to win the NL West. And if not, then we'll just get the Wild Card again. Either way, we're going to be there at the end. I mean, check our resume. Do you not remember what we did last year? And not to toot my own horn, but I've been out for a while. I can be the NL's Derek Jeter, running everything from short and providing leadership to go along with homers and web gems. Carlos Gonzalez showed what he's capable of last October, and he's picked right where he left off. There aren't any easy outs in our lineup, we even have guys like Giambi and Melvin Mora ON OUR BENCH. We're deeper than you, Ubaldo is going to get 30 wins, Huston Street is back, and most importantly, we've been in this position before. We like being down and counted out, in fact, we thrive on it. So watch out boys, if you want to get to October, you're going to have to come to Denver and take it from us.

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