30 Teams in 30 Days – Baltimore Orioles

I think we can all agree that the 2012 Baltimore Orioles will be, without a doubt, the greatest team in MLB history. With a lineup, rivaling that of the 1927 Yankees, the Baltimore Orioles will storm into their 2012 campaign with fire in their eyes. But before we see how the Orioles stack up in 2012, let’s see how the Birds stacked up in 2011.
Baltimore Orioles
Record: 69-93
Finished: 5th in the AL East
Top Pitcher: Jeremy Guthrie, 9-17, 4.33 ERA, 130 SO
Top Hitter: Mark Reynolds, .221 AVG , 27 HR, 86 RBI
Important Acquisitions: Nick Johnson 1B, Luis Ayala RHP, Jason Hammel RHP, Matt Lindstrom RHP, Ronny Paulino C, Armando Galarraga SP (yeah that dude who almost threw the perfect game), Pat Neshek RHP, Wilson Betemit IF, Darren O’Day RHP
Important Losses: Vladimir Guerrero FA, Jeremy Guthrie COL

Ok we all know the question that’s lurking at the back of everyone’s mind. And it’s not whether the O’s will make it to the World Series but how badly they will beat the NL champion by. The Baltimore Orioles are truly a baseball powerhouse. A star-studded lineup with arguably 11 Hall-of-Famers, a rotation filled with the likes of those only matched by history’s greats such as Sandy Koufax, Tom Seaver, and Nolan Ryan, and a coach who is just flat out a friggin’ bad@$$. I mean really who wouldn’t want to be Buck Showalter? That guy is a flat out beast. I’m not even going to go in depth about the Orioles pitching rotation and lineup… because in all honestly no one knows how deep that thing actually is. I mean, this team is truly of legendary proportions… one that has not been matched in over a century of baseball and almost certainly won’t be matched for another century. If nine Jesus’ returned for their second-comings, they still would not match the status of this unbelievable Orioles team. I’m sorry, I’ve reached my sarcastic limit for one article, I have to stop now. Anyway, the O’s are a terrible disgrace of a baseball team and do not deserve more than two legitimate sentences about them. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel. If the Orioles’ front office gets their act together they may be able to lay the foundation for a successful young team around their current core. 2012, however, will not be the Year of the Birds. There you go.

Prediction
Record: 59-103
Finished: 5th in the AL East
Playoffs: Obviously none
Top Pitcher: Armando Galarraga 8-15, 4.16 ERA, 188 SO
Top Hitter: Nick Markakis .303 AVG, 19 HR, 73 RBI
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-Simple Jack

 

30 Teams in 30 Days – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

This article was written by Simple Jack, not Vernon Smells, as the web site may suggest. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim…..Wait are they still called that? I don’t even know anymore. Well anyway the LA Angels will be one of the most interesting teams to watch going into the 2012 season (if you know what I mean. Ahem, Albert Pujols). Anyway here’s how they stacked up in 2011.
Los Angeles Angels 
Record: 86-76 (6 game improvement from 2010)
Finish: 2nd AL West
Playoffs: N/A
Top Pitcher: Jared Weaver, 18-8, 2.41 ERA, 198 SO
Top Hitter: Mark Trumbo (Seriously?), .254 AVG, 29 HR, 87 RBI
Manager: Mike Scioscia
Important Acquisitions: Albert Pujols, Albert Pujols, CJ Wilson, Albert Pujols, Chris Iannetta, Albert Pujols, Jorge Cantu, LaTroy Hawkins, Jason Isringhausen, Jorge Cantu and of course Albert Pujols
Important Losses: Jeff Mathis TOR, Tyler Chatwood COL and not Albert Pujols

The Los Angeles Angels had a disappointing season in 2011. The once perennial power of the 2000s failed to make the playoffs for the second straight year and watched their division rival Texas Rangers make it to the World Series two consecutive years. It’s been 10 years exactly since the Angels knotted their last and only World Series title, and based on the moves they have made during this free agency it looks like they’re determined on making another title run. The Angels finished the 2011 season struggling, 11 games before the season ended they were only 3.5 games out of a playoff spot. Throughout much of the second half of 2011 they were within striking distance of the Rangers, most of the time within 2 games or less, however the Angels just couldn’t get over that hump and capture the division title. But 2012 will be a new era for the Los Angeles Angels and will be a year for them to most definitely assert themselves a powerhouse in the league and a force to be reckoned with. With arguably the strongest starting rotation in the majors which includes Jered Weaver (a competitor for the Cy Young in 2011), Dan Haren, newly acquired CJ Wilson, Ervin Santana, with Jerome William most likely assuming the role as the fifth starter. To put this rotation in perspective, in 2011 none of these pitchers had an ERA above 3.70 , four were below a 3.40 ERA, and two were below a 3.00 ERA. Together they post a combined record of 65-37 in 2011. The Angels starting pitching core is most certainly stronger and has more depth than any other aspect of their team (which considering their addition of you know who is saying a lot). The Angels pulled off the biggest free agent acquisition of the 2011 offseason and probably the biggest one since Alex Rodriguez signed with the Rangers back in 2000, with their signing of Albert Pujols. There really isn’t anything more to say. Along with signing Pujols the Angels were able to retain their core of strong hitters, despite most of whom posting a poor 2011, still have potential to return to prominence in 2012, who include Howie Kendrick 2B, Alberto Callapso 3B, Vernon Wells OF, Torii Hunter OF, Erick Ayber SS, Mark Trumbo 1B, Kendrys Morales 1B and even Bobby Abreu OF (well maybe not so much him). The only weakness that may be in store for the Angels is their bullpen. Without an established closer or setup man and some new faces such as LaTroy Hawkins the Angels bullpen has a lot of adjusting to do (but hey, who needs a bullpen anyway when you have 3 guys who can go 8 innings?). Anyway, I foresee the Angels will be a powerhouse in 2012 and in years to come and most certainly post one of the best records in the league.
Prediction
Record: 98-64
Finish: 1st in AL West
Playoffs: World Series Appearance
Top Pitcher: Jered Weaver, 21-6, 2.63 ERA 214 SO (Cy Young Winner)
Top Hitter: Albert Pujols, .314 AVG, 41 HR, 126 RBI (MVP candidate)
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-Simple Jack