As fans, we are all accustomed to an annual onslaught of over reaction concerning our favorite teams. Everything from slow-starts to injuries and coaching decisions create this slough of people calling for change. It’s a product of our environment. Baseball hasn’t been seen for six months and in the offseason, teams have a tendency to invest tens of millions (if not hundreds in some cases) on free agents that can immediately help the ball club, which serves to excite fans and give hope. With the advent of the internet, social media and television channels dedicated completely to the game, the pressure to win has never been greater for any team. Analysis has taken on a whole new meaning with the implementation of sabermetrics. A new emphasis has been placed on prospects that can turn into saviors for an entire organization (we’re looking at you Stanton, Heyward, Trout and Harper) and fans have the opportunity to obsess over their teams 24/7 like no generation before. Over reaction is simply a byproduct of the world we live in. It’s almost as if there is no path other than to freak out and call for someone’s head for being terrible at this whole baseball thing. It is in this spirit and understanding that we analyze over reactions which fans can look forward to this year.
New York Yankees – Simple. If this team does not win, the world is over and fans will call for the slate to be completely wiped. Everyone with the exception of Jeter and Cano (whom the Yanks still need to spend a lot of money to resign) would probably be available, though you have to wonder if the Yankees would even be capable of moving contracts like A-Rod and Teixeira.
Toronto Blue Jays – If the Blue Jays get off to a slow start it will of course be Alex Anthopolous’ fault for recreating the 2012 Miami Marlins. If the Blue Jays win, it will be because their GM is a genius and will have nothing to do with the decrepit state of the Yankees and Red Sox. If the Blue Jays have a bad season, would they pull the plug as quickly as the Marlins did and deal away they glut of high priced talent?
Cleveland Indians – Regardless of how the Indians perform, it’s all because of Francona. If the Indians are good, it’s because Terry Francona is their manager, he has the experience and knows how to win. If the Indians stumble, it’ll simply be because just like in Boston, Francona has no idea how to keep high priced talent in check.
Detroit Tigers – If the Tigers win, it’ll be because of Torii Hunter’s leadership, it was totally the missing key. If the Tigers don’t win, it will absolutely be because Prince Fielder and/or Miguel Cabrera are overweight. If Verlander pitches poorly, it will be Kate Upton’s fault.
Oakland Athletics – If they lose, Billy Beane needs to be fired because this is all his fault and Moneyball was a terrible movie. If the A’s win, Beane will need a bronze statue in front of their future San Jose Stadium and Moneyball was a great movie.
Los Angeles Angels – You have to figure that if the Angels don’t make the playoffs, fans and media alike will turn on the likes of Pujols and Hamilton for being too old and too expensive. Furthermore, you have to figure that Mike Scioscia, most of the coaching staff and Jerry Dipoto and the rest of the Front Office will be fired. On the hand, if the Angels win, Dipoto will be heralded as genius and everyone else will claim the Angels bought a championship, despite an Opening Day payroll sitting around 140 million.
Washington Nationals – Bryce Harper. That’s it. People seem to forget there’s a lot more to this team than just Bryce Harper, but like it or not, that 20-year-old is going to be blamed and glorified for all that happens to the Nats this season.
Atlanta Braves – The novelty of the Upton bothers playing together would wear off quickly if the Braves struggled. Still it’s doubtful this happens. But what can we attribute it to if suddenly both brothers live up to their enormous potentials for the first time in Atlanta?
Miami Marlins – If they win…never mind, they won’t win. Jeffrey Loria is a criminal.
Colorado Rockies – If they win, it’s time to extend Walt Weiss for life, because it’ll be considered a move of pure genius promoting a high school baseball coach. If they lose, it’s because Walt Weiss is a high school baseball coach.
Los Angeles Dodgers – This team fascinates me. It’s the conditions they’re encountering. Don Mattingly is well regarded, but not particularly successful. Ned Colletti wasn’t thought of as much of a GM before, but now with an endless budget, could he build a winner? Furthermore, their pitching staff will be something to watch. How will Ryu perform? Can Josh Beckett return to form? Will Greinke be a worthwhile investment? What about the outfield situation, will Crawford return to form? What happens when Yasiel Puig proves ready. What happens if the Dodgers don’t win? Will they deconstruct the roster and trade away the likes of Andre Ethier? Will their GM still have a job? Or will they simply spend more money?