AL Central Buyers and Sellers
Detroit Tigers/58-38/First Place AL Central
Why The Tigers Should Be Worried: If they lose Ordonez, Sheffield, Bonderman, Verlander or Guillen, they’re in trouble. Then again, any team is vulnerable like that.
Why The Tigers Shouldn’t Worry: Because, and it pains me to say this, but the Tigers are a good candidate to win the AL. A lot of things will have to happen, but something tells me a Yankee-Tiger ALCS is in our futures. As a Yankee fan, I’m not real confident we can take them.
What The Tigers Should Do At The Deadline: Call up the Reds, offer Craig Monroe and Fernando Rodney for Adam Dunn and David Weathers. Probably have to offer up some dough too, but Dunn is the kind of guy who could help the Tigers.
Cleveland Indians/58-40/Second Place AL Central
Why The Indians Should Be Worried: Because the Tigers haven’t died the way some suspected they would. Sure, they’re sporting guys with .298 OBPs and a first baseman who’s slugging .393, but luckily, that’s all been counteracted by Magglio Ordonez and Gary Sheffield playing out of their minds. Indians’ fans, I really believe you’re the better team. But I don’t think you’ll win. The Tigers are on par with their Pytha record, and your 3.3 over yours.
Why The Indians Shouldn’t Worry: Magglio could always come back to earth, same with Sheffield. Plus, Travy Haf-haf really hasn’t gotten around to laying down some major Pronkings yet, and when he does, it all could change.
What The Indians Should Do At The Deadline: It’s a long shot, but I’d ask for Adam Dunn. One never knows what Wayne Rivsy could do. (Notice the lack of “k” in Rivsy…everyone knows strikeouts are evil!)
Minnesota Twins/51-47/Third Place AL Central
Why The Twins Should Be Worried: They play in the toughest division in baseball, and while they can whoop up on the Royals and White Sox, they cannot hang with the Tigers and Indians. Baseball Prospectus currently puts their playoff hopes at a meager 9%. Sounds about right.
Why Else Should They Be Worried: Time is running out. Super Johan will become a free agent after 2008, so that puts the focus on next season. If Liriano can return to a form, even a little, along with Matt Garza, Kevin Slowey and Glen Perkins, then the Twins could have a fantastic rotation. Mauer and Morneau should still be good, but Torri Hunter is gone. The Twins money is better saved and used to bring back Santana, rather than wasted on a declining left fielder to be like Hunter. Even still, signing Santana is certainly no guarantee. Sources say the Yankees, Mets, Red Sox and Rangers have already reserved a #57 jersey for Johan.
Why The Twins Shouldn’t Worry: They have been known to get hot. However, they don’t have the ace in waiting they did last year, and GM Terry Ryan’s idiotic fascination with Ramon Ortiz and Sidney Ponson could end up costing them in the end. Those losses still hurt.
What The Twins Should Do At The Deadline: Nothing. Unless Terry Ryan shows some initiative and steals some arms for Torri Hunter, but he won’t.
In Summation I really want to say that I think the Indians are going to win the Central.I love Pronky Pronk, I love Grady, I don’t particularly love C.C., but still. I pull for them. But, this is supposed to be a real column, with real insight and real analysis. This ain’t no Joe Morgan-Colin Cowherd pile of junk. So, I guess that means I have to say this: Ladies and Gentlemen, Your 2007 AL Central Champion, Detroit Tigers.
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