One of my favorite complaints to receive is something accusatory regarding some sort of "East Coast bias."
No, it doesn't bother me (sorry, guys, no complaints personally hurt my feelings). No, it's not because I'm some sort of troll and enjoy making people angry. It's actually because it's the opposite of being true.
I love the West. Some of the best baseball and sometimes most exciting baseball can be found out West. This year in particular looks like the last few hours of action each night will be full of drama. It has been so far.
Let’s concentrate on the NL West for this week.
We can be rude and just leave the Diamondbacks out of the equation, or we could note that the opposing teams might have a field day in putting up crooked numbers against them. That's always fun. Well, for everyone other than the D-Backs and their fans.
[And, yeah, that was rude, too.]
The Padres don't seem very exciting to this point, either, but they actually have a winning record since a 2-6 start. They have several players underachieving, too, such as Yonder Alonso, Jedd Gyorko and the injured Chase Headley. Carlos Quentin will be back soon and Cameron Maybin just returned. These guys don't suck.
The Giants are in the midst of a somewhat predictable bounce-back year and should get better once some things get sorted out (like Madison Bumgarner and Matt Cain). The power on offense looks promising and the bullpen will continue to throw well. They play lots of close games, too, as 12 of their 27 games so far have been decided by one run (in which the Giants are a hard-to-figure 6-6, adding to the fun). And who doesn't love watching games in the beautiful AT&T Park?
The Dodgers have as much talent as anyone, but also some sizeable downside because of injury risks. They haven't really played well but are two games over .500. Plus, they have a boatload of exciting players (yes, I still love me some Yasiel Puig; and how about Kenley Jansen's triple-digit cutter?). The drama is never lacking. Bonus: When you tune into home Dodgers games, you get to hear Vin Scully.
How about the Rockies? They pound the ball all over the yard, leading the NL in almost every major offensive category. They have two perennial MVP candidates, one former MVP candidate (more on him in the Colorado entry below) and always seem to find an upstart offensive player like Charlie Blackmon. It's more than the offense, though.
And pitching? Well, Jordan Lyles has been great so far, Jorge De La Rosa has the ability to make a nice front-line pitcher (relatively-speaking, of course) and Jhoulys Chacin is nearly ready to join the rotation after beginning the season on the DL. In the bullpen, LaTroy Hawkins has discovered the fountain of youth and is a feel-good story to this point while Rex Brothers, Adam Ottavino and company in front of him have performed quite well.
In fact, the Rockies have won nine of their past 12 and have the look of a real exciting team right now.
They aren't alone out West, either, but you probably shouldn't listen to me. I am biased, after all.
Please feel free to contact me with comments either on Twitter (@MattSnyderCBS) or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Just keep in mind these were posted the morning of Wednesday, April 30 and any action coming afterward wasn’t included, especially with this big heap of like 15 teams in the middle that could be ordered using color-coded pick-up sticks at this point.