The woeful state of the American League

If it wasn’t such a pressing issue that the AL is horrible this year,
the title of this entry would probably be a reference to the scorching
start that Jay Bruce has had in the major leagues. Thought I should
mention him before things get depressing.

I am one hundred percent certain that a team that doesn’t deserve to
make the postseason will make it anyway. Why should that be so? They
give out four postseason berths per league. The AL doesn’t have
four worthy teams. Before the season started, I wouldn’t have been
surprised to hear that Ozzie Guillen was in a state of constant
foul-mouthed frustration by the time Memorial Day came around. However,
that’s because the place that I expected them to be trying to hold off
the Twins for was fourth, not first. Okay, maybe third–Royals, White
Sox, no difference to me. The Royals have shown their true colors once
more, as evidenced by their recent twelve-game losing streak, but the
Indians and Tigers…well, the Indians at least still have a chance. If
everyone gets healthy, they could become a worthy fourth. The West, on
the other hand, has already been won…almost. Seattle, my preseason
pick to edge out Los Angeles for the division, is mired in last place,
the worst record in the American League. The rebuilding Athletics won’t
hold up long, which leaves the Angels’ only threat…Texas. I’d say
that this was crazy, but they’ve got the offense to do it…and their
pitching has improved…and in this season, anything is
possible. The AL East champion and the wild card are playing each other
right now, though I’m not sure which one is which. This is because the
Central is clearly no threat, with only one decent team that happens to
be in third place right now, and, well…Texas. This is also because
the Orioles have taken to their “rebuilding” tag much more readily than
Minnesota or Oakland. The Yankees, whose starting pitching was expected
to be a question mark at best, has been infinitely worse. The highly
hyped first start by Joba Chamberlain (They held out until June. Guess
I was wrong about them making the desperation move by the end of May)
was nothing short of…well, it wasn’t abominable. He only gave up two
runs, one of them both unearned and scored after he left. The problem?
That was in the third inning. In the first, he walked the leadoff
batter, who then ended up on third following a balk and a passed ball
and scored on a groundout, the second out. The passed ball, though not
Joba’s fault, did not make the run unearned, as he then proceeded to
give up a single and walk the bases loaded. He was then pulled after a
one-out walk, and the runner on first then stole second and went to
third on a throwing error by the catcher on the steal, scoring on a
groundout. No hits followed and the bases weren’t loaded, so that was
unearned…but two-and-a-third innings? Toronto has the potential to be
decent if they ever get healthy, but they haven’t had a healthy team in
Toronto since the nineties. I think that both of these teams can make
it through the LDS round to face each other. The Rays match up well
with the Angels, I think, and if they face the Central champion
instead, it means that they’re the AL East champion and have home field
advantage throughout the AL playoffs. Boston, like Tampa Bay, is all
but unbeatable at home and is good enough to handle the Angels–aren’t
they always good enough to handle the Angels in October? However, if
home-field advantage runs out when the ALCS is over, I have my doubts
that even those two titans could take the NL champion in the World
Series. Chicago or Arizona, I think? While as a Red Sox fan I of course
want Boston to repeat, I think the funniest possible scenario would be
the Cubs finally making it back to the World Series and losing to the
Tampa Bay Rays. You know, it’s theoretically possible for the Cubs to
go all the way to the World Series and play a trio of teams with less
combined seasons in the majors than the length of time since the Cubs
last played in the World Series. It wouldn’t happen as the standings
are now, but it wasn’t long ago that the Marlins were the ones in line
to play the Cubs in round one (instead of the Phillies)…actually, the
problem is that the Marlins were almost destined to fall, and it would
have to be a trio of teams that were founded in the LCS era. Extend it
to the length of time since they last won a World Series, though, and
you could get away with Mets–>D-Backs–>Rays (still unlikely, I
think, but it could happen–especially because I’m not convinced the
Cardinals will hold up as the wild card). Actually, come to think of
it, you wouldn’t be off by much with Mets–>D-Backs–>Angels. Now
that’s funny.

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