17. Kansas City Royals
And they’ll never be royal (royal). It only runs in their blood…and is their actual team name. Apparently the Royals inspired Lorde to write her hit song Royals. I guess we’ve just witnessed Billy Butler’s peak performance over the past two years, it doesn’t look like he’s going to overcome his personal mountain of 2 stolen bases a season. We’re all rooting for ya Billy…I’m still in disbelief he managed any. It must be bittersweet for Royals fans to see Wil Myers play so well for the Rays when they only got a short-term rental on James Shields…and I guess Wade Davis too. Honestly if the Rays were interested in any of my teams prospects, that prospect would become a whole lot more interesting for me. I’d just have the Rays come look at my organization and see who they wanted, then that’s how I’ll figure out whose good on my team. I have a lot of respect for Royals fans, this team has been bad for longer than I can remember. And as much as ESPN and Cardinals fans want you to believe that they have the best fans, a notion that’s ridiculous to begin with, but if I’m going to believe this facade I would nominate Royal fans being the best. There are no bandwagon fans here…and I don’t think there ever will be. Like it’s really tough to be a Cardinals fan when they always make the right decision. Royals fans just saw a future star traded away and attendance went way up because the organization was desperately trying to get wins. And it worked. This is the true underdog and I hope they do their best.
16. Los Angeles Angels
The Angels signed the biggest free agent this offseason to an exorbitant long-term deal that they will regret in the future…wait sorry, that was Seattle this year. You’d think they would learn from watching how successful the Angels have been, I mean they’re only division rivals. This team just has to improve right? Last time it took Joe Gordon Levitt and some intense praying to help this team, but now they’ve upgraded to a God. TroutGod. The Angels traded away Mark Trumbo for young promising pitchers Tyler Skaggs and Hector Santiago. It seemed that the Angels learned a lesson from last year when they traded for young promising pitcher Tommy Hanson, trade for young promising pitchers not coming off any major arm surgery. Got it. Now reunited with best Cardinal buddy Albert Pujols, David Freese is also primed for a return to former glory. Maybe both these players only needed each other to rekindle the magic. With a bounce back campaign from Pujols and TroutGod being himself, this Angels team can be a major contender in the AL West, I just don’t know if it’ll be enough to beat behemoth division rivals Rangers and A’s.
15. Baltimore Orioles
They play in the AL East…so yeah, life’s tough. This team actually reminds me a lot of the Blue Jays. A strong offensive and good enough team, but stuck in the brutal AL East. Who knew they’d be so similar? This pitching staff is about to be lead by Ubaldo Jiminez. Someone who I believe made adjustments last year to become a much better pitcher and was actually one of the best pitchers after the all star break. Unfortunately he now pitches in Camden Yards and against the AL East half the year. Chris Davis and Adam Jones probably hit the best that they ever will last year, which resulted in a tie for 3rd in the division… Stud pitching prospect Dylan Bundy underwent Tommy John surgery and Manny Machado had knee surgery, the future looks sketchy. Also I have problems buying the hype on Manny Machado and Dylan Bundy when this team has hyped Matt Wieters for what seems like forever. And they still believe in him. Do I have to remind you of wietersfacts.com? Can we maybe just accept that this is about all we’re going to get from Wieters? He’s no Joe Mauer. The Orioles have to walk a thin wire to come out on top the AL East.
14. San Francisco Giants
Wait didn’t these guys win a World Series 2 years ago? With pretty much the same key pieces that are currently still playing for them? So why aren’t they ranked higher? Wait they lost Barry Zito?! Never mind this team’s doomed. Okay so they still play in an incredibly weak division, they still have Buster Posey, Bruce Bochy is still coaching for them, their pitching is still pretty good… I mean it’s no Barry Zito, but still. One thing I don’t like and don’t understand is the relationship between Brandon Belt and Bochy. I base this on Brandon seemingly having to compete for a starting job every spring training. Last year Belt finally broke out after getting significant playing time, and they reward him by giving him a 1 year 2 million dollar deal. I’m not feeling a ton of faith here. Kung Fu Panda is apparently in much better shape entering spring training, which is a Giants storyline every year. He has an awesome nickname, can he finally own up to it this year? Buster Posey is okay I guess, but can we all agree he has a ridiculous name? Okay buster…I miss the Brian Wilson…or at least his beard. Yeah he was overrated, but he was entertaining. I have giant expectations for this team.
13. Pittsburgh Pirates
First AJ Burnett then Russel Martin, I’m confident that if this team were to sign another “disgraced” Yankees this team would turn him around and make him better. Heck if the Yankees are somehow able to dump Arod on the Pirates next season, this team would win the World Series. Okay maybe not just washed up Yankee players, I mean this is the team that turned Francisco Liriano’s career around. Basically, all it took was some effective infield shifts and telling him to throw more sliders. I’m guessing the conversation went like “Hey Franny, remember when you were great with the Twins because that unhittable slider you threw? Even though it probably led to you getting Tommy John surgery? Yeah…we’re gonna need you to throw that again. I mean what do you got to lose?” All I took from that fake conversation was that they call Liriano Franny… So anyway, the Steelers just disappointed this city by not winning more often than they usually do and they’re hungry for wins. So let’s get them a Grilled Cheese. I love Jason Grilli’s nickname and his ridiculous intro. This team finally had a winning season last year after 20 consecutive losing seasons and after tasting victory it’s tough to go back. I think this team will be good for a long time, they just need some of their prospects to come up and deliver along side what they have now. Also Pirates>>>>Ninjas.