What Every MLB Team's Most Optimistic, Pessimistic Fans Are Saying About 2013
Every year, MLB fans enter the season with hope and expectations of a World Series title.
Soon after, reality sets in as fans discover their team is not as good as they thought.
Then, there are those fans who are in the "I'll believe it when I see it" category. Many of those get surprised at how well their team performs once the season gets going.
So, what are fans saying about 2013?
Here's a look at each team's most optimistic and pessimistic fans.
Most baseball fans were surprised in 2012 when the Baltimore Orioles went 93-69 and made the playoffs.
This year, however, the Orioles won't be sneaking up on anyone.
Many writers, including CBS Sports' Jon Heyman feel like the Orioles did nothing to improve themselves this offseason.
To say that, means there is some optimism even among people who follow the game and don't have a dog in the fight.
Some writers think 2012 was all luck. And, as Drew Forrester of wnst.net found out, some fans took exception to that. From Purple Kelly:
Great! More Debbie Downer crap. (DF: LOL. You people are funny. The only opinion anyone is allowed to have is the one that says “everything around here is great, even if the team didn’t actually do anything worthwhile all winter.” No wonder the team lost for so long. The fans are part of the problem…)
Then again, some posters felt the writer was being too optimistic. From BK:
Drew, even you are being too optimistic. I don’t think there is anyway this team is a .500 club again this year. No chance, except for chance, that they win 80 games. Once lucky winning season does not make up for 15 years of getting abused and lied to as a fan and that could not be more evident by this offseason! If fans have forgotten that this quickly, then we once again have no hope in the near future as a baseball franchise.
NONE of these moves have anything to do with winning or caring about the fans. They are all predicated on lining Angelos’ pockets, MASN, and showing MLB how we compare to Washington financially so Angelos’ can continue to hold MLB’s feet to the fire about the damage Washington has done to ‘his’ franchise.
It is hard to think the Orioles can do the same as they did last year.
Then again, it's baseball and anything can happen.
Boston Red Sox
The 2012 season couldn't end fast enough for the Boston Red Sox.
Now that Bobby Valentine is gone, things should be better in Boston...right?
There's a new manager in town and some fans feel like they have some things to say.
On the field, the Red Sox made some improvements, signing free agents Ryan Dempster, Mike Napoli and Shane Victorino, among others.
Many fans are excited about Boston's chances, even after only a few days of game action in Spring Training.
Joe Lucia, a blogger on Bloguin feels 2013 could have the possibility of being worse than 2012.
It's not a stretch to say that the Red Sox will be better in 2013. In fact, I'm sure everyone is expecting that. But there were a lot of bad vibes in 2012 around this team that could carry over to 2013, even with a whole crop of new players aboard, and turn 2013 into an even bigger nightmare.
New York Yankees
The New York Yankees didn't go on a spending spree this offseason, instead deciding to be frugal with their money.
After all, aging veterans like Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter are taking up a lot of salary with their bloated contracts.
Now, Curtis Granderson is out for the next 10 weeks.
Let the panic begin in New York.
Some fans of opposing teams have weighed in on the subject as well.
The Yankees will be okay. They have 11 players who will make $10 million or more this year, although Rodriguez and Granderson are among them.
At least there are some who keep it all in perspective.
Tampa Bay Rays
The Tampa Bay Rays lost a few good pieces during the offseason, which begs the question—can they compete?
With the loss of James Shields and B.J. Upton, the Rays are slotting young guys in their positions.
According to ESPN, which took a fan vote, things aren't looking good in the AL East for the Rays:
Then again, that's just the fans' vote and means nothing. Who knows, it could have been like the All-Star voting where certain teams' fans flood the ballot box.
One fan does put things into perspective when looking at the predictions from ESPN.
If people really think the @raysbaseball will finish last you are on something Last time I checked half the Yankees were on social security— Robcat Williams (@RobcatWilliams) February 26, 2013
The Rays still have great young starting pitching and a good lineup around Evan Longoria.
Only time will tell if the predictions are right or if the Rays will once again finish at or near the top of the division.
Toronto Blue Jays
The Toronto Blue Jays made the biggest moves of the offseason as they acquired a king's ransom of players.
New in town is reigning NL Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey, Jose Reyes, Emilio Bonifacio, Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle.
As seen in the previous slide, fans are predicting the Blue Jays to win the division.
With all of the new acquisitions, some fans have even gone as far as to predict records:
Then there are those fans who call out TV personalities for their predictions:
I'm with Ian on this one. I would think the Nationals have the best rotation in baseball.
The Blue Jays definitely improved in the offseason, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. They still haven't made the playoffs since 1993.
Chicago White Sox
The Chicago White Sox are another one of those teams that didn't do much in the offseason.
Even though the AL Central is generally weak outside of the Tigers, the White Sox didn't do themselves any favors this offseason.
However, some fans think that an early "undefeated" spring training is something to be excited about:
There's still a long way to go in the Spring Training, and it means nothing in the end.
Generally, fans would rather see their teams struggle during the spring and get the kinks worked out.
Case in point, the Giants went 18-15 in Spring Training last year and went on to win the World Series, while the Blue Jays had the best record at 24-7 and failed to make the playoffs.
At least some fans do understand the fact that it is just Spring Training.
I think it will be safe to say the White Sox won't be starting out the regular season like the Blackhawks. It could happen, but with Washington and Toronto on the schedule early, it doesn't look good.
The Cleveland Indians made a couple big signings this offseason in Nick Swisher and Mark Reynolds.
While the rotation will continue to be the problem in 2013, at least the team has made some strides, unlike others.
Even with the stigma of being a town without a title in a long time, Cleveland fans are excited about baseball season, especially considering the Indians have had a good start to spring.
Even at 5-0, there are a few things to take into consideration:
#Indians have scored most runs thru 5 games in Spring Training w/48; 16 more than next closest team. They also have given up most runs w/34.— Eric (@illstr8r) February 26, 2013
The hitting is there, and should be all season. But, the Tribe's success starts and ends with pitching. If it's not there, then it's going to be a long season.
The Detroit Tigers looked to have one of the strongest teams in baseball last year. That was until they ran into the Giants in the World Series.
However, the Tigers return most of their team from last year and get back Victor Martinez from injury.
The Tigers definitely look good on paper, and it will be interesting to see how the season works out.
One fan went out of his way to make actual stat predictions for his Tigers:
I'll be the first to say that prediction for Miguel Cabrera may be a little ambitious, but to each his own.
One thing Detroit fans must remember is that Jose Valverde is gone and Bruce Rondon is the new closer in town.
In his first action of the spring, Rondon was a little wild.
But, as dopacu unplugged points out:
Of course Rondon was a little too hyper, what young rookie wouldn't be? Pretty darn impressive that he STRUCK OUT the final 2 to end a scoreless inning. For crying out loud, it's just the 2nd game of SPRING TRAINING & Bruce's 1ST OUTING!!!! Why even mention his name in the same breath with Valerde?
Kansas City Royals
So, it looks like the Kansas City Royals are finally trying to go out and make a splash in the AL Central.
After having one of the better farms systems in baseball the last few years, the Royals went out and finally got the ace they were desperately seeking in James Shields.
Now, the ace is there, the hitting just has to catch up.
Some fans know it all starts with the basics:
Dear #Royals, if you could continue to go 10 for 16 with RISP for the season, I would love you long time.— Jon Hildebrand (@snoopj123) February 26, 2013
Even with those stats, there is still one area that could soon be a concern:
Hosmer hit .232 last year with a .304 on-base percentage. If he's going to stay in that No. 3 hole, he's going to have to show some improvement.
Is there really any hope for the Minnesota Twins this year?
After trading away Denard Span and Ben Revere in the offseason, the Twins have even more questions in their lineup.
Can Justin Morneau finally return to form? How about Joe Mauer?
This year will be a huge test for the organization as a bad year could likely spell disaster for years to come.
There are a few people out there that have hope for 2013:
Sadly, without much to depend on, that faith may be gone by the end of May.
The Houston Astros are another team headed for disaster in 2013.
Not only are the Astros lacking in star power, they're also moving into the AL West, which is not something to look forward to.
Instead of getting to play the Cubs and Pirates a bunch of times every year, the Astros now get the Rangers, Angels, A's and Mariners.
Isn't that a trade you would like to make?
While not much is expected, some comments people have made are just head-scratchers.
While he is a Tigers' fan and not an Astros, I can't help but post the tweet. The Tigers and Astros aren't in the same division. No rivalry here.
At least the Astro fans are real about their chances:
Sucks to see your team sucking all year round! Including spring training haha! #astros— JayDashRod(@LeeBaseball5) February 26, 2013
Los Angeles Angels
The Los Angeles Angels made a huge splash in the offseason by signing Josh Hamilton and trading for Tommy Hanson.
Los Angeles filled in some of the missing pieces this offseason and look as if they can not only contend in the division, but also in the American League.
The addition of Hamilton has gotten many fans excited:
With the signings, some fans are a little cocky. This tweet came in response to a Red Sox fan who was excited about watching his team play:
Those are some harsh words for a non-division foe.
With the Angels' new spending habits, is this the way fans are going to be now?
The Oakland Athletics surprised many by their performance in 2012.
With Billy Beane's spending habits a thing of lore, the Athletics showed they can compete.
Will 2013 be any different?
Watching Moneyball again...I'm ok with that. #Athletics— Tina Homdus (@TinaHomdus) February 26, 2013
For some Oakland fans, this is what works. They look at the payroll and wonder how the team can compete in the division, let alone the American League.
Then, they watch Moneyball and all is good.
However, there are some fans who think a lot about spring-training stats and feel they are worth mentioning:
It's Spring Training. Stats mean nothing in this realm.
The Seattle Mariners bolstered their lineup in the offseason with the addition of Michael Morse and Kendrys Morales.
The power is in the middle of the lineup. Now, the only question is (outside of Felix Hernandez) do the Mariners have what it takes in the rotation?
One Seattle fan says he knows the key to the season:
I maintain that the Astros are the key to the #Mariners season. Go 15-4 against the 'stros, and .500-ish against the rest. Viola! 86 wins!— P_Whit (@MarinerMagic) February 26, 2013
That's an interesting observation.
However, what if every other team in the division goes 15-4 against the Astros? You have to play better than .500 ball the rest of the schedule if you want to make the playoffs.
It's nice to know that the Astros are the key to someone's season.
Then, there are those who have the highest expectations for the Mariners:
It's going to take more than King Felix for Seattle to get there.
The Texas Rangers lost a lot during the offseason.
Gone are Josh Hamilton, Mike Napoli and Michael Young from the lineup. Frankly speaking, that's not easy to replace.
After Josh Hamilton's harsh words for the Rangers, some fans did something almost unthinkable:
Okay, maybe that was a little dramatic, but can you blame Texas fans?
Some fans aren't happy with the way the Rangers are performing in Spring Training:
I can understand her frustrations. After all, the Rangers are 0-3 to start Spring Training and batting .214 as a team. Whatever will they do?
As of note, the Angels are 0-4 in Spring Training, although they do have a .289 team batting average.
The Atlanta Braves made some big moves this offseason.
They started the offseason by signing free agent B.J. Upton. Then, they traded for his brother, Justin.
In the move, the Braves gave up Martin Prado, among others. It's a move some Braves fans are still unhappy with.
Forget the fact that the Braves now have the best outfield in baseball. Prado is gone and some fans will never get over that.
Still, they have to move on and get ready for this season.
There are many fans, who understand why the move was made and what it could mean for 2013:
I don't know what it is, but something tells me that the #Braves are going to be exciting this year, really, really exciting!— Matthew Sadorf M.A. (@MattyDorf) February 26, 2013
With another solid starting rotation and a lineup that could compete with any in the American League, the Braves have a definite upside this year.
I feel sorry for Miami Marlin fans. I really do.
Their owner is more concerned about making money off the city than putting a winning team on the field.
So, what do Miami fans have to look forward to this offseason after the team was gutted in the offseason?
Since then, there's only been one thing on the minds of Marlin fans:
Loria does not understand baseball and he isdelusional.I couldn't not even stomach the entire audio,what a joke this guy is #Marlins— Joel The Mouth (@_JoelTheMouth) February 26, 2013
Marlins fans have lost respect for the owner and it won't be surprising to see attendance numbers dip below where they were last year.
New York Mets
The New York Mets traded away R.A. Dickey, but they got some good prospects in return from Toronto.
While the trade likely won't do much for the Mets this year, it does set them up for success in the future.
Some fans realize that as well:
Then comes this blockbuster rumor:
While the author admits the deal likely won't happen, I'm sure most Met fans were giddy when they saw the headline.
The Philadelphia Phillies made some improvements this offseason, but age will still be a factor on the team.
However, even with age, as long as the main players are healthy, the Phillies will be fine in 2012.
Some fans believe the Phillies will return to their dominance once again:
everyone's talking braves and nats...but a healthy utley? that big 3 rotation? I'm not concerned #phillies— Mike Mullen (@mike_mullen3) February 26, 2013
There are others, who aren't as confident and take their worries to a higher power:
Dear god, please let the #Phillies be good this year. I can't handle any more disappointments from Philly sports.— Sandi(@s_westt) February 26, 2013
Sad thing is, it's something Philly fans may have to get used to.
But it's okay. Cleveland and Atlanta fans are right there with you.
The Washington Nationals owned most of the National League last year and will be looking to do the same in 2013.
There were some nice additions in Rafael Soriano and Denard Span.
However, there's one player Nats fans are excited about more than any:
That's right. Stephen Strasburg will be pitching for an entire season as long as he doesn't get injured.
We already know the Nationals will contend for the division title. Now, it's about winning the National League.
With Strasburg in the rotation, those chances are greatly increased.
Most thought the Chicago Cubs would do more this offseason.
Alas, the only move of significance is the signing of Edwin Jackson.
So, is there really much to expect from the Cubs this year?
There are some fans who really don't get it. They actually think a good start to Spring Training actually means something.
The #Cubs are 2-1 in spring training. I'm keeping a level head, but I feel safe in saying I'll be making October plans this year.— Adam Senn (@AdamSenn1) February 26, 2013
So, forget the 162-game regular season. The rest of the members of the NL Central might as well call it a season. Clearly the Cubs are the better team.
The Cincinnati Reds enter the year as my favorite to win the division.
With the addition of Shin-Soo Choo to the top of the lineup, the Reds look to have a lineup that could compete in the American League.
For some fans, the World Series is a must this year:
The Reds have been in the hunt the last few years, but just haven't been able to get the job done when it counted.
This year, however, it's plainly obvious to Reds fans.
The Milwaukee Brewers are one of those "tweener" teams.
They could be good or they could be bad. It just all depends on how the first few weeks of the season turn out.
As of now, the Brewers are without Corey Hart to begin the year and must depend on Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez to carry the load like they've done before.
One fan gives some food for thought in terms of the catching situation:
34 days until #Brewers Opening Day. The Brewers were 34-24 in games Martin Maldonado started at catcher in 2012.— Joe Robinson (@JoeDRobinson4) February 26, 2013
Maybe he's the key to the whole season.
Of course, then there's the rotation:
Every time I find myself thinking the #Brewers are going to be a playoff contender, I just take a look at that rotation. It ain't happening.— Ben Oehler (@Ben_Oehler) February 25, 2013
Outside of Yovani Gallardo, there's some proving that has to go on within the Brewers' rotation. It's not exactly one to get excited about.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are slowly crawling back into relevance.
It all started last year and looks to continue in 2013.
Can the Pirates make the playoffs?
Pirate fans have shown their excitement for the middle of the lineup. And why not?
It's a lineup that can do damage if they're hitting like we all know they're capable of.
And, don't forget the addition of Russell Martin behind the plate. He could be the x-factor to the whole season.
But, one thing must be pointed out.
Only professional sports team with 20 consecutive losing seasons. #PittsburghPirates— Jeff L (@jeffleg1) February 25, 2013
It wasn't that long ago when the streak was still alive.
Will a new streak begin this year?
St. Louis Cardinals
The St. Louis Cardinals took advantage of the new wild-card playoff and advanced in the playoffs.
No matter what Atlanta fans say, the "infield-fly" call was the right one and should have been made...at least according to Cardinal fans.
This year, the Cardinals already have some strikes against them. Chris Carpenter is done for the year and Kyle Lohse is gone. Which means, the rotation has some gaps in it.
For some fans, explanations are really needed with their tweets:
@cardinals Allen Craig is a BEAST.... Birds are gunna go yack town sooooooo many times this year— Brandon Nieder (@bnieder23) February 25, 2013
Of course, there's the rivalry between the Cubs and Cardinals, which is always good with a few pleasant jabs:
@cardinals a lot of people are Cubs fans because they can't afford World Series tickets!!Ha ha Go Cards!— Tara Lloyd (@TaraMLloyd) February 25, 2013
The big move of the offseason for the Arizona Diamondbacks was trading Justin Upton to the Braves.
In return, the Braves got Martin Prado, Randall Delgado and a bunch of prospects.
But, will that translate into success in 2013?
Some fans may already be wanting to turn back the clock to before the trade:
At least Prado is hitting .429 with four RBI so far. So, there is something good from the trade.
The Colorado Rockies are always going to have decent hitting, but playing in Coors Field doesn't entice many pitchers to want to come to Denver.
Colorado has struggled for most of the last decade with few years of success.
Sadly, 2013 doesn't look any brighter than 2012.
Some fans are just delusional when it comes to their favorite teams:
I don't think I need to address this, but it does give you a good laugh.
At least some fans know they're guaranteed to watch wins:
Sadly, if the pitching doesn't improve within the organization, that might be the best way for Colorado fans to see their team win night-in and night-out.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers have a loaded team...on paper.
With the addition of Zack Greinke, among others, the Dodgers look to have a starting rotation that matches the offense.
With everything the Dodgers have in the clubhouse, there are obviously some expectations:
I would have to agree with the tweet. The Dodgers went out and spent the money, now the players must produce (at the very least) a division crown.
Most Dodger fans are in that same boat and won't be happy if those expectations don't come to fruition...especially, if the Giants win the division.
San Diego Padres
What happened to all of this new-found money the San Diego Padres were supposed to have to spend this offseason?
With new ownership, fans thought the wallets would open up a little. Sadly, they didn't.
On the prospect side of things, most teams have at least a few of their top prospects close to the big leagues. However, the Padres really don't, outside of Jedd Gyorko.
Starting to sketch out this year's preseason Top 25. One immediately obvious fact: much of team's top group is pretty far away. #padres— Padres Prospects (@PadresProspects) February 26, 2013
This year may be a struggle as well as the Padres don't have any real impact players that are set to hit the big leagues this year or next.
San Francisco Giants
Finally, we end this with the San Francisco Giants...the reigning world champs.
With the Giants returning most of their team from last year, it's hard not to make them the favorites to win it again.
Because of their past success, many are picking them to beat the spend-happy Dodgers.
Consider Tim Lincecum also had an off-year, so things could be even better this year.
The Giants have all the right pieces in place to get the job done for the third time in four years.