Get up! Everybody’s gonna move their feet.
Get down! Everybody’s gonna lose their seat.
You’re gotta lose your mind in Detroit Rock City.
I’m back and ready to preview the AL Central. I decided to collaborate with some idols of mine for this prediction segment: KISS! Destroyer is in fact the perfect album to aid my breakdown of the central. Just like the quick hitting jams on this album, I’m going to get right to the point. Here is the track list for the album so you know what the heck I’m referencing. I’ll be using a 3 jam (instead of star) system to tell you exactly how I feel about the AL Central teams in 2013.
Division Winner – Detroit Tigers
Official Destroyer Rating – 3 Jams: Detroit Rock City , God Of Thunder, & Shout It Out Loud
Since the Tigers will be rock & rolling right to another division title, I maxed them out and gave Detroit 3 jams. “Detroit Rock City” and “God Of Thunder” are two of the biggest songs that KISS has ever released, which is fitting, because the Tigers have arguably the two biggest, and best hitters in all of baseball with Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder. They got a third jam, “Shout It Out Loud”, because I believe it is very clear-cut that Detroit will win the division, but also to represent the OTHER superstar that will be on the mound Opening Day: ace Justin Verlander. Last year, Cabrera and Fielder didn’t really have any other help in the line-up other than Austin Jackson, but this year Victor Martinez returns and Torii Hunter signed with Detroit to add some extra pop at the top of the order. Unfortunately, like last year though, the Tigers defense will give opponents extra outs galore due to their inept ability to actually field and throw a baseball (why is Jhonny Peralta still on this team????). So at the end of the season, Detroit’s record probably won’t reflect exactly how much better they are than the rest of the division, you’ll just have to know that they are head and shoulders above the rest by using common sense.
2nd place – Chicago White Sox – No Wild Card
Official Destroyer Rating – 2 Jams: Beth & Sweet Pain
Obviously, I know that “Beth” is a ballad, so to include it within the rating system should give you a notion of just how strong (not that strong) this 2 jams grade actually is even though it was one of the few mainstream, radio friendly songs that KISS had in the 70’s. “Sweet Pain” is also there for obvious reasons: Alex Rios and Adam Dunn. Alex Rios is sweet one year and painful the next, it’s been that way almost his entire career. Last season was a resurgence for Rios, so what does that mean for this season? I’ll give you one guess… Adam Dunn is sweet one game, and painful for the next 10. Unless… unless, he’s on one of his classic week-long streaks where he homers in 6 straight games, then when the streak is over, he’ll be brutal for the next 15 to 20 games, striking out a billion times along the way. Still, the White Sox have a veteran core led by Mr. White Sox Paul Konerko, and a pitching staff that is better than all the other teams in the Central… except Detroit’s of course. I think Chicago finishes over .500, but not by much. Rios and Dunn are the key – if they start rockin, the Chi Sox will roll.
3rd Place – Cleveland Indians
Official Destroyer Rating – 1 Jam: King Of the Night Time World
Don’t be fooled, this is a strong 1 song rating. I like the Indians to surpass the low expectations Cleveland seemingly has every year in 2013. There is something about the mix of newly signed players and young talent that Cleveland’s roster has that makes me believe they can find some magic like the Orioles found last year. New manager Terry Francona comes in with recent postseason and World Series experience/success. The only real hole I see in the everyday line-up is at third base. Other than that, they have a bunch of players who can hit and field their position. The reason Cleveland got a strong 1 with “King Of The Night Time World” and not a weak 2 like the White Sox is the pitching staff. They have guys who have had success before, but never consistently, and that’s a very scary notion. Possibly scarier than Gene Simmons when on stage. The Indians need some pitchers to have some unexpected success to push the White Sox for 2nd place in the division. If this line-up incarnation doesn’t create a spark, the Royals should easily pass Cleveland up for 3rd place.
4th Place – Kansas City Royals
Official Destroyer Rating – 1 Jam: Great Expectations
How fitting? These young Royals have had expectations of breaking out for a couple of years now. Last year, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, and Salvador Perez were the young bucks expected to get the Royals out of the abyss and into contention. Perez ended up missing the first half of the season with a knee injury, and Eric Hosmer never really found his footing during his first full season. Moustakas had his ups and downs as well. The pitching staff didn’t really have any firepower last year either. During the off-season Kansas City changed that up by trading big time prospect, OF Wil Myers, to the Tampa Bay Rays for James Shields, who will serve as the staff ace for the Royals. Things are definitely looking up for K.C., but I think they need another pitcher or two before they start to push for a division title. That is of course, assuming the hitters make their expected strides. Even if these hitters get hot this year, I think the Royals ceiling is 3rd place.
Last Place – Minnesota Twins
Official Destroyer Rating – 1 Jam: Do You Love Me?
We all love Joe Mauer. Finding love for him is not the problem. The problem is trying to love the other guys on this team. Do I love them? No. I gave the Twins a 1 jam rating because I wasn’t going to snub a team of a song, it’s just too bad KISS didn’t cover a sad, sad blues song on Destroyer that I could award to Minnesota. The pitching staff is abysmal, and the hitters aren’t much better. Josh Willingham actually had one of his best seasons for the Twins last year. Hopefully he and Mauer can find a groove, for like, the entire season so this team can actually score some runs. I’m hard-pressed to find some kind words for this team. I honestly feel bad for Rod Gardenhire for having to manage this horrible squad.
Next up – My predictions for the AL West, so stay tuned!