SEASON 29 AL WEST PREVIEW
Always one of the closest divisions in Pine Tar. Last season wasn't entirely different. Salem made a couple of late season trades and then really went on a tear and ended up winning the division by 10 games. They ended up winning the World Series. It was the franchises second WS victory. Their first game in season one, under a different owner. It also marked the franchises first playoff appearance in 8 seasons. Fresno finished 2nd last season under previous ownership. It marked their fourth straight winning season. St. Louis finished third winning 91 games, but still took the wild card. It was their fourth straight winning season and their 8th playoff appearance in the last 12 seasons. Vancouver finished in last place. It was their first last place finish in 10 seasons. It also broke the franchises winning streak of 7 seasons.
Owner:Jkenned (7th season)
Last Season-103-59(1st Place)
Last 5 seasons-421-389(.520)
Great defense. Great speed and baserunning. Offense is one of the best in the AL, and they have great power. Their pitching staff is easily the best in the American League. 100 wins? I would think so.
Owner: dlmose(1st season)
Last Season-93-69(2nd Place)
Last 5 seasons-442-368(.546)
Defense is below average. Great speed and baserunning. Their hitting is below average and the team essentially has no power. Pitching is below average. I don't see this team winning 93 games again.
St. Louis Arch Angels
Owner: Flucie(15th season)
Last Season-91-71(3rd Place)
Last 5 seasons-435-375(.537)
Defense is probably the weakest in the AL. Poor speed and baserunning. Hitting is above average with above average power. Great pitching. Should be another good season in St. Louis.
Owner: skplayer07(12th season)
Last Season-74-88(4th Place)
Last 5 seasons-424-386(.523)
Defense is one of the best in the AL. Average speed and baserunning. Hitting is solid with decent power. Pitching staff looks really good, above average. Vancouver should be right back in the thick of things this season
I spoke with Jkenned about his first Pinetar WS victory. Congrats on your first Pine Tar World Series victory last season. How do you feel about this years team compared to last? His response: We are a better team to start the year than last year with a full season from Rymer Tavarez and Lonny Gonzalez in the rotation. I just hope that Darren Banks can replace the production that the Volcanoes received from Sticky Farhquar after he came over in a midseason trade. The offensive should be better this season as well with a full season of Hipoloto Arredando. With the youth and depth of the lineup and with solid production from the rotation I think this group has a shot at repeating, especially given that the other squads in the division have lost a number of key pieces since last year.
I also spoke to newcomer dlmose. Welcome to Pine Tar dlmose! The only new owner in the American League this season. How do you feel about the franchise you have inherited, and what are your expectations for your first season here? His response: Fresno Factoids: 7 new pos. players( 4 Rule 5's) and 8 new pithcers(1 R5) set the lofty goal of somehow winning 60 games No talent in minors but have 7 picks in first 50 in this season's draft I already drink so no worries. Me: Any comment on why you called your team the Grizzlies? dlmose: It's the name of the Fresno minor league team. I pondered on "The Fresno Raisin Eaters" which was the 1906 team but ran out of single malt in time.
Vancouver press release: After a disappointing season Vancouver is hoping to rebound and make the playoffs this season.With the signing a true leadoff hitter in Houston Graves and addition of Apollo Fletcher to the pen the Canucks are looking like they are in good position to have good season. Look for Yoshinori Zhou to anchor the rotation and be a possible Cy Young candidate. Willie Tarasco will bat 3rd and be a beast as usual. Im expecting this to be a 90 win season or else a failure.
A great Salem team, just got better in the off season. There are many good teams in this division again this season, but I think Salem might be in a class of their own. Vancouver and St. Louis seem to be pretty even in many categories, however I think St. Louis's weak defense is going to cost them a few games. This division should still win a wildcard this season. Fresno appears to be lacking in too many categories to compete. I'm sure new ownership will have that team heading in the right direction before we know it.
3. St. Louis