Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Part 5: AL East

Almost to pitchers and catchers! Here we go with the east coast....

Red Sox: Dare I say a rebuilding year? The addition of Josh Beckett looks great on paper, but give him time to adjust to the AL. Foulke did not have a great year in ‘05 maybe that will change. I am still uncertain of Schilling coming out of the pen, but that should improve. Manny did his usual off-season "I don't want to play here" antics. They added Coco Crisp to take the place of Johnny Damon, not an equal replacement in my book. They do have a young star that could emerge in Jonathan Papelbon. If Schilling falters at all, look for them to bring Papelbon up from the minors. I still see the Sox, being "in it" this year. Going with a second place finish, with a slight possibility of a third place finish.

Blue Jays: They will be my surprise pick of the East. Not sure if overpaying for B.J. Ryan is going to be key to that success, but it will help. Hillenbrand showed a lot of promise last year, and should continue to excel. The pitching is relatively strong with ex-Cy Young winner Halladay and the up and comer Chacin. Vernon Wells took over half the year in '05 to heat up, if he can start off strong, look for another impressive season. They are weak on the offense front, but still could surprise. I am picking them to finish second or battling the Sox for third.

Orioles: With the loss of BJ Ryan, the clubhouse commotion that surrounds Tejada and the possible Sosa retirement hanging over their heads, this could be a rough season. They were able to trade away some bullpen for a "busty" starter in Benson. Offensively, they added Kevin Millar from the Sox. These moves don't jump out of the screen at me. My pick is for fourth.

D-Rays: There is nothing exciting about this team, in my opinion. The Rays will be in the same field as the Rockies and Royals, last place. Sure this team has the potential to be a "bracket buster" especially with the way they manhandled the Yankees last year. They do have some punch on offense with Travis Lee and Chris Crawford. Pitching? Well, both the starters and the pen are big question marks here. I am going to a last place finish.

Yanks: I hate this team. Yet again on paper, they should dominate...on paper. They are only carrying 4 bench players to help out with Mike Meyer’s inability to get out right handed batters. If no one is injured, they should do well. I am not going to name names here. However, Johnson and Mussina are not getting any younger. Besides the closer in Rivera, this pitching staff has some holes. To sounds predictable, the Yanks are my pick for first.

Final Standing:
Yanks
Sox
Jays
Orioles
D-Rays

Only 1 division left....

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