Wednesday, February 8, 2017

A Hater's Guide to the AL East

Being in the AL East sucks. With the perpetually rich New York and Boston, always-kind-of-there Baltimore, and bad-but-comes-out-of-nowhere-to-win-90-games Tampa, trying to contend in this division can be infuriating. But the standings aren’t the only reason to hate the teams Toronto competes against. No, dear reader, there are many, MANY more reasons to despise these guys. What follows is a team-by-team examination of why we hate the AL East.

In ascending order of evil:

Team: New York Yankees
2016 Record: 84-78, 2nd last in the division
Why we hate them: Its weird, I know, but the Yankees are maybe the least hate-able team in the AL East right now. This is weird because the Yankees are and always will be a cross between Emperor Palpatine and Scrooge McDuck. But somehow they don’t seem all that bad! They weren’t good enough last year to really be a threat, but weren’t really bad enough to be boring, either. They even jettisoned their most hate-able players! Alex Rodriguez has been thrown into the Hudson River. Chief of the Fun Police Brian McCann has been scuttled of to Houston. Who is left to hate? Brett Gardner? He kind of sucks. Maybe Gary Sanchez kicks puppies or something.

But if there’s one thing we can all get behind and loathe together it’s middle relievers with weird-ass names, and New York has got these in SPADES. Kirby Yates! Chasen Shreve! Magnolio Frigidaire! Only on of those names is made up. Fuck those guys. Oh, and they gave a truckload of money to noted flaming pile of human trash Aroldis Chapman. That’s real-world shitty, not just baseball shitty. Yup, looks like there’s still enough here to hate the Yankees. Get fucked, New York.

Team: Tampa Bay Rays
2016 Record: 68-94. Dead last in the division
Why we hate them: Man, I almost feel bad for these guys, you know? They are so bad. They’ve got Longoria, Better-Looking Kevin Pillar (those eyes…) in centre, and that’s about it. Even Chris Archer had a down year (side note: I assumed Chris Archer was the same size as Marcus Stroman, he’s actually 6’’3! I had to look it up). Steve Pearce was in their top 5 most valuable hitters last year, and he didn’t even play half a season in Tampa. Also, Steve Pearce might be bad!

Tropicana field is like a dump. It SHOULD be a dump. Fill it with trash. It would be a better use for that cavernous hell-mouth than using it for professional baseball. These players get paid millions of dollars and all they give them is a concrete floor painted green to dive around on. That thing makes the Rogers Centre turf look downright pastoral. Their home games are awful to watch. That poor fan. Get bent, Tampa.

Team: Baltimore Orioles
2016 Record: 89-73, tied for 2nd in the division.
Why we hate them: Fuuuuuuuuuuuck these guys. It’s shameful really, that the Blue Jays tied with this team, because they are pretty bad! They’ve got Machado, sure, he’s the second best 3rd baseman in the division and they can be proud of that. It’s cute. And then what, Chris Davis? He’s not the best three-true-outcome player, but he is definitely the MOST three-true-outcome player. Zach Britton is pretty great, so give them one good inning every second day (not in the playoffs, of course). Highly-touted manager Buck Showalter couldn’t manage his way out of a wet paper bag or single-elimination playoff game. The mind BOGGLES at how this team can succeed. The Orioles are shitty.

One-time potential Beeston-replacement Dan Duquette said they would not sign Bautista because the fans hate him, literally calling him a “villain”. This is an incredibly scummy thing to say about a player, but really Orioles fans SHOULD hate him, because Bautista can’t stop tossing around the Orioles like a bunch of jamokes. TWICE Orioles pitchers tried to bean him and TWICE he has promptly deposited a gigantic, towering, leather-clad middle finger into the outfield seats. They had multiple chances at hitting a six-foot-tall, 200 pound man, missed, and INSTANTLY got clowned each time. Villain, indeed. Jesus Christ, fuck the Orioles. They'd be higher on this list, too, if they weren't so easy to beat up on. Thanks for coming out, Baltimore.

Team: Boston Red Sox
2016 Record: 93-69, eliminated in the ALDS
Why we hate them: Ah yes, here we are. You were all waiting for this one. You probably were reading through each previous team, hating them, and thinking of the infinite ways in which the Red Sox are worse, and every reason thought of is CORRECT. The Red Sox are easily the most hate-able team in this division, fuck these guys. Their outfield is filled with young, MVP-calibre talent who will be cost-controlled for years, their rotation and bullpen are stacked, and even their old guys are good. The Red Sox were great last year, and dammit, they will probably be better next year. Pedroia still looks like a weasel, though.

Boston has always been a team that's easy to hate, but in the last 12 months they've really found the butter zone between being annoyingly good and directly fucking the rest of us over. They spent the 2015 offseason wooing David Price away and breaking Blue Jays fans’ hearts and somehow Rick fucking Porcello wins the Cy Young anyway. They acquired Chris Sale, a living wacky-waving-inflatable-tube-man and also probably the best pitcher in the AL, paying the steep price of the 2nd-best prospect in baseball, and they STILL have the 1st-best prospect in baseball ready to go for next year. Mix their recent success and future prospects with their curse-breaking, manager-stealing, green-monster-having shitty attitude and you have the Most Hate-able Team in the AL East. Eat shit, Boston. Please.

As you can see, fuck this division. Hopefully this has summarized the reasons why every other team in the AL East can walk into the sea. This season will, no doubt, give us all many, MANY, more reasons to hate each and everyone one of them.