Take Back The West
This is it. It's finally here! I'm not talking about my bedazzled "I Only Kiss Angel Fans" deep v-neck I purchased (By the way, HOW IS IT STILL ON BACKORDER!). I'm talking about the battle for the AL West!
When you think of great rivalries, obvious ones come to mind. Yankees vs Dodgers back in the day, Red Sox vs. Yankees, and well...I guess every one vs. Yankee fans. A lot of people aren't fans of the Yanks huh?
The Angels and the Rangers are on the brink of quite possibly the greatest showdown baseball has to offer. During the 1st decade of the 2000's, the Angels demolished the competition almost as horrific as I destroy buffet lines. After 5 AL West crownings and a World Series ring to gloat about *Cough* sorry Ashley Chavez *Cough*, the Halos were undoubtedly the best team in the West.
The Texas Rangers were essentially the damsel in distress. They were tied to a train track with a stick of dynamite while a loco-motive train called bankruptcy was rolling by. Obviously I'm playing the part of the creepy villain with the stache. AND OF COURSE, like the cowboy that he is, Nolan Ryan emulates John Wayne and rescues the team. That long winded "Thank you" kiss turns out to be Mike Maddux to help a struggling pitching staff and a few key FA signings in Adrian Beltre and a masterful trade for...I want to cry cause it still hurts...Mike Napoli.
The Angels were caught off guard. Nolan Ryan and his Texas Rangers completely took over the West. This is Ranger country, and the boys in Red were to be shunned and never return. However, this off season has proven to make this year the greatest rivalry ever.
Arte Moreno would not and will not go down without swinging. Like the amazing owner that he is, Moreno brought in Jerry Dipoto to search for what the Angels were lacking. With a new mission for Dipoto, he somehow stole Albert Pujols from the Cardinals and woo'd CJ Wilson from the Rangers. Not to be out done, the Rangers won the bidding war to negotiate with Japanese Superstar pitcher Yu Darvish, thus solidifying the hole in their rotation.
I may be an Angels fan, but you can't deny the monstrosity of a line-up that the Rangers have. You don't become back-to-back AL Champs without players like Hamilton, Young, Cruz, Beltre and with a bullpen as deep as theirs. The Halos have noticed that and made key moves to combat it. With Kendrys Morales back and Mark Trumbo channeling in his inner Troy Glaus, the Angels have a lot more to offer this season than the past two.
With both teams having their Openers today, it marks the start of the sixth month trek to the final dual. Guns will be drawn (and by guns I mean bats), hearts will be crush (and by hearts I mean like spirits), and tears will be shed (and by tears I mean tears. Literally.). Once the smoke clears, who do you see still standing to hold the A.L. West Crown? Tweet to me @iBlogBetter or to @MLBFanCave. Sound off!