The baseball deities have inflicted an ancient Chinese curse upon the Mariners: the M’s play in the most interesting division in baseball.
I say that after seeing that the gang at Baseball Toaster have an American League West preview up. There’s a real diversity of opinions, especially about how the Rangers and A’s will finish. Looking at Seattle, though, they see the glass as half empty. Actually, most see a glass with a thin film of dust where water once existed.
The M’s are the only team that no one predicts will finish higher than third. Seven out of the nine writers pick Seattle to finish last.
Even though I’m picking the Mariners to finish third, too, I come away after reading the comments feeling much more optimistic about their chances than these folks. Two other elements of this preview surprised me as well.
First, what gives with the Ranger love? Regardless of how good that infield is, it’s hard to feel good about Ryan Drese: Opening Day Starter, harder still to feel good about the rest of their arms. Admittedly, I didn’t see Texas’ great leap forward last year coming, either, so I could be off-base about this.
Additionally, the group is utterly split on Oakland. They’re picked anywhere from first to third, with a couple of guys suggesting they could finish last. I don’t see the potential collapse that some do. Whatever else you want to say about a team that dealt two marquee arms, this is a pretty deep squad with a pretty deep system.
Thankfully, it’s about time for the predictions to stop serving as prologue, and for some people to start looking silly. Perhaps me.
And that’s fine with me, since much of the pleasure in baseball is watching unforeseen developments take shape. Whatever happens, it should be — what’s the word?
Oh yeah. Interesting.