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Yes, I know: it's wildly premature. But what's the fun of being a baseball fan if you can't do irrational things once in awhile. As such, I've devised a new weekly feature, which I hope to update every Monday morning from here on in.

Division Leaders:

1. Seattle Mariners ---- 49 31-18 0.0
2. Boston Red Sox ----- 49 30-19 1.0
3. Minnesota Twins ---- 49 29-20 2.0

Oakland Athletics ------ 49 29-20 0.0
New York Yankees ----- 50 29-21 0.5
Kansas City Royals ----- 48 26-22 2.5
Toronto Blue Jays ---- 51 27-24 3.0
Anaheim Angels -------- 48 24-24 4.5
Chicago White Sox ----- 49 23-26 6.0
Texas Rangers --------- 49 23-26 6.0
Baltimore Orioles ------- 49 23-26 6.0

Projected matchups: Minnesota vs Seattle; Oakland vs Boston

Who would have thought the Yankees would be out of a playoff spot after their incredible start? I don't expect that to last - a Pedro-less Red Sox club could provide the necessary tonic for the Bombers to right the ship. Order has been restored in the Central; the only mystery is when the Pale Hose offence will wake up. I expect the Athletics to overtake the Mariners for good sometime in August. The Mariners, Red Sox and perhaps the Angels, White Sox and Blue Jays should be in the hunt for the wildcard.

Special Bonus Feature - Futility Derby:

Detroit Tigers ---------- 48 12-36 ___
San Diego Padres ------ 50 14-36 1.0
Milwaukee Brewers ----- 50 18-32 5.0
Cleveland Indians ------ 49 18-31 5.5
Tampa Bay Devil Rays -- 49 19-30 6.5

The former stathead darlings - the Padres - have moved from disappointing in 2002 to awful this year. It's difficult to develop a good young core of starting pitchers with a horrible defence behind them. Cleveland isn't this bad, I expect them to push the Royals for third place in the division when all is said and done. Can Lou's motivational techniques keep the near punchless D-Rays out of the bottom five? Stay tuned.

The Unofficial Blue Jays' Playoff Bandwagon | 5 comments | Create New Account
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_R Billie - Monday, May 26 2003 @ 11:10 AM EDT (#101786) #
If only the punchless D-Rays were that way against the Jays (4-2 this year)...they sure seem to hit the tar out of the ball against us.
_George - Monday, May 26 2003 @ 12:44 PM EDT (#101787) #
One thing to note about looking at the records of the four AL West teams -- two of them have played a couple games against the AL East, while the other two have played the bulk of their inter-division games against the AL Central.

Thus, Seattle and Oakland's schedules have made them look better than they are, while the opposite can be said about Anaheim and Texas...
Gitz - Monday, May 26 2003 @ 02:43 PM EDT (#101788) #
The Mariners look the same as they have the last few years-- relying on good defence, a good bullpen, just enough offence, and a never, never, never say die attitude -- but if Garcia and Pineiro don't get more consistent, they may be in trouble. (As an aside, Edgar Martinez looks as good as he ever has, and he's 40-years-old. If Julio Franco can keep playing into his 40s, so can Edgar. He may want to re-think those retirement plans. The best part about me being in Seattle is seeing, with my eyes, just how good Martinez and John Olerud are.)

I've documented the A's problems as much as my piddly "column" allows, but their offence is really as bad as it seems. Despite leading the majors in pitches drawn per plate appearance, they are struggling to get on base and score runs. Honestly, it's hard to imagine where they'd be without Eric Byrnes, who is, to say the least, excelling in his first shot at being a regular. Were it not for a hanging slider by a tiring Darrel May yesterday, the Royals would have won that series and held the A's to just six runs in three games. Not pretty. Still, they're only two games out, and yesterday's dramatic win may wake them up.

All in all, if the M's rotation continues to struggle and the A's offence continues to lag and the Yankees keep taking their lumps ... well, that's a lot of ifs. But it's possible. So ... could the Jays be buyers come July?
_Spicol - Monday, May 26 2003 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#101789) #
After numerous swings and misses in recent articles, Gammons makes solid contact. His points are well stated. Plus, there's this:

"J.P. is one of the best talent eyes of the last 20 years."
_Cristian - Monday, May 26 2003 @ 11:04 PM EDT (#101790) #
Ughh. In the Batter's Box preseason poll I picked the Padres to win it all. I knew I was reaching but I didn't know I'd be reaching with Nevin's bum shoulder.

I really expected the Pirates farm system to provide a big punch for the ML roster. It is only May but I'm sure I can throw my preseason predictions out the window now.
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