Well, everyone said at the start of the season that the AL East would be a tough Division and all five teams had a shot. Most people who cared about such important matters, myself included (see my preseason predictions), thought the Sox and Yankees would be contending for the bottom of the Division, not the top.
So it is a pleasant surprise to see the Sox in first place in the AL East and with the best record in the AL.
I know. I know.
As my ‘Yankee friends’ (not so much of an oxymoron as it might seem) continually remind me, August is a coming, and that is very different than April (where the Sox were 18-8).
It’s a bit worrisome that it is hitting and not pitching that has gotten the Sox this far. They are at the top of their league in all the important hitting categories while their pitching and fielding is only average. We know what happens to teams that rely on hitting to carry them through the season.
Their lack of pitching depth is worrisome, and while the Sox have weathered some injuries already, tho as yet nothing equal to last year in that respect, the 162 game season is beginning to take its toll on the pitchers.
And how have the Yankees with all of their injuries and second and third string players managed to win so many games? They are probably likely to get better as some of the injured return, probably after the All Star break.
Then there’s Toronto who is finally beginning to play as well as everyone expected. Plus, Baltimore has a lineup that is powerful and relentless. And Tampa Bay can never be counted out.
But it’s exciting to have all five of the AL East teams at .500 or better for the first half of the season.
For the Boston fanatics, the Sox Magic Number is 76 with 81 games remaining!
But I’m sticking by my preseason predictions.
Tomorrow I am scheduled to go to Orioles Park for a 7:05 game between my beloved Boston Red Sox and those cranky Baltimore Orioles. I am attending said game with a long time Bal’mer resident (former) and fan (current).
You may know that the Orioles have a slight chance of knocking the Yankees out of first place in the AL East and into (or even out of) a Wild Card, one game playoff position. (The mighty Sox, alas, are at or near the bottom of their Division and will end the season with the worst record they’ve had in 30 or 40 years).
So whom do I root for?
My Sox or his Os?
Before you rush to advise me, know that said O’s fan referred to above last year cheered wildly at the end of the season game we attended together when the Os knocked the Sox out of the playoffs. He was merciless.
So, please advise how I should approach him and the game tomorrow.
As we will no doubt leave in the mid-late afternoon, this request for advice is urgent, and I hope you will respond by noon Friday, Sept. 28 at the latest.