Why the AL East Will Be the Division to Watch in 2013
Somebody speed dial Dick Vitale; the AL East in 2013 is going to be mayhem, baby!
With one swift swoop, the Jays just transformed from an aging F-16 to a brand new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
Every day (barring injury), AL East teams will have to contend with a more potent Jays lineup and much improved pitching staff.
Calm down? Curb my excitement?
Why should I?
How ‘bout everyone stop living in denial regarding the impact of the Jays monster splash?
It is going to be fun to see the Jays strive to become the division’s new “Evil Empire.”
Thanks to Toronto, the sheer unpredictability of what will happen next season could transform into a veritable arms race. It will be sweet to see traditional AL East powerhouse teams like the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox battle with the Jays for divisional superiority.
This, just a short time removed from watching the Baltimore Orioles throw a wrench in the plans of their divisional rivals.
The Yankees may have some issues with an aging lineup, but they are still the Yankees. If they can shore up their starters and continue to groom stud prospects like Tyler Austin and Gary Sanchez to be eventual future stars, this team will be in the thick of things.
The Red Sox may look like they are in rebuilding mode after unloading old inventory on the Dodgers, but they boast an impressive stock of upcoming youth. They also have a load of cash to spend. I may be one of the few in this camp, but I am very excited to see how things pan out with shortstop Jose Iglesias.
This will be the sight at Camden Yards in 2013, quite the opposite from back when paid attendance was a whopping 6,000.
If I could give one piece of advice to the leaders of these orange-and-black journeymen, it would be this: DO NOT TINKER.
Let this band of baseball brothers continue to grow up together. The Orioles will be fascinating to watch in 2013, especially if their starting rotation further solidifies. Hitters like Chris Davis and Mark Reynolds (if he returns) will be unstoppable if they improve on breaking-ball hits.
I still think Buck Showalter got ripped off, but hey, a lot of things in life do not go as anticipated...
Such as the Tampa Bay Rays failing to make the postseason. Do not expect a team with such an ironclad pitching staff to make the same mistake again in 2013. I fully expect Joe Maddon to clean things up, en route to rectifying a disappointing 2012 season.
Sad as it may be, I do not know what this team has to do to put butts in seats. It seems no matter how well this team does, they cannot fill the park. Perhaps adding a superstar like Josh Hamilton alongside Evan Longoria in the lineup could do the trick.
Or they could always pay some movie extras.
Whatever the course the Rays take, they are part of an AL East that will be making headlines well into the 2013 season..
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