|Playoff Race: The AL East||| Print |||Send|
Written by Adam Adkins (Contact & Archive) on July 31, 2007
Why The Yankees Should Worry:Â Well, Bob Abreu is toast, Canoâ€™s batting average slump could hold him beneath a .350 OBP, and itâ€™s always possible that they simply wonâ€™t regain the games they lost.
Why The Yankees Shouldnâ€™t Worry:Â Theyâ€™re just too good, and too unlucky not to come back.Â Clutch-Rod and Capâ€™n Derek are spearheading an offense that is regaining steam.Â Clemens has been good, and in about 2 weeks the Yankee rotation will be at peak strength.Â A rotation of Wang-Clemens-Pettitte-Mussina-Hughes excites me, and even more so if Joba Chamberlain is called up and used properly as a set-up man.Â
What The Yankees Should Do At The Deadline:Â Do the Scott Proctor for Wilson Betemit deal.Â Look for some relief help, but other than that, stand pat.Â Yankees can still win the AL East.
Boston Red Sox/59-39/First Place AL East
Why The Red Sox Should Worry:Â Oh Boston, youâ€™ve seen this story before havenâ€™t you?Â You guys with the crimson socks get flaming hot, and then those guys with lines on their jerseys catch ya in August and crush your hopes in September.Â (Iâ€™ll stop now, for fear of jinxing my Bombers.)
Why The Red Sox Should Worry (Really):Â Schilling isnâ€™t a safe bet to come back healthy, and thatâ€™s a problem.Â Also, go look at Dice-Kâ€™s game logs.Â Notice how he shreds the offensively-challenged teams, but when he goes up against the Indians-Yankees-Tigers, he struggles.Â That could be a problem in October.Â Manny Ramirez has lost a bunch of steps, Ortiz is not hitting as many home runs as he did (his Home Run per Fly Ball ratio is down), and itâ€™d be a blessing if Youkilis and Lowell stayed somewhat close to their current lines down the stretch.Â Still though, all four of those guys do the most important thing:Â They get on base.
What The Red Sox Should Do At The Deadline:Â Your gonna hear this a lot, but thereâ€™s not much available to trade for.Â Once again, middle relief would help.Â Boston is a prime wild card candidate, but with the Indians-Tigers still being really good, itâ€™s no guarantee.
To Sum Up
Boston is good.Â They really, really are.Â But they arenâ€™t better than the Yankees, I donâ€™t see it.Â I donâ€™t think Schilling-Beckett-Matsuzaka is better than Clemens-Wang-Hughes/Mussina/Pettitte, preferably Hughes.Â Papelbon is good, but he did break down last season, why couldnâ€™t he now?Â (Admittedly, Boston is using him far less frequently, which of course makes a difference.)Â Chances are Lowell and Youk will regress, and chances are, Cano and Abreu will improve.Â Â
Â Â Â
I see the Yankees taking the division, probably by the beginning of September, middle at the latest.Â