Beanball: Reviewing the AL East in August

Yesterday’s results in the American League East represents exactly what each team has been doing the entire season.

Music to listen to: Big Business/I Zimbra by Talking Heads

Get used to seeing a lot of Talking Heads and Mars Volta on this Blog, just fair warning.

First, the standings as of today with streaks in parenthesis:

New York: 69-41 — (Won 2)

Tampa: 67-44 2.5 GB (Lost 5)

Boston: 63-49 7 GB (Lost 2)

Toronto: 59-52 10.5 GB (Won 3)

Baltimore: 37-74 32.5 GB (Won 1)

New York Yankees: This has been a mundane season for the Yankees. Mark Teixeira is hitting .259 yet still second on the team in RBI’s with 84. Alex Rodriguez may have the quietest 88 RBI’s on a division leader. Their best overall hitter, Robinson Cano, is in the top-five in batting average at .332 but once again its done in a quiet way. Do you realize that Andy Pettitte’s ERA this year is 2.88? For a dude approaching 40 in that ballpark, that’s impressive. Must be on that stuff…just kidding I promised myself no PED jokes but with Rodriguez and Pettitte on the same team, its hard. The point of this is that they just took two out of three from Boston at home pending a game in progress at this moment and we’ve tuned it out.

I was going to talk about the rest of the teams in the division but want to discuss something further. Quicker rundowns for the rest of the squads.

Tampa: When you have been involved in so many potential no-hitters, I can’t trust your team in the postseason. They may win the wild card, shoot, they may even overtake the Yankees and win the division. However, those bats have to be a concern. The counter argument is that when your top-three in the rotation for the playoffs will be David Price, Matt Garza and Jeff Niemann. But their offense will be the downfall, which shouldn’t happen when you have Evan Longoria, Carl Crawford, Ben Zobrist, B.J. Upton and Carlos Pena. They may win their division yet underachieve at the same time.

Boston: While they have been a M.A.S.H unit with major injuries but when your most reliable bat for the majority of the season has been Adrian Beltre with that roster, major problems. Their fans may be complaining about this being a boring season (the level of hubris in that shows the annoying side of that fan base.. Seriously, you‘re in the middle of the playoff race and this is boring) but considering the personalities that the Red Sox have had in the past, I can almost see that angle. But than as a Mets fan I see my squad loses consecutive series to Atlanta and Philadelphia without a care, so my view my be different.

Toronto: The Blue Jays are probably going to finish over .500 for another season and place fourth in their own division. If they were a college football team, I would tell them to implement a spread or option offense, maybe run a 4-4-3 defense, something to shake things up. But in that division, what can you do.

Baltimore: Buck Showalter has them playing hard, still more than 30 games back in early August.

Brandon Morrow of the Blue Jays struck out 17 batters and had a one-hitter against Tampa yesterday. Now, I follow a lot of sports but this barely made my top-five of the weekend. In some order, UFC 117, Tiger Woods, NFL preseason and college football prep. 20 years go, it would have been first but I would have also been nine years old.

The point is that while that says more about the lack of care in baseball in early August, I’ve had to talk myself into watching baseball this season for the first time in a long time and its not because my favorite team is struggling. I think I’ll delve more into this tomorrow, the issue of lack of baseball interest. But for now, what are your thoughts on the AL East so far this season?