Wednesday, April 1, 2009
AL East Preview
I forgot to mention this before maybe because it doesn't mean much of anything although it did to the Rays last year who rode the grapefruit league success to the World Series. The New York Yankees won the grapefruit league title with a 22-10-1 record, they lost 2 more games to Team Canada and Team USA but that didn't count. I got tired of reading these articles against the Yankees. I know Ken Rosenthal of foxsports.com was trying to be funny with his article about the Yankees getting ready for a circus this year but I didn't find it too funny. The Yankees won 89 games last year with Carl Pavano, Dan Giese, Sidney Ponson and Darrel Rasner making a lot of starts and Ian Kennedy and Phil Hughes going 0-9. The Yankees pitching this year is CC, Wang, AJ, Pettitte and Joba with good arms in the pen. I don't see how the Yankees don't win 95 plus games unless they have major injuries. I understand why cynics might say well lets see Posada get through a whole season and Matsui. Damon and Jeter are just getting older and Mo also. I can only say that so far so good for everyone, if these guys stay relatively healthy then there really isn't much weakness. I also ask you well what about Boston with Lowell, Papi, JD Drew, Wakefield. These guys have injury questions not to mention Beckett. This is the first full season without Manny and is Dice-K really as good as he was last year or just lucky with all those walks and wiggling out of trouble. Who is their fifth starter, ok John Smoltz might and I say might come back and if he does he is old and in the AL East now. I think Boston is a very very good team but I don't think they are as good as everyone thinks. I think CC is better then Beckett but you can call it even if you want. Wang or Lester, I will take Wang. AJ or Dike-K, I will give them Dice-K but what really seperates the Yanks in my mind is the backend Pettitte and Joba or Wakefield and Penny/Bucholz/Smoltz. I will take that, and I don't think the bullpen of Boston is so much better, I think they are pretty good there but so are the Yankees. I would take the Yankees lineup, they have a better left side of the infield and catcher, and as good as Youkilis is I would say Tex is better, I will give them Pedroia but I think Cano will be a lot closer this year and I will give them CF and LF but not RF. It will be a close battle but I see the Yankees winning the division. I didn't forget the Rays but I look at the Rays as not suprising anyone this year and they can win around 90 games either way but their pitching went way above the amount of innings they ever have and usually the next year is trouble for guys like that. I don't think the pitching will be as good and everyone is gunning for them now, not taking them lightly. I do think the AL East has the potential to have the 3 best teams in baseball but the Yankees are due to come through in the end, I think they have more of the teams like they used to have with pitching, defense and less emphasis on the slugging and they just have a lot of heart and determination and good chemistry. I know Arod will be Arod but they are used to that now and I don't think it ill affect them. Lets go Yankees.