Along with virtually all baseball pundits, I viewed the AL East as a mediocre division that was up for grabs for any team that could weather the storm of predictable injuries and avoid any serious losing streaks over the course of the season.
And while it’s still early, it’s time to revisit that prediction and recognize the fact that there are several “sleeping” teams that could come awake and (later) challenge the Tigers and the Royals for supremacy in the league.
First off, the Yankees are for real. Yes, they have a team of aging veterans and injuries to those players could impact their presence…….but this…..above all else is a TEAM firing on all cylinders. They remind me of last year’s Kansas City team with contributions coming from everywhere. And don’t forget that powerhouse bullpen (Hello Detroit).
While it is true that Baltimore is a disappointment so far, you cannot discount the genius of Buck Showalter. Together with the Blue Jays (another disappointment), you can expect that both teams will be active before the trade deadline. The team in Tampa has the pitching to make them a wild card threat and look for them to peddle Evan Longoria who needs a change of scenery for some heavy duty talent.
The AL West looks to me like one of those “I got it, you take it” infield fly balls that drops for a hit. Besides Houston, the feel good team of the year, can anyone in that division win more than two games in a row?
Joe Torre used to say…..”Count them in fives…..that’s how you win a division”. Meaning five over (.500), ten over and so on………..and if the Yankees weren’t always expected to win every year you’d have to agree that they are the surprise team of the year. Watch as the focus shifts during the summer to a Division that everyone had slotted as weak and boring………