2. Red Sox
5. Blue Jays
I imagine it must suck to be the Tampa Bay Rays. You wake up every morning knowing that no matter how hard you try, you may not succeed because you play in the same division as the Red Sox and Yankees. Now take that feeling and imagine you are the Orioles. Its like you wake up and someone tells you that Santa does indeed exist but he finds you to be utterly horrible and will never visit you or your city.
The AL East, also known as the douche-bag division houses two teams that literally throw money at their problems. Rumor is George Steinbrenner came down with a bad case of SARS but then just rubbed a finsky on his chest and, voila! It wouldn’t be so aggravating if it didn’t actually work.
It will once again be a coin flip at the top of the table. More than likely the loser of heads/tails will still get into the playoffs as the wild card. It is my hope however that the Rays can bounce back from a less than stellar year and show us all that youth and vitality is not wasted on the young, or the vital.
The Blue Jays should bring up the rear on the division. They are gutted and want for any semblance of a star. But please don’t count out the Orioles and their amazing ability to play really bad baseball.
Here I am, waking up Monday moring after a rough sports Sunday. Clearly I could use some aspirin… and a new head!
Let’s disregard the fact that the Angels have three division series losses to the Red Sox. This is a new year and what’s striking is that these two teams are pretty close images of one another. Take away the ability of both Jon Lester and Josh Beckett to turn into K machines every so often, the Angels and Red Sox are pretty much split down the middle talent wise. The regular season record illustrates this with the Angels taking five of nine.
Both squads have extremely talented hitters throughout. What both lack is a step-up stud of a hitter. Neither has the one guy who pitchers would rather pitch around than put anything near them. This has not deterred either from being extremely potent on offense. Rather, the hits are spread out all over. This is a pick em’ series that should go all five.
To pick the winner of this one I flipped a coin nine times and the Angels won. However I remember that I still can’t stand the Rally Monkey so I switched to the Red Sox. Monkeys should be lauded and laughed at for their comical behavior not invoked to spur on a rally. That’s right the Red Sox win because Angel fans worship monkeys. You heard it here first.
So if you turned on the World Wide Leader or your local sports radio station at any point today, then you most likely heard the news about the Mets agreeing to trade Pitcher Billy Wagner to the Red Sox for a couple of players to be determined later. Apparently the deal got done because Wagner waived his no-trade clause after the Red Sox agreed not to exercise the $8 million dollar club option next year (he really wants to be a closer again, not a set-up guy). They do, however, reserve the right to offer arbitration, which Wagner certainly won’t accept.
So the Sox get a proven left arm for the stretch run this season, and when Wagner signs elsewhere as a free agent during the winter, they’ll get draft picks as compensation. Sounds like a win for everyone, right?
Well this is where I’d normally say something smarmy, like “Wrong, the verdict is still out! No one knows how effective Wagner is going to be! He could re-injure his arm! One solid inning last week shouldn’t spur this kind of deal! Etc., etc., etc.” I would say some or all of those things, but I just can’t get past how much Wagner resembles Simon Pegg. It’s uncanny, and frankly, quite distracting for me.
I can see it now… Francona approaches the mound and asks for the ball.
Wagner, in a thick Scottish accent, tells his skipper “I’m giving you all I got Captain!”
See what I mean? How am I supposed to tell whether it’s a good deal or not with those thoughts running around in my head!