Today we continue our preview of the upcoming 2013 Major League Baseball season by moving over to the American League. Every day we’ll spotlight a different division and tell you what to look for from each team, and what the keys will be for each team to have a chance at the World Series. Today, we continue our coverage with the AL East.
Hilaritan’s Projected 2013 AL East Standings
- Tampa Bay
- New York
Toronto Blue Jays
2012 Record: 73-89, fourth place. Did not qualify for playoffs.
Biggest Offseason Move: The Blue Jays made the biggest splash this offseason, acquiring Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, Melky Cabrera, and R.A. Dickey. These moves have put the Jays in excellent position to try and steal the World Series from the United States.
How They Can Win the World Series: Toronto is considered by many to be a lock as a World Series contender after they went out and spent large amounts of money to assemble a team of all-stars. The 2013 Toronto Blue Jays can look for inspiration from other similarly built championship teams, such as the 2003-04 New York Rangers, the 2011 Philadelphia Eagles, the 2001 Texas Rangers, the, wait, hold on, scratch all that. They should probably focus on fundamentals and winnings games. That’s probably a better recipe for success.
Tampa Bay Rays
2012 Record: 90-72, third place. Did not qualify for playoffs.
Biggest Offseason Move: Opted not to resign B.J. Upton, a player known to falter under the pressure of playing in front of thousands of empty seats.
How They Can Win the World Series: The rabid fan base of Florida’s Gulf Coast should provide the energy needed for this team to finally clear the hurdle and bring home a championship.
New York Yankees
2012 Record: 95-67, first place. Lost ALCS to Detroit.
Biggest Offseason Move: In an effort to further stick it to their rival Boston Red Sox after the Sox finished in last place last year, the Yankees signed Boston fan favorite Kevin Youkilis so that Boston fans would no longer have the fun of yelling “Yoooooooooooooooooooooooooooke” whenever he came up to bat.
How They Can Win the World Series: The Yankees star players are among the oldest and most seasoned players in baseball. They should petition Bud Selig to change the World Series into a trivia contest, which would probably serve well for the Yankees with all their experience.
2012 Record: 93-69, second place. Lost divisional series to New York.
Biggest Offseason Move: Owner Peter Angelos managed to avoid the temptation that many teams have after a playoff run, as he didn’t spend any money on a quality free agent that might have pushed this team to the next level.
How They Can Win the World Series: Last year the Orioles went 29-9 in one run games. Since that’s clearly their strength, Baltimore should look to stop scoring runs once they take a one run lead. If they can duplicate success like that, they will have a real shot at the World Series.
Boston Red Sox
2012 Record: 69-93, fifth place. Did not qualify for playoffs.
Biggest Offseason Move: The Red Sox departed from their usual strategy of going after the big name free agents, instead signing less flashy players such as Ryan Dempster, Stephen Drew, and Shane Victorino, to name a few. This should take pressure off the players, as fan frustration for another last place year will be focused on the management instead of a big dollar player.
How They Can Win the World Series: If the Red Sox can get Boston fan favorites Tom Brady and Kevin Garnett to shed their respective Patriots and Celtics jerseys, they probably won’t win, but they would be a lot more interesting to watch.