2008 AL East Predictions
1. Yankees — The Yanks had a terrible start to the season and they still finished with 94 wins. Every pitcher in their system got hurt in the first few months and they still hung on. This team is deep and their front office is creative. Their offense is stacked and second only to Detroit’s. Even if the vets like Pettitte and Mussina are shaky, I really like their youngsters Kennedy and Hughes. I think the Yanks are in good hands and should take the division. If I could give them one thing, I’d give em … nukes to clear out the tabloids and loosen up the media pressure.
2. Red Sox — They’ve really regressed since October’s World Series winning team, and really it’s for factors beyond their control. Curt Schilling got hurt (and could be done forever), and Josh Beckett already has back problems. Losing Schilling for starters takes them out of World Series contention. Replacing him with Jon Lester puts their playoff chances in jeopardy. Mike Lowell is due to regress, Varitek and Manny are a year older, and I’m not sold on Ellsbury. They’re still good, but not better than the Yanks. If I could give them one thing, I’d give em … a picture of last year’s celebration so they can remember how great if felt. They won’t be winning it all again.
3. Blue Jays — I really like what they have going on. Gotta love Halladay at the top of the rotation, and I’m impressed with Marcum and McGowan. I expect big things from their rotation. Their offense is good and should improve dramatically; no way Vernon Wells and Lyle Overbay will be this bad again. And so will the team. They’ll be nipping at the Red Sox. If I could give them one thing, I’d give em … 90 homers between Overbay, Big Hurt, and VW.
4. Orioles — They’re a bad team and it didn’t help that they got rid of Erik Bedard, but at least they’re not awful. They still have some pros in the lineup, and Nick Markakis is a stud you should get to know. They’re rotation took a major hit and they’ll be asking too much of guys like Jeremy Guthrie and Daniel Cabrera. Simply put: they’re rebuilding. If I could give them one thing, I’d give em … a new owner.
5. Rays — Everyone’s picking them to improve and finally get out of the cellar. I’ll believe it when I see it. I see all the improvements there on paper, but they still have to go out there and win — something they haven’t done. They also only have Carl Crawford left over from that outfield that never was — Baldelli, Delmon, Dukes. And with Scott Kazmir on the shelf, I can’t pick these guys to be any higher. They’re a year away from 4th place. If I could give them one thing, I’d give em … a makeover. Oh wait …