Season Preview: San Diego Yankees

Is there a better place to see a game than at The Big Stink, home of the San Diego Yankees? No there is not. C’mon. There’s beach at the stadium. A beach where you can get beer. Cheap beer. Did I mention the girls yet? There are a lot of girls on the beach. The girls are also drinking beer. Did I mention that? And did I mention that the best park in FBB just got better?

Working under the theory that if some is good, more is better, maverick owner D. “Stink” Levinski has turned the whole stadium into a beach. That’s right, no seats. Just sand. Sand in the bleachers. Sand in the plaza level. Sand in the loge. Sand in the owners box and sand in the cheap seats. But this isn’t your ordinary sand. Night games it’s heated. Day games it’s cooled. And there’s beer. Everywhere. And girls with beer. I believe I mentioned them. Except now they’re everywhere.

So I know some of the more sensitive, less girl with beer oriented among you are probably saying, “hey that’s gross. There’s beer spilled in there every night. What about the peanut shells?” Ok, probably none of you are saying that. But somebody might say that. And if they did, here’s what they would find out. This is no ordinary sand. Using a revolutionary technique developed by Levinski himself the sand is fully sterilized after each game. The sand is purged of liquid which is then highly filtered to such a degree of purity that it’s then given free of charge back to the city. The solid waste removed from the sand is pulverized and turned into a nutrient rich compost which is given to needy Mexican organic farmers. Free of charge. Pretty cool. And yet, maybe not as cool (certainly nowhere near as hilarious) as the Sand Yanks new mascot…a sombrero topped chimp named Senior Gauchos. I hear that the chicks dig Senior Gauchos.

What’s great about this franchise is that the product on the field keeps pace with the action off the field. Yankees 3 and 5 hitters Tex and Cano anchor the line up. Cano in particular looks poised for a monster season well above his draft position. Youk contributes everywhere but the basepaths. A big year from Jay Bruce would really solidify the lineup, especially if Manny Ramirez continues his decline. Carlos Lee remains under appreciated. Pena and Helton will also see playing time. Contract year Carl Crawford should be among the league’s best. Carlos Beltran may arrive in time to contribute to the second half though he’ll occupy a DL spot well into the first half.

Johann Santana and Ricky Nolasco are by no means stone cold locks but few pitchers have a higher ceiling. Oswalt will fight some back problems and probably won’t recapture past numbers but he will deliver quality starts as will Slowey. I’m a seller on Harang. Hughes could produce some intreguing results, though it will be interesting to see how Girardi handles his pitch count. The bullpen includes Carlos Marmol, Jon Rauch, Frank Francisco and Joba. If these guy hold jobs all season they should be adequate, but overall the staff is pretty midtier.

The offense looks solid enough to carry this team back to the upper tier again this year and I expect a playoff run. And in the playoffs, life can be a beach…with girls. And beer. Did I mention the beer?

Prediction: Into the semis and then who knows.

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