In a previous posting, I picked who might win the respective divisions in Major League Baseball. Here's a rewrite with some reasoning and stats (if needed). I will be doing the other two AL divisions later this week.
1. Boston. The defending World Champs are once again the hunted, instead of being the hunters. At least they don't have the distraction of signing Santanta and are actually glad that their hated rivals, the Yankees, didn't get him either. Josh Beckett can't do it alone, though. 20-7 is nothing to sneeze at and Dice K wasn't too bad in his American debut. If Jason Varitek, Big Poppy and Manny can stay healthy, along with Youkillis, look out. If not, well, things could get dicey in Beantown.
2. New York Yankees. The departure of Joe Torree and the Roger Clemens distaction may be too much for the Boss and the Pinstripers. It's up to Damon, A-Rod and Jeter to somehow circle the wagons and improve in the postseason. They could pass their hated rivals if they get their ducks in a row.
3. Toronto. I'm not sure how good they will be with Scott Rolen but they can go only one place. UP. Roy Halladay wasn't too bad at 16-7 but Vernon Wells has to stay healty.
4. Tampa Bay. Granted, this is an organization that has not finished above the .500 mark in anyone's lifetime. Granted, they did hit .268 as a team but with a team ERA of 5.53, they may get out of the AL East cellar... or they may not. If that's the case, we best plan on living a long time.
5. Baltimore. Not the same team since Ripken retired. Their best infielder was traded to Houston and now is under the eye of the Mitchell Report for steroid use. I will give the Birds credit. They can catch the ball, making 79 errors in 2007. Still, they need pitching and the drumbeats with regard to Erik Beddard being trade bait beats loudly.