Saturday, January 1, 2011

Season 14 Preview - AL South


Little Rock Patriots
Projected Record: 105-57, 1st
Best Player: Fernando Carreras
Random Trivia: Ironically, the world's largest rock is located in...Australia.

As Mexico City falls, Little Rock rises.  After a back-and-forth battle for years over the coveted top spot of the once-powerhouse AL South, Little Rock has finally taken control and looks to be settling in for the long haul.  These are the champs, and you can bet teams will be gunning for them this time around.  However, with great young pitching and All-Stars like as Fernando Carreras at seemingly every position, the lone returning owner from the AL South will be on everyone's short list to make the Series for a number of years.
Atlanta Braves
Projected Record: 80-82, 2nd
Best Player: Gabe Iannone
Random Trivia: The Atlanta Braves is a very creative name.
Get in this owner's way, and he'll cut you.  Of course if you cut someone, he'll just claim him.  With less than 200 wins over the last 3 years, this team has been a mess for some time.  But the future is now, and his name is Gabe Iannone.  This kid has the makings of a superstar, and the only question is whether this team can put together enough behind him to make things interesting.  Young, hungry, and with help on the way in the form of Gary Cressend, the question is whether that will be enough for these fans who have contemplated switching the bags on their heads from paper to plastic.

Tampa Bay Florida Retirees
Projected Record: 79-83, 3rd
Best Player: Gary Gutierrez
Random Trivia: Contrary to popular belief, most of the team isn't actually retired.

This team had more turnovers than a European bakery.  Austin saw last year's colossal disappointment, Dernell Wilkerson, head north to Milwaukee and Rube Pierre exiled even further to Vancouver.  The team had an active offseason with the signings of the hard-swinging Pepe Perez and gloveman Pedro Johnson to bolster a team that includes former MVP Gary Gutierrez.  But the future for Tampa fans looks even better than an early bird special as with the impending callup of juicer Roger Clemens and strong-armed prospect Ivan Gonzalez, this team has the makings of a winner and that could start as soon as this season.

San Antonio LoneStars
Projected Record: 60-102,4th
Best Player: Benito Palacios
Random Trivia:  No one actually remembers the Alamo.

Who are these guys, and what did they do with the former republic of Mexico City?  The term "rebuilding" doesn't quite do this team justice.  This was a complete demolition job, and the lone star left is Benito Palacios, who is currently rehabbing a herniated disc in his neck from watching the balls fly over the fence.  With that said, we like the commitment to the tear-down and the acquisition of young motivated players like Virgil Vizcaino and Carl Laker.   But for now, hold tight and pray for rain.  14 seasons in and not a single drop...they must be due.

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