AL West Preview: An Assemblage of Garbage

Not all trash is trash for the same reasons, but all trash is trash. Welcome to the American League West. A collection of five vile, grotesque creations, each one determined to make a mockery of the baseball universe in its own way. Let’s talk about these four abominations we hate and the one abomination we love. One of them will theoretically finish first. Against all that is good in the universe and against no odds, that will be…

The Ew-ston Trashtros
This Astros team is longing desperately for the cool, refreshing taste of regular season baseball to save them from the desert they have found themselves in. It’s a mirage. They will win some road games, but every single one will feel like a loss, if baseball fans do their job. As much as we all wish we could say they will collapse under the weight and fade from postseason relevance, we know better. They are too talented, and that’s a good thing. Where justice falls short, fuel for our hatred will abound. Justin Verlander believes they can regain respect by winning. Oh, Justin. You sweet summer child. Enjoy your wins, because that’s all you’ll get. And lots of money. And another postseason appearance. BUT THAT’S IT, PAL.

The Gross Trasheles Angels of Canaheim
Congrats to the Los Angeles team for having two of the five best players in baseball. No, the other Los Angeles team with two of the five best players in baseball. If there’s one thing the Angels love, it’s tossing gobs of money at position players like they’re hosting an off-the-rails game show on MTV2, except on this game show only the host can lose. A healthy Ohtani in the lineup and the rotation plus the addition of Rendon surely means more wins, but relying on Julio Teheran and Dylan Bundy to fill out that rotation is a bit too “patching the leaks in my canoe with bubble gum” for my tastes. Also Angels fans, your grody stadium has the aesthetic of a middle school gym in rural America. I assume you all take turns getting stuffed into lockers during the games?

The uh, Blehxas….Trashngers? Got ‘em. Nailed it.
The Rangers win the “Good Job, Good Effort” Award for the 2019-2020 off-season. Buying yourself a clean, state of the art trash can with a retractable roof is all well and good, but you know what you’re going to put in there. Air conditioned or not, when that summer heat hits the stench will rise. I’m willing to bet Kyle Seager can hit .400 in this stadium too. Any team that “adds” Todd Frazier at this point in his career (or many of the previous points) should not be given much credit. The Rangers are trying, but only to the extent that they want you to know they’re trying.

The Chokeland Trashletics
As they have for much of this past decade, the A’s wont be bad. They will just…be. They will be an absolute nuisance and thorn in the side of every divisional opponent, and also, like, the Yankees for some reason. They will be in yellow and green, looking like an army of villains in a Mucinex commercial. They will be hosting the opposition in a giant overflowing toilet bowl of a stadium, 81 times a year. They will be trading and transacting at some point, theoretically with the intention of improving their roster. The starting rotation may shape shift into an offense-devouring werewolf for a couple months. They might accidentally win 30 games in a row at some point. When that happens, don’t be alarmed. It’s all just a part of Oakland A’s baseball.

The Seattle Trashiners
If you plan on watching Mariners baseball this season for the purpose of watching them win, might I suggest that you do literally anything else with your time. Watch instead because it will inevitably get weird. This team exists to Build Character. Theirs, yours, anyone who might stumble across their path. They will smash dingers. They might play some defense. Will they pitch? It’s hard to say. Probably not. They will not begin the season 13-2. The Plan says that in the latter half of 2020, this team will crack the competitive window that they intend to fling open in 2021. At this point the logical move will be to begin aggressively adding to the roster in order to keep that window open at all costs (I’ve got some bad news about the Mariners and logic). Plans are overrated. Just get on the carnival ride and have a good time. Hail Trashiners.

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