The Colonel and I are both Extra Innings on MLB.tv subscribers. We love baseball so much that would actually give the league money for their product. What the hell is wrong with us? Anyways we both have "Extra Innings Teams". Teams that we like to pay special attention to during the season until that team either falls out of contention or we lose interest in that team and we replace them with a team that is actually competing for a playoff spot. Here are our Extra Innings teams for 2013. (Note: Extra Innings blacks out local games so we can't mention either the Giants or A's.)
Toronto- The Blue Jays should have been good last year but injuries to everyone on the team derailed them. I still don't quite believe in them because of their pitching depth, but I'm still interested to see how they start the year and what their new players look like.
Tampa Bay- If you're going to be a cool kid and follow Sabermetrics, then you have to watch the Rays.
Cleveland- Another team that has added talent to the lineup, but what about those pitchers? Will Jimenez be himself again? Is Masterson really their best pitcher? Is Dice K back? I still like the Tigers to win this division but the Indians have my interest.
Texas- Their season last year ended so bitterly, so spectacularly, that it's hard not to pay attention to them for at least the beginning of the year.
Washington- Washington just flat out intrigues me because of their young players. I like watching teams with young players who are talented and Washington matches that description.
Atlanta- The Upton Brothers acquisitions makes this team a must watch. That outfield is going to be fun to watch.
St. Louis- I like to choose teams from all the divisions to watch, so I had to go with St. Louis for the NL Central. Everyone else doesn't interest me.
Los Angeles- Have to pay attention to the Dodgers because they are our rivals.
Baltimore- I was proud of myself for jumping on this bandwagon early, so I can't hop off now even though I am one of those people who believe the birds will regress badly this season.
Tampa Bay- You can't be a cool kid and follow sabermetrics without following the Rays. Everything these guys do is genius, just genius. We're seriously not even worthy of watching this team.
Kansas City- I'm interested in this team for a few reasons. 1. Will James Shields make a difference at all on their rotation? 2. Will Hosmer and Mousstakas bounce back from sub-par years? 3. Could they compete in that division, this year? The Tigers are only getting older and the Indians have the same rotation problems. Don't rule out the Royals. (Okay, rule out the Royals)
Anaheim- The Angels will always be interesting especially now that Mike Trout is 30 pounds heavier.
Washington- They bombed so out badly in last year's NLDS that I'm curious if they come back looking catatonic? Drew Storen will never be the same, right?
Atlanta- The Uptons makes them interesting. Uggla makes them older. And Tim Hudson is still pitching effectively.
Pittsburgh- I also needed a NL Central team, so I went with the Pirates again. I still think they are a year away because of their young pitchers in the minors, but it will be interesting to see if they can compete the entire year or fall apart again.
Los Angeles- Have to follow the Dodgers.
Arizona- Gibson wanted dirt dogs and grit players on his team so they jettisoned Justin Upton and Chris Young. I want to watch this team fail badly. Really badly.