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A.L. Outlook: Former NFL star pursuing the MLB

What's going on in the A.L.? Here's all the news, predictions and standings.


American League Headlines

  1. A-Rod’s time with the Yankees is coming to a close.

    1. Alex Rodriguez’s days are numbered in New York, as his career comes to an abrupt end. Both sides have mutually agreed to part ways in the coming days, but the Miami Marlins have been rumored to express some interest in signing the veteran slugger.
    2. I do not understand the release of A-Rod at this point of the season, especially when he is close to achieving some big milestones in his career. A-Rod should be able to finish his last season with the Yankees on his terms, but then again, I understand the Yankees’ perspective as well. The Yankees have been in full rebuilding mode since the trade deadline, and getting rid of an aged slugger will have more salary cap relief. On a side note, as proud and great of a franchise the Yankees have been, having a player like A-Rod, who has tarnished his career, reach milestones would only raise more red flags.
  2. Prince Fielder Retires

    1. After spinal fusion surgery for the Ranger player, doctors have ruled Fielder out of his career. A heartbreaking loss, not only for the Rangers, but for Prince Fielder himself. Even though these may be major losses, Fielder’s family becomes the big winner here.
    2. Fielder has been in the majors for over 12 years and has made his mark in the league. Prince had a .283 career batting average, two-time Homerun Derby Champion, and six All Star selections to go along with his five trips to the playoffs. Fielder retired with the same amount of home runs that his father achieved with in 319.
  3. Tim Tebow Debut?

    1. After unsuccessful attempts of comebacks into the NFL, Tim Tebow has decided to switch gears and pursue an MLB dream.
    2. I give respect to the man trying to fulfil his dreams, but also feel a bit of disrespect at the same time. From Tebow’s perspective, he is trying to prove doubters wrong in any fashion that he can. I give Tebow props for trying to silence doubters. At the same time, MLB players should feel a slap in the face hearing that Tebow all of sudden, thinks he can become a professional baseball player in moments when most of these guys have been playing baseball since their youth.

 

Playoff Update

East

  • Toronto Blue Jays
    • Current Division Leader
  • Baltimore Orioles
    • 5 game behind
  • Boston Red Sox
    • 2 games behind
  • New York Yankees
    • 5 games behind
  • Tampa Bay Rays
    • 19 games behind

The A.L. East has been one tight race up to this point in the season, with three teams in likely contention. To my surprise, the Blue Jays are atop the division due to consistent pitching staff combined with their lethal batting line-up. With all things clicking on all cylinders for Toronto, they have a good chance to steal this division at season’s end. The Orioles have been the leaders of the A.L. East for most of the season until just recently. Their sub-par play over the last ten games has been 5-5, and has allowed the Blue Jays to leap frog them. With some bat power of their own and tied for the best home record in the majors, the Orioles should keep the Blue Jays honest in the race. One last hoorah for Big Papi is still in the mix as the Red Sox continue David Ortiz’s last year in the league. Boston is within striking distance of the leader, and hopes to entail some late season magic to send Ortiz off in the right fashion at the end of fall.

 

Central

  • Cleveland Indians
    • Current Division Leader
  • Detroit Tigers
    • 5 games behind
  • Kansas City Royals
    • 11 games behind
  • Chicago White Sox
    • 12 games behind
  • Minnesota Twins
    • 5 games behind

The A.L. Central has been driven by one team for most of the season, the Cleveland Indians, until just recently. After what was thought to be a runaway for the Indians, the Detroit Tigers have slowly chipped away at the lead since the All Star Break. The rest of the teams in the division are pretty much out of the race due to double digit leads with less than two months of the season left. The Royals, who have been to the World Series the past two years, have a steep hill to climb if they want to make it a third straight appearance into the Fall Classic. The White Sox started the season as one of the best teams in the majors, but that became a distant memory really quick. The Indians should be able to hold off the Tigers in this division race down the stretch due to a more consistent pitching staff and batting order, but do not count out the Tigers who have veteran leadership from their World Series run from a couple of years ago.

 

West

  • Texas Rangers
    • Current Division Leader
  • Seattle Mariners
    • 5 games behind
  • Houston Astros
    • 5 games behind
  • Oakland Athletics
    • 5 games behind
  • Los Angeles Angels
    • 19 games behind

The A.L. West has been dominated by the Texas Rangers up to this point in the season. The Rangers arguably have the most potent offense swinging the bats due to major players added at the trade deadline to pair up with a solid pitching staff led by Cole Hammels. The Mariners have fought their way into second place as they have been able to pick up steam by being 8-2 in their last ten games. The Astros were in second place for most of the year, trying to play catch-up with the Rangers, but have seen themselves in third place after a rocky start to the second half of the season. Houston has gone 5-5 in their last ten games, and have been trying to regain the momentum that they lost in the middle of the season. The Rangers have a big enough cushion to win the division for the second straight year.

 

Wild Card

  • Baltimore Orioles
    • Currently holds 1st slot by 1.5 games
  • Boston Red Sox
    • Currently holds 2nd slot
  • Detroit Tigers
    • 5 games behind
  • Seattle Mariners
    • 2 games behind
  • Houston Astros
    • 4 games behind
  • New York Yankees
    • 5 games behind

The Baltimore Orioles find themselves in unfamiliar territory as they hold the first Wild Card spot. The Orioles were atop their division, until the Blue Jays came storming out of the gates after the All Star Break. Baltimore’s fellow division rival, the Red Sox, hold the second Wild Card spot. Boston is doing everything in their team’s power to give Big Papi a spectacular send off by making the playoffs in Ortiz’s last year in the league. The Tigers and Mariners are not far behind the second Wild Card, so the Red Sox have no room to relax, especially with the playoffs less than two months away. The most surprising team on this list is the Yankees, due to the fact they were big sellers at the trade deadline – getting rid of the two highest relieving prospects. I do not expect the Yankees to make the Wild Card even though they are within striking distance.

A.L. Outlook: Former NFL star pursuing the MLB

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