Due to my reader's impatience, I will skip the NL East and head west tonight. The timezone will be a major factor with these teams.
I don't like them. They sound like one of those made-up team from a baseball movie that didn't have the MLB license.
With all the talk about asterisks and steroids, there is only true single-season home-run champion: Ellis Burks with my Rockies on Triple Play Gold Edition for the Sega Genesis. They have a nice stadium, Denver is a nice place to visit, and- based on a Pirates blogger's opinion- are rid of manager Clint Hurdle. They have pretty much disappeared ever since their Goldbergian winning streak that took them to the World Series a few years ago. They play their home games in the Mountain time zone and will travel to the Pacific time zone to play San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. I'm not sure I'm ready to stay up that late, but they're at least worth consideration.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Their owners' divorce is destroying the franchise, they just signed Matty, I've never cared for them, and over half of their games are in the Pacific time zone.. On the other hand, they signed Juan Castro. During his tenure with the Twins, Juany showed that he knows how to handle a bat. Also, there should be an abundance young ladies in Southern California rooting for the Dodgers.
San Diego Padres
They say southern California girls are unforgettable, but I bet I would forget after Jason Bartlett boots three grounders in one inning. On the other hand, he would be a fun player to root against. I'd want the Padres to win despite Bartlett's struggles. They're roughly on par with the Rockies. I'll watch them more closely than other teams in the West, but doubt I could actually settle on them.
San Francisco Giants
They play in San Francisco.
Fine. You want a baseball reason, too. I just don't think this will be an interesting year for them. They weren't exactly a one-hit wonder. It's not necessarily a disappointment if they don't win a World Series, but that's obviously less than in 2010. They should still be competitive. It's just not the combination that would be exciting for a fan.
Altogether, the time zone probably rules out the entire division. I'm just too much of an early-to-bed kind of guy. On the other hand, I could see myself settling in to relax before bed by watching the start of the game. A good game would be done by 11:30 and a bad game would be obviously bad by 10:30. Bartlett was once denied a starting spot in favor of Juan Castro. Now they're in the same division. How exciting!