The AL East

Sox Record: 20-24; The Sox have a -28 run differential.

Place in the A.L. Central and Games back: Fourth and 5 and a half out.

Most annoying person in the Sox organization: Bobby Jenks. The only reason why the Sox aren't 21-23 and on a 6 out of 7 run.

Member of the White Sox I love the most at the moment: Pods, who had like four hits (maybe three) yesterday proving that he doesn't always suck.

Rhetorical Question of the Day: Since we're past Memorial Day, it's time to look at the standings and figuring out who's real and who isn't. Today the AL East:
Boston is in first, but I'm not sure how they score runs. Then again, it's only Ortiz that has been bad. But you have to wonder if they can keep this up. I'm not a fan of their line up and it seems to me that they're hitting out of their minds. They need to get more from Ortiz (duh), and just about everyone else on that team to not drop off all that much. I don't see anyone in this line up, other than Ortiz, that Boston can expect to be better. Jason Bay may be having a career year, but odds are he's going to come back to Earth. All this means the pitching has to continue to be good. And the bad news... the bullpen has been amazing (best in the majors so far). The starting pitching? Not so hot. While they can expect Beckett to pitch better, and Dice-K should be better too, the starting pitching should worry every Red Sox fan. Overall this team is playing a bit over it's head; and in a division with little to no room for error, I don't think they're going to be in first or second in September unless other teams get really banged up. Unless of course, you believe that the bullpen will continue to be amazing and the starting pitching rights itself... I don't.

The Yankees have been hotter than LeBron over the last few weeks. While the numbers say they're playing over their heads, I think we have to remember that A-Rod missed all of April. And he's hitting the shit out of the ball and there is no reason he won't continue to do so. While they have a few bats that are going to cool off (Damon and Posada), it's actually sort of amazing that if the Yankees do make the playoffs by a game or two, they'll have Nick Swisher to thank because of his out of this world April. There is still a lot of dead weight in this line up, but with A-Rod and Tex; then Jeter playing like we all know (and are supposed to love), with Nady coming back and the rest of those guys they should continue to score runs. As for the pitching, it is what it is. Burnett should pitch a bit better if he stays healthy. But everyone else is what you'd expect. Which doesn't bode that well considering their team ERA is way too high, but the bullpen should be better as the season goes on. The starters are the only reason to be worried because there doesn't seem to be a ton of room for improvement, and I still can't believe they didn't trade for Santana. Phil Hughes just isn't that good. Anyway, none of this matters as long as Tex, CC, A-Rod, and Jeter all avoid the DL. If they all do, then playoffs comes back to the Bronx.

The Blue Jays have been in first most of the year thus far, but now stand 1.5 back. Number wise, their success isn't that surprising (as a team). But they've got some totally bizarre individual performances. Overbay and Scutaro are hitting way above their heads. But Rios and Wells are well bellow what anyone would expect. For the Jays sake, maybe Overbay and Scuraro's fall to the mean will be cancelled out by Rios and Wells finally starting to realize they're Rios and Wells. I'd also like to introduce Canada to Adam Lind who will probably keep this up. The key to their season might be Aaron Hill keeping up his All-Star numbers. But that's not likely. The bad news is that it looks like the bats are starting to cool off since a four game sweep of the White Sox. The other part of the bad news for Toronto? There is almost no way they're going to continue to get the pitching they've gotten. Okay, so DocHalladay has been great and will continue to be so (he's on his way to another Cy Young). But injuries have destroyed this rotation, but some how, some way, with a bunch of no names, they've been good enough to win games. That will end soon. But they also hope to get some guys back who have been injured, so who knows. But unless either Hill or Scutaro keep hitting like he has and Wells and Rios turn it up, I can't see them finishing in the top two in this division.

I'm sure statheads are banging their heads against the wall trying to figure out how the Rays are a game under .500. They should be about four games better than they are, but at only five games back, they're in this race. Can Longoria keep this up? There is no reason why he shouldn't, but he hasn't done it yet. However, Jason Bartlett won't keep hitting like he has, and his fall back down to Earth isn't going to be pretty. Zobrist, who's going to get a lot of playing time now that Iwamura is out for the year, should regress a bit, but no reason to think that he's going to hit a lot worse than he has. So the good news is that everyone else: Pena and Gross should be fine, while Crawford, Burrell, and my man crush, B.J. Upton, should only be better. While Crawford is never going to hit for power, I'd expect him to hit better, Burrell only has one season where he was this bad, so while that might be a reason for concern, he's also hitting in a loaded line up so he's going to see good pitches. Finally, B.J. Upton who really can't be any worse, so eventually he's going to figure this out and play like he did in October where he was the best player in baseball. What's really scary is that their pitching is only going to get better (well, starting pitching). Price replacing Sonnanstine should have happened back in March (or will happen when Kazmir, who's been brutal, comes back from the DL). Assuming Kazmir puts it back together, there's little concern reason for concern on this team... well other than losing Iwamura for the year (eh, he can be replaced and just means that Zobrist and Gross will play every day). So if the bullpen can keep it up or even get better, the Rays SHOULD make a run and that run should help them leap frog the Red Sox. I expect them to join the Yankees in the postseason.

Finally, the hapless, but fun, Baltimore Orioles. They don't have any pitching, but they do have a sweet outfield that's going to be really good for years to come. They need to fight another corner outfielder because Felix Pie isn't going to be a major league player, but Adam Jones is. I also don't know what they do with that infield in years to come, but I think the O's have a loaded minor league system so that should sort itself out in the next two years. Seriously, they don't have any pitching... they'll end up having the highest ERA in baseball and have an outside chance at giving up 1,000 runs this year which is always fun to follow. But the pieces are starting to fall into place for the good people of West Baltimore.

Thoughts on the most bizarre between innings promo ever:
Blackhawks - The Hawks looked and played like crap on Sunday. Now they have to win three in a row against the Anti-Fun Machine known as the Detroit Red Wings. It could happen. But it won't. Until their dead, I'll hang on to hope. But all I really want now is Tomas Holmstrom's no talent face being rubbed into the ice. At least the other funless, Nordic no fun machine Wings are talented so you tip your had to them. But Holmstrom? He doesn't do anything. He sits in front of the fucking net and does nothing at all. Of course you can't push him over because that'd be a penalty. So he just sits there and does nothing but block the goaltender. That's not hockey. That's bullshit.

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