2014 SEASON PREVIEW (PART 5): Best Case/Worst Case for… the NL WEST (with Getty Images)

We went from East-To-West for the AL, but we’ll be going West-To-East for the NL, so… who is ready to learn what could go right and wrong in the NL West? And who wants to see some vaguely-related images from Getty, too?

Thought so.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Best-Case Scenario: The season begins in Australia and ends with Commissioner Selig handing the World Series trophy to Magic Johnson (or some other representative of the ownership group) in October. Clayton Kershaw wins CYA.

Worst-Case Scenario: Dingos eat their babies.

Worst-Case Scenario That Could Actually Happen: Injuries. It’s unlikely that a healthy Dodgers team can be beaten in the NL West.

Arizona Diamondbacks
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Best-Case Scenario: The Diamondbacks get their vengeance, kick the Dodgers out of their pool, and then make a playoff run.

Worst-Case Scenario: Mark Trumbo and Paul Goldschmidt get their butts kicked by a group of angry kangaroos.

Worst-Case Scenario That Could Actually Happen: Things go horribly wrong, injuries and steps-back to and by key players send the Diamondbacks tumbling into the cellar of the NL West. The Dodgers again celebrate in the Diamondbacks’ pool.

San Diego Padres

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Best-Case Scenario: People actually remember that they exist come September. Because, really, the Padres may well be the most anonymous team in baseball, and they are going to have to do well if they are going to change that.

Worst-Case Scenario: You forget the Padres even exist by September.

Worst-Case Scenario That Could Actually Happen: See above.

San Francisco Giants
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Best-Case Scenario: The pitching staff is revived as Tim Hudson– now back in the Bay Area- and Ryan Vogelsong have bounce-back years and Tim Lincecum finds his old groove.

Worst-Case Scenario: Godzilla Attack.

Worst-Case Scenario That Could Actually Happen: Pitching isn’t amazing. The lineup isn’t good enough. Another middle-of-the-division finish.

Colorado Rockies

Best-Case Scenario: Justin Morneau becomes his old self in the thin (but humidified) Colorado air, and he joins forces with a healthy Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez to bring back the Blake Street Bombers of old. While the pitching keeps them from being a serious playoff contender, they sure end up being fun to watch.

Worst-Case Scenario: The Colorado Rockies organization ceases to exist, since Todd Helton isn’t around playing for them anymore.

Worst-Case Scenario That Could Actually Happen: They finish in the basement and aren’t particularly fun to watch, either.

Next Time: THE NL CENTRAL

Remember, children: Brian Wilson’s beard is weird

In honor of Brian Wilson‘s return to baseball as a member of the Dodgers, here’s a classic commercial from ESPN that revealed the horrible truth about Wilson’s beard and it’s dark powers:

Picture of the day: The World Tour comes to Japan

I was so sure that Japan was going to beat Puerto Rico that I had been planning on having this photo of the 1913-14 World Tour players from the White Sox and Giants with members of Japan’s Keio University… whoops. Oh well, still an interesting picture, with John McGraw, Tris Speaker, Jim Thorpe, Sam Crawford and Buck Weaver in it. So, from the Library of Congress Flickr feed, here is the photo:

If anybody in Japan would like to blame their team’s loss on my blog (I mean, between this and yesterday’s article on how Pokémon had an episode that seeped with Japanese baseball references, I seemed to have been tempting fate), go ahead.

With apologies to SI, this week’s sign of the apocalypse

Sports Illustrated often has a feature where they point out a sign of the apocalypse. Deadspin also does this occasionally, mainly to point out how SI’s sign is mild compared to actual world events.

I, for one, nominate this:

Pablo Sandoval, beauty pageant judge. One of Kung Fu Panda’s many talents.