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Tigers sweep Yankees in ALCS


Image source: Detroit Tigers Facebook Page

I guess it’s hard to make it to the World Series when you have to bench your most expensive player in the elimination game of the ALCS.

This postseason will be remembered by New York fans for all of the Alex Rodriguez drama. The Yankees did get one World Series championship for the king’s ransom they paid A-Rod, but now they’re left with another $100 million to pay out on that ridiculous contract.

Donald Trump is one of the biggest jackasses around, but he did have a decent point when he suggested on Twitter that the Yankees should refuse to pay A-Rod due to fraud – they resigned him not knowing he was taking PEDs. In know – it’s unrealistic, but it would make for some great reality TV.

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Mikey’s MLB power rankings

The regular season is almost over, and we have an almost anti-climatic AL East race going on, with just playoff positioning to determine. In the NL, the Phillies and Reds are in but the Giants, Padres and Braves are battling for the final two spots. The Rockies sure flamed out fast, didn’t they? I guess this will be our final power rankings for the year, and it’s time to focus on our NFL MVP, Coach of Year and Rookie of Year power rankings. Thanks for reading, folks and enjoy the playoffs!

1. Philadelphia Phillies (96-64)—As a Mets fan, it pains me to say this, but I can’t see anyone beating these guys at this point. They had their rough patch the first half of the season when the Braves and Mets battled for first place and they sat back and watched, but here they are.

2. Tampa Bay Rays (94-66)—It’s going to be a photo finish in the AL East.

3. New York Yankees (94-65)—I feel like NY will wind up with the wild card, and they may want it that way so they can face Minnesota instead of Texas, if only to avoid Cliff Lee.

4. Minnesota Twins (93-67)—One win this past week, but it doesn’t even matter having clinched a while ago.

5. San Francisco Giants (91-69)—No champagne yet, guys. But this team is looking mighty strong heading into the postseason. However, like I said, no champagne…

6. Atlanta Braves (90-70)—Tough luck drawing the Phillies this weekend, and their lead in the wild card is just one game over San Diego. At least we have some tight races to look forward to in the NL.

7. San Diego Padres (89-71)—A good thing they didn’t trade Adrian Gonzalez. Wow, what a shame it would be for these guys to miss the postseason at this point, but it might happen. Then again, see Giants above….and don’t count the Braves out from collapsing either.

8. Cincinnati Reds (89-71)—They could be dangerous this month because of three words. Joey Freaking Votto.

9. Texas Rangers (89-71)—Cliff Lee and that Murderer’s Row lineup could make noise too, but I’m not banking on it.

10. Boston Red Sox (87-72)—Tough division, but it’s likely the Sox will finish with a worse record than any of the 8 playoff teams.

Mikey’s MLB power rankings

It’s August 8, and we’re past 2/3 of the way through the MLB season right now. That means teams have roughly 50 games to get their act together and either make a run or hold on to their place in the playoff picture. Ironically as I say that, the rankings have barely changed at all this week. What you don’t see is that the Phillies are creeping up on the Braves, the Dodgers and Mets are falling way behind, and the Tigers have fallen out of their race about as fast as any team can in August. With that, here are the rankings for this week…..

1. New York Yankees (68-41)—The only reason the Yankees are still first here is because you’re first until someone knocks you off. But believe me, the Rays are going to knock them off any day now, no matter how many Berkmans the Yankees add.

2. Tampa Bay Rays (67-43)—Out to prove that 2008 was no fluke, and doing it with a vengeance. Do you think Fox is terrified of a Tampa Bay/San Diego World Series?

3. Texas Rangers (64-46)—Sale complete, but mission not complete. Tim McCarver said on Dan Patrick this past week that he thinks this is the best team in the American League. And who can really argue with that?

4. San Diego Padres (63-46)—Oh hey, speaking of the Padres, these guys just keep winning. Sure, their lead is now just one game over the Giants, but we didn’t expect them to be there in June, much less August or beyond.

5. Atlanta Braves (63-47)—It’s not smoke and mirrors anymore, and this team has a great mix of crafty vets and hungry youngsters. Just look out for the Phillies, because here they come, just two games back.

6. Boston Red Sox (63-48)—Don’t count them out yet. All those injuries and just 6 games back in that division? That’s all I’m gonna say.

7. San Francisco Giants (63-48)—This team has its eye on the NL West crown and they have the pitching to get there. Do they have enough offense (i.e., power) though?

8. Chicago White Sox (63-47)—Sorry Mr. President, I just don’t see this lasting much longer. The other shoe is going to drop, and the Twins are going to pounce.

9. Cincinnati Reds (63-48)—Two words—Joey and Votto. Dude might win the triple crown and his team might reach the promised land for the first time in 20 years.

10. Minnesota Twins (62-49)—Too much talent to be kept down in the AL Central. Do you ever wonder if Johan Santana regrets leaving Minnesota?

Is the Yankees’ outfield in trouble?

Although they inked traded for the young, talented Curtis Granderson to a five-year deal over the offseason, the Yankees’ outfield situation looks shakier upon further examination. Ken Rosenthal, for one, thinks the team may need to start shopping for another outfielder.

On the eve of the season opener, some in the industry already are wondering how long the Yankees would tolerate sub-par production from outfielders Randy Winn and Marcus Thames.

The Yankees’ starting left fielder, Brett Gardner, is not yet established as a major-league hitter. An injury to center fielder Curtis Granderson or right fielder Nick Swisher would leave the Yankees further exposed.

Neither Winn, a switch-hitter, nor Thames, a right-handed hitter, had a good spring. Winn, 35, had a batting/on-base/slugging line of .224/.255/.265. Thames, 33, was even worse, hitting .135/.182/.269. Both had about 50 at-bats.

If you’re a Yankee fan, this must be a bit scary, as Winn’s best days are far behind him and Marcus James Thames is rarely impressive at the plate. Although the Yankees are only spending $2 million total on these bench players, I wonder if letting go of Melky Cabrera was the right idea.


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Red Sox targeting Roy Halladay

According to a report by the New York Daily News, the Red Sox are targeting Blue Jays’ ace Roy Halladay.

If the Red Sox are serious about dealing for Halladay in the next two weeks, the Yankees will likely have their chance to get involved in the sweepstakes for the Blue Jays ace, although it will take a package of top prospects – as well as a sizeable contract extension for Halladay, who has a full no-trade clause – to get a deal done.

To land Halladay, Boston would likely have to give up Clay Buchholz, the organization’s top young pitcher, as well as Casey Kelly, the pitcher/shortstop who signed with the Red Sox in 2008 after being recruited by Tennessee to play quarterback. Red Sox GM Theo Epstein is said to be smitten with Kelly, which could be a sticking point in talks with Toronto if Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos insists on the 20-year-old being included in a deal.

The Yankees would love to acquire Halladay, although Cashman has been reluctant to deal away top prospects such as Austin Jackson and Jesus Montero for a player he would then have to sign for more than $100 million, such as Halladay. Toronto would also likely require either Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain in a deal.

Halladay, Josh Beckett and Jon Lester would form one of the best top 3’s in all of baseball. But is it worth it for Epstein to give up Buchholz and Kelly in a deal with no guarantees that Halladay will re-sign once he becomes a free agent at the end of the 2010 season? One would think that “The Doc” would want to re-sign with a contender like Boston, but again, there are no guarantees and Boston might lose a couple valuable prospects for just one year of Halladay.

We’ll see if this report has any teeth to it over the next couple of weeks. Storylines like these are created all the time around the winter meetings and some are just fabricated rumors.


Photo from fOTOGLIF

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