Guaranteed 2011 AL East Predictions!
Led by a rejuvenated Manny Ramirez, Tampa Bay will lead the division at the all-star break. On his return from the All-Star game in Phoenix, Manny will become rejuveniled and absent-mindedly enter Boston’s clubhouse when the Rays resume their season in Beantown on July 15th. He’ll don a Red Sox uniform and shag balls in left field before the scoreboard operator tells him that he’s playing for the wrong team. Manny will be fined, the Rays will be swept, and Tampa will begin its precipitous fall from first. In Sunday’s finale, however, Carl Crawford will suffer a Manny moment of his own, forgetting that he’s not in Tampa Bay anymore and run head first into the Green Monster while chasing a Johnny Damon fly ball. Suspected of having a concussion, the Red Sox place him on the disabled list when he begins to grow dreadlocks.
New York, meanwhile, will be scoring nine runs a game, but giving up ten as they hover right around .500. By mid-season they will have used four different hurlers as their fourth starter and five different hurlers as their fifth starter. Unable to coax Andy Pettitte out of retirement, they then attempt to coax Whitey Ford out of retirement. They are successful, but Ford is caught cutting a baseball for the sixth game in a row and is suspended.
Toronto will be hovering around .500 as well because thatss what Toronto does. Not even manager John Farrell could tell you the name of half the players on his roster and not even half of SABR could tell you who manages Toronto.
Buoyed by their post-all star break sweep of the Rays, the Red Sox will catapult into first place, but additional injuries will loosen their grip on the top spot. Josh Becket will go on the disabled list when he tries to catch fungoes in a batting helmet while hess still wearing it. Dustin Pedroia will join him two weeks later when, after suffering through an 0/21 streak, he bites his bat in half, breaking eight teeth in the process.
Meanwhile, in Baltimore, Vladimir Guerrero and Derrek Lee are proving that someone besides the pathetic Orioles should have signed them during the off-season as each has 40 homers. By September first, Mark Reynolds will be hitting only .129, but all 52 of his hits have been home runs. Tied with the Red Sox heading into the last game of the season at Camden Yards, Brian Roberts suffers another concussion when he again hits himself in the head with his bat after striking out in the first. His replacement, Caesar Izturis breaks a 0-0 tie in the bottom of the 9th hitting his first home run of the year and giving the Orioles the division crown. Buck Showalter is named Manager of the Year AND Most Valuable Player. The 2011 stretch run in the A. L. East becomes the most talked about ten weeks in the history of baseball.