Previewing the Only Division ESPN Covers…AL EAST

Too much fucking time and energy is spent breaking down the Yankees and Red Sox.  Truthfully,

World Champions in 2009

World Champions in 2009

these teams should dominate baseball considering how much more they spend than their competitors.  And don’t give me the bullshit about how the Rays now get great coverage, too.  The only reason they do is because they beat the Big 2 last year in the AL East.  If they were in any other division, little would have been dedicated to them on ESPN.  Ask Baseball Prospectus who they felt overachieved more in 2008, the Rays or the Twins (or White Sox)?  This is why my AL East preview will be short and really fucking snarky.

Most of the previews I’ve seen have the Yankees at the top of the power rankings.  BP has them winning 99 games.  Here’s why it won’t happen.

  • They are deficient defensively, with Derek Jeter having the range of Dick Cheney in quicksand and their corner outfielders being bad.
  • Sabathia was not worth the money of his contract, as his obesity will catch up with him, but he was the answer for what they needed this year.  I like Wang (that didn’t sound quite right), but I’m not buying Pettite, and Burnett and Chamberlain are real injury risks.  On paper they look good, but I don’t think this is the kind of staff that wins 99 games.
  • Major fucking points if you can name more than 1 other guy than Mariano Rivera in the Yanks bullpen.  Girardi did a great job using his pen last season, but they are going to have to count on a lot of talented, but young arms to get them to Mo.  Tough place to learn on the job.
  • Did you hear that A-Rod is going to be missing for awhile?

I like the Red Sox more because I think they are less likely to have key players hit the DL, plus their bullpen is superior.  While I do think they will have some starting pitching struggles, I still believe they are the surest bet to succeed of any team in 2009.

Here is why I think the Rays will fall back in 2009.

  • Check out the Tigers and White Sox for teams who overachieved and then fell back the next season because their starting pitching was worn out from the year before.  Oh and the David Price move is fucking moronic, though maybe they realize like myself that they aren’t going to make the playoffs, so why not keep his innings low until 2010 when they are in the race, again.
  • The Rays bullpen pitched out of their fucking sphincters in 2008 and I just don’t see why this bullpen won’t go back to being below average.  This is the biggest reason for their downfall.
  • Can their defense be as good as 2008?  I’m expecting some drop-off.

Now I should add that I think their offense will be a little better, as they have some young players who were far from career type seasons in 2008.

The Orioles have a lot of really good, young offensive players, but who knows about their starting

It's not her bat that is corked.

It's not her bat that is corked.

pitching?  The Blue Jays were killed by Marcum going under the knife, as he and Halladay were as good of a 1-2 last year as you could find.  I still like their outfield and their bullpen, plus I do think Rolen will bounce back some, but the starting pitching is a fucking mess.  The only reason I have them below .500 is if they are out of the race by the all-star break, I could see them trading away key veteran talent.

Projected Standings

Boston 96

New York 91

Tampa Bay 87

Toronto 80

Baltimore 75

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Karen O is back.

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