this story involving them and their prospect George Springer fighting over service time and contract extensions. Do the Astros know they're going to screw up the service clock for other teams who like to wait to call up their prospects in June to delay their service clock?
The Colonel: The Rays have been using the delay the service time clock for years. Longoria, Myers, others have had to wait to be called up for the Rays could delay the service clock. So of course leave it up to the Astros to screw that up for everyone else.
49er16: I can see why Springer would be pissed. He's already 24, has outgrown the minors, and would be 30 by the time he's a free agent. I can understand the angst.
The Colonel: The Astros still have the look of a team that's going to finish dead last in the AL West and be a punching bag for the other teams in that division. BUT LOOK THEY SIGNED SCOTT FELDMAN TO SECURE THEIR ROTATION!
49er16: After this Springer chicanery, I'm rooting for their uber prospects to fail now.
The Colonel: Speaking of failure, how about those Seattle Mariners? Look at them acquiring Robinson Cano for ridiculous money and then him immediately complaining at spring training that they need another bat in the lineup. WELCOME TO IRRELEVANCE, ROBBIE!
49er16: I can't believe they still have Smoak at first base. They can't quit him and his career .314 OBP. And their pitching staff is a mess with Walker having injury problems. I'll be surprised if they win 80 games. Another year finishing in 3rd place for the Mariners.
The Colonel: Speaking of third place, am I wrong in thinking that the Angels could be better this year? Pujols is finally healthy and looking good in the Cactus League, they still have Mike Trout, and the top of their rotation is still good. Am I crazy in thinking they'll replace the Rangers as the 2nd best team in this division?
49er16: They'll need a lot of things to go right. They'll need Pujols to snap out of this 2-year funk. They'll need Hamilton to stop swinging at bad pitches. They'll need David Freese to stay healthy. They have 1000 year old Raul Ibanez at DH. Their rotation after Weaver and Wilson looks iffy. If things break the right way, sure they could make the playoffs.
The Colonel: And their breaks come from the A's who have two pitchers injured and will be relying on a rookie to lead the rotation. I know their pitching staff is deep, but losing Parker hurts and losing Griffin for the start of the year hurts. You also have to figure some of their position players like Brandon Moss are going to regress. They're my team in the west that will regress the most.
49er16: I agree about their pitching staff, but they use too many platoons in my opinion to be completely effected by regression. I do like how they still have Daric Barton. Out of all the players Beane has actually kept over the years, why him?
The Colonel: Daric Barton is a wart the the A's can't get rid of. Amazing that with Beane he jettisons so many players but has kept Barton on this team for what? 9 years now? Amazing.
49er16: Yeah it's been that long. Barton was a part of the Mulder deal. And he's still there in Oakland penciled in to platoon at first and DH. The cat that followed them home and now won't leave.
The Colonel: The Rangers have went from Napoli to AJ Fuckface to Geovany Soto and JP Arencibia at catcher. Plus they've had Bengie Molina at catcher for the 2010 season. I'd rather have Molina in his current fat state than Arencibia's all RBI and nothing else game.
49er16: I don't like the Rangers this season. Their rotation hasn't improved. They still have holes in the outfield. Catcher is a mess. Ron Washington is insane. And we don't have bitter beer faced Nolan Ryan to kick around anymore.
The Colonel: Washington is eventually going to get fired right? He has too the way he trashes advance stats and the way his team has underperformed the past few seasons.
49er16: I was going to save this for my predictions, but I have Washington getting canned either during the season or after. I just don't see how he survives another year if they don't meet expectations. The AL West doesn't look as deep this year, especially with all the injuries in Oakland, and if Texas starts out slowly or playing poorly past the All-Star break it wouldn't surprise me if the Rangers clip Washington.
The Colonel: I guess we'll have to do our predictions soon then to see what else you've predicted.
49er16: They're coming soon!