With Josh Hamilton becoming the newest Angel in the outfield, baseball on the West Coast will be turning heads in 2013.
The Yankees vs Red Sox rivalry will not be outmatched, but the most exciting baseball to watch could be in the NL and AL West this upcoming season. Newfound rivalries, old rivalries and superstars will be on the diamonds of the West Coast.
Signing Josh Hamilton was another Houdini act for the Halos and with a huge blow to the Texas Rangers. Many people thought Hamilton was headed back to Texas and even the Rangers were baffled by Hamilton signing with their rival.
Going back to Texas made sense to me. Hamilton had a comfortability factor, but then I remembered Hamilton’s comments after being booed in his eventual last game in a Rangers uniforms. The boos brought him back to another bible verse: “If they don’t receive you in a town, shake the dust off your feet and move to the next.” After belting 43 home runs, winning an MVP and taking the Rangers to two World Series, the boo birds definitely hit a soft spot for Hamilton.
The Rangers only have themselves to blame for losing Hamilton. They did not show their usual support at the end of the year or this offseason and who is going to turn down $125 million over five years to be in the same lineup as Mike Trout and Albert Pujols?
Now the Angels have a surplus of outfielders, giving themselves some real trade bait. Both Mark Trumbo and Peter Bourjos seem the most likely to be traded. Trumbo’s power should be off-limits to teams and Bourjos’ speed and defense can bring the Angels another arm for their starting rotation.
Okay enough about the Angels’ crazy lineup. We all know they are big favorites in 2013 and have an unreal lineup, but their bats are not the only exciting thing about baseball on the west coast.
Hamilton on the Angels brings bombs and highlight reel plays, but even better, the signing brings a new heated rivalry to baseball. The Angels and Rangers had an automatic rivalry being in the same division, but now the rivalry has become personal. On the second week of baseball, put on your cowboy hats, grab your rally monkeys and watch Hamilton visit the confines of The Ballpark in Arlington.
So, we have a new heated rivalry in baseball, but also an old one that brews in the NL West. Aside from the Yankees and Red Sox, the Giants vs Dodgers rivalry is the best in baseball.
The Giants have now won two World Series rings in three years and the Dodgers have gone to their money tree to San Francisco’s dominance. The Giants World Series run was one for the ages last year, but Giants fans will have to fear the Dodgers in 2013.
To have a 1-2 punch of Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke is just lethal. Then you have to add Josh Beckett, Korean Ryu Hyun-jin and also Chad Billingsley, Chris Capuano and Ted Lilly fighting to make the rotation.
After the Dodgers picked up Boston’s fire sale, expectations were not met. Let’s be honest though, the Dodgers will win games. With Matt Kemp, Adrian Gonzalez, Andre Ethier, Hanley Ramirez and Carl Crawford coming back from Tommy John surgery, the Dodgers will win games in 2013.
Instead of going to free agency the Giants kept their championship team intact and feel like they are plenty good enough to win again. The rivalry will heat up to a new level this season and pitching duels are bound to happen.
Five teams including the Los Angels Dodgers and Angels, San Francisco Giants, Texas Rangers and the young 2012 AL West champion Oakland A’s could be the most exciting teams in baseball in 2013.
Right now on the West Coast baseball is must see TV. Between the rivalry with the World Series champion Giants and the Dodgers who could always spend more, and the newly sparked rivalry with the Angels and Rangers, baseball has officially hit home in the West divisions. Oh yeah, there’s some guy playing “Money Ball” out in Oakland who could always crush your money driven teams too.
So, hey baseball, say hello to the West Coast for me. I will be watching and I hope you will be too.