The baseball season starts in April, consisting of 30 teams who are all grinding through the same grueling schedule.
All 30 teams have just one identical goal, to make it to this week when the 2009 Playoffs begin.
Only eight ball-clubs dreams of playing in October will come true. The remaining 22 crushed with the only hope left is the possibility of next year.
PART ONE – the American League
1.New York Yankees
My team had to go first but the Yanks did finish with the best record in the majors for the regular season. That record gets tossed as post-season it’s a different atmosphere. For the Yanks this is literal because some players choke in the post and if that happens again it will be a quick exit for the team.
Players like Alex Rodriguez and CC Sabathia cannot go dead as both have before in the playoffs. The Yankees line-up is up and down excellent but Arod’s return from the DL was the missing link that spark the team to start winning in May. His bat is essential. Ending the season by hitting a three run home-run and a grand slam in the same inning hopefully will carry into October.
CC is the ace. He has been a workhorse, pitching deep into games and winning. His last outing for his 20th win was such a disaster that hopefully the big man used the extra off days to rid himself of that.
And I have been of the opinion that Joba should be a closer. My bet is the addition of Joba in the bullpen will be the biggest payoff for the Yankees success on the road to the Championship.
2.TBD – AL Central – TWINS OR TIGERSWill add after tie-breaking game is played.
3.Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
First let me thank God for the Yankees not having to fly to California to face the Angels.Figgins, Morales, Abreu, Rivera, Aybar, Hunter, Izturis, Guerrero and Napoli make up a batting order in which the lowest batting average is .272.
This is the team that could win it all and make it look easy. The Angels play every kind of baseball, can steal bases, have a line-up as good as the Yanks and pitching is good.
Watching a game where the players tireless effort is evident on the faces is only when their opponent is the Angels of Anaheim. The Yankees last series in Anaheim is perfect evidence of this. The Angels wear teams down.
Mentally, the Angels have no fear, especially with the Red Sox and Yankees.
4.Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox struggles cannot carry into October baseball. Boston knows this very well as they have won two World Series in the past five years.Josh Beckett has to be Josh Beckett again and Papelbaum has to close a game without throwing 45 pitches in an inning. Wagner was a nice pick-up just in case to close as well and makes Pap’s fight to keep his job.
Big Pappi seems to be back to his confident slugging self. Mike Lowell has to pick it up a bit to complement Bay, Pedroia and Youks in the line-up. Not to worried as Lowell is experience and attitude are top notch so he knows what has to be done.
- 2011 MLB: Josh Beckett and the Key Player On Each American League East Team (bleacherreport.com)
- Reloaded Red Sox are target in AL East (mlb.mlb.com)
- Yankees Vs. Red Sox: Looking At The Facts Spells A Different Story For Rivalry (ladylovespinstripes.com)