Unwarranted Predictions For an Unlikely 2011 MLB Season: AL West (Humor)

Matt RichardsContributor IJanuary 8, 2011

ANAHEIM, CA - OCTOBER 1:  Tim Salmon #15 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim waits to bat during his final game against the Oakland Athletics on October 1, 2006 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California. The Athletics won 11-10 in extra innings.  (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim:

The Angels players, all personally offended by the public’s plea for outside help, will rally behind the return of Kendry Morales and Tim Salmon. 

Torii Hunter, who for so long called for Carl Crawford to become a Halo, will pretend he was happy with the roster all along. 

At the same time owner Arte Moreno will claim that he believed in the players within the organization enough not to spend money on big name free agents. 

The players themselves, however, will only use their anger towards Moreno as motivation to not only win each game but also to slaughter their opponent in any way possible.

On May 20, Torii Hunter will hit a walk-off homerun against the Atlanta Braves, and in the ensuing celebration he will break his leg, much like Morales, only there will be player testimonies that do not add up.  An investigation will follow. 

Brandon Wood, relegated to executive ball-boy, sorry, executive ball-man, will find hope in his new role. 

He will meet the soul of Derek Jeter (Because New York stripped it from him) who will guide him on an out-of-body experience to see how to fix his career.  It may sound ridiculous, but so does his .382 OPS in 81 games last year. 

In around mid-September it will slowly come out that the Angels organization is actually an elaborate 50 year-long police sting to uncover the mob’s involvement in baseball, thus explaining why Crawford and Adrian Beltre kept their distance. 

Also, the organization will be disbanded when said information is leaked by Julian Assange.


Oakland Athletics:

The pitching staff, led by future Tim Hudson, future Mark Mulder, and future Barry Zito will rally around the assumption that if they make the playoffs a movie will be made about their triumphs.

Around July 15, with the A’s in the wild-card hunt, GM Billy Beane will convince Yankee GM Brian Cashman to trade Nick Swisher back to Oakland while eating 90% of his salary. 

Then Swisher will grow his hair back to its appropriate length and use his power stroke and cowboy attitude to make the offense believe in itself for the stretch run. 

Breakout star of 2011 will be 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff who finally loosens up at the plate and stops swinging at pitches buried in the dirt. 

Seriously though, Kouz hits like I’d imagine Macaulay Culkin might swing a bat while he light-heartedly tries to defend his home from inept thieves. 

I might be a little off-topic but whenever Kouzmanoff steps into the batter’s box my heart sinks a little inside. 

It’s like the world is darker, the clouds form above and rain pours down, so yes even God wants to avoid watching his at bats.  But hey his defense his above average, so there’s that. 

The A’s failure to sign Adrian Beltre may seem like a bad thing, and that’s because it is.

Finally, the search for a new ballpark will end when the organization says “to hell with it” and starts playing at a local high school field.  The high school team will take over the Coliseum and attendance will see a slight increase. 

Seattle Mariners:

With Ichiro threatening to return to Japan unless the Mariners avoid last place, the Mariners will avoid last place.  Infielder Chone Figgins, wanting to prove his worth to himself, will enter Spring Training having gained 20 pounds of muscle.

By July 15, he will have hit 40 home runs, bumping the team total to 43.  Ichiro will be overshadowed and will then retire. 

Because of their fabulous third-place finish, Felix Hernandez will not be traded as he will donate over half of each paycheck back to the organization to blow on other mediocre pitchers and washed up outfielders. 

Then, making a sudden and unwarranted “game-changer” the Mariners will unsuccessfully trade for Cliff Lee. 

The Phillies will turn down the offer, but using outside, somewhat legal help the Mariners will quietly acquire Lee and put him in a Vargas jersey because no one knows who that player is anyway.

Once the media catches on, the Seattle organization will cover its ears and, in unison, repeat the phrase “na na na na na na na na I can’t hear you, you words don’t affect us because we have special shields that only we can see.” 

After a few weeks everyone will give up.  The move, however, will not help as Lee is unmotivated and finds a way to injure his right pinky. 

While searching for success, Justin Smoak will toy with the idea of adding a knuckleball to his arsenal, and oh yeah he’s going to become a starting pitcher.  Smoak will fit in nicely in the No. 2 slot in the rotation.   

Texas Rangers:

Coming off of their terrific pennant-winning season in 2010, the Texas Rangers will struggle to replicate their success in 2011 due to Adrian Beltre’s mere presence. 

Beltre will constantly walk around “making it rain” in the face of good ol’ hardworking players like Colby Lewis and C.J. Wilson. 

Michael Young, like Mariners’ SP Justin Smoak, will make the transition from 1B/DH to pitcher as part of a 2011 movement that will be aptly named “Year of the Pitcher, Again.” 

Around June 1, after Beltre’s move to the leadoff spot in order to really “shake things up” as stated by manager Ron Washington, the team will go on a relatively long winning streak, taking two in a row from the Cleveland Indians

As part of that same “shake up,” Neftali Feliz will finally be removed from the closer role and put on the gear as the next great catcher. 

Washington will explain the move by saying that it improves the team’s overall “WAR” and reporters will wonder if he knows what that means. 

For the rest of the season fans will call for a replacement to Washington, and finally Nolan Ryan will hold a press conference only to announce his return to the mound, “but only as a closer,” he will explain.  


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