Monday, July 31, 2006

Balance of Power in the AL East

Only an analytical post today because 1) It's monday 2) I'm feeling somewhat downtrodden for no apparent reason 3) I need to finish a project and 4) once that is done I really need to crank out the last few chapters in my book on finance.

With that in mind, I thought I meant just put out a thought on the AL East.

Currently, the AL east is tied up, with the Sox and Yanks even in the loss column and the Sox holding a lead only by virtue of having a win in hand. The Yanks just traded for an all-star right-fielder who this year has statistically been about Trot Nixon this year: both are OBP machines with significantly less pop than in years past. They also got rid of Sydney Ponson's role by putting a soft throwing Corey Lidle into their rotation. And they were able to make these additions by trading pretty much just cash, a 27-year-old AAAA player, their 2005 draft pick that they took instead of Craig Hansen, and two rookie league players. Basically, the Yanks traded a half a prospect for some big contracts, and very well may have made their lineup even stronger than before.

On the Sox side of things, they get Orsen back in the rotation tonight, traded for a AAAA reliever which means that Van Buren can take his six-run one-out self back to Pawtucket to work himself out. That said, the Sox have pretty much scuffled since the break, save for the visit by the Royal/Rangers. There also is about 7 hours until the trade deadline, and just about every writer on the internet seems to think the Sox are about to pull off something big, but they have no idea what that might be. Of course, that silence/crypticness generally means that absolutely nothing is happening and/or Theo is racking up the phone bill to screw with the market. I've heard the Sox are seriously interested in Schmidt, Soriano, Peavy, Westbrook, Seaver, Blue, Cobb, and Mantle, and they are willing to trade Lowell, Loretta, Crisp, Wily Mo, Youks, Trot, and the 2004 championship trophy to make it happen. Personally, I've given up trying to even pay attention.

As for the rest of the way, the Sox have more home games than any other team in the AL, though they still have to make a pretty brutal west coast swing and have a bitch-all of a schedule in mid-August. The Yanks schedule actually made grade out a bit harder, especially if they stop playing teams like the DRays and Texas (pre Cliff Lee), but not much harder other than it is a bit more travel heavy.

I am too damn tired to talk about the Jays.

So, I guess what I'm trying to say is that I have no idea what is going to happen. I will say that it is pretty frustrating to see that the Sox have given away at least 4 games this year that really should have been wins (19 inning game, I'm looking at you), but then again I'm sure most fans of other teams could say the same thing. Really, I think the biggest scheduling quirk, thanks to a pair of rain outs, is that the Sox and Yanks are going to be playing their last 9 games against each other in two series at each park, first with a 5-game set at the Fens followed by a 4 game set at the toilet, each with a double-header mixed in.

Alright, I need coffee.


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