Yes, folks, it's that time of year again. The taxes are due, the Asians are kicking everyone's ass and it's 42 degrees in New York. That can mean only one thing ... BASEBALL! Today your venerable blog starter and tall drink of water Phony Gwynn will take you on a tour of the NL West, a division so stocked with talent, so chock full of intrigue and grandeur, that everyone east of the Mississippi will forget it even exists 2 days after the season starts. Enjoy!
1. Los Angeles Dodgers
Last year some idiot predicted that the Padres would win the West. We shot him, chopped him up and fed him to Andruw Jones.
Obviously Manny Ramirez is the engine that makes this team go. This year Manny makes a full attempt to remember everyone's name but will fail miserably when he calls Hong-Chih Kuo "Dong-Tee Crow," which means "enterprising nun rapist" in Korean. Funny, I thought that was a compliment. It gets even better, though, when Manny tells Eric Stults "I loved you in Killing Zoe, bro."
Favorite song: "Mr. Brownstone" by Guns N' Roses
Favorite movie: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure
Out in Divisional Round
2. Arizona Diamondbacks
"This heat, it's a dry heat. One-hundred-five, 110 degrees. When you sweat you can hear it ooze out of your pores, fry once it hits the surface, and evaporate. Explode. You want to wear black in this town, you better be buried underground. Ever try to fight the sun? Put on boxing gloves, stare at the void, and go toe-to-toe with a star? I don't recommend it, friend. Like dancing with a walrus - it's different and interesting at first, but in the end, you're on the bottom looking up. You can tout Brandon Webb and Dan Haren around this town all you want, but a lack of offense is seriously offensive. Plus, there's a Bill Buckner on the team. Some roads should just be closed forever."
Favorite song: "In the Dirt" by the Phunk Junkeez
Favorite movie: Raising Arizona
3. San Francisco Giants
On May 18, 2009, the San Francisco Giants make history. There will be a press conference sparsely populated by the local media, but the blogs will glow and pulse with delight. Some will not believe it; for others, the mere thought if it will cause aneurysms so fierce they will bite through their own tongues and claw through their own flesh, down to the bone and sinew.
Humanity: destroyed. The Bay Area: awash in a red sea of flames. Western civilization: crumbled.
Due to an anemic offense, the Giants will sign Barry Bonds.
Oh, not that one. His MLB2K9 counterpart.
Despite not being able to swing a bat made of tangible matter in the physical realm, he still manages to out-hit Randy Winn.
Favorite song: "Hell in a Bucket" by the Grateful Dead
Favorite movie: Bullitt
4. San Diego Padres
Here's the most ringing endorsement I could ever possibly dream up for the MLB Network: I watched the Padres' edition of 30 Clubs in 30 Days, in which they: picked apart the Jake Peavy situation like a Thanksgiving turkey; trotted out every Jupiter-sized hole in the lineup; talked about how well Walkoff Walk favorite Kyle Blanks hits, then explained why there's no room for him on the big league roster; and ended the whole thing with both Joe Magrane and John Hart picking them to finish dead last. And guess what? I still looked forward to the season. That is some black fucking magic right there.
Favorite song: "On a Rope" by Rocket from the Crypt; "I'm Not Dead" by Buck-O-Nine (incidentally, what the offense - aside from Adrian Gonzalez - is worth)
Favorite movie: Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
5. Colorado Rockies
Once there was a team that crawled out of the expansionary muck. The amoeba slowly grew fins, gills and a tail and swam around, content in its simple life. But soon it wanted more. So, many years later, it grew appendages and crawled out of the soup, soon scraping its knuckles on the ground, hunched over, breathing heavily. Finally, one glorious day well into the future, the team stood upright and rejoiced.
Then a hunter in red socks put a bullet in its head.
Evolution's a bitch, ya know.
Favorite song: "Broken Hearted Savior" by Big Head Todd and the Monsters
Favorite movie: Jesus Camp