With 8 weeks to go, your standings look like this (going into Monday August 6):
AL EAST Boston 68-43 - New York 61-50 7 GB
I'd say the Gagne trade clinches the division for the Red Sox. That pitching staff is second-to-none.
AL CENTRAL Cleveland 62-49 - Detroit 61-49 .5 GB Minnesota 57-53 4.5 GB
Cleveland has lost 7 of their last 10. Detroit has lost 9 of their last 10. And oh gee whiz, here come those damn Twinkies again. Just like last year, they're ready to crash the party during the second half.
AL WEST Los Angeles of Anaheim 64-46 - Seattle 60-49 3.5 GB
The Angels have had some struggles of their own, but who isn't stoked about this week's clash with Boston? The offense is just starting to get its act together, but the injuries to the pitching staff are taking their toll. Although Joe Saunders is filling in nicely. Seattle's hanging in there and have had some good late-game heroics in the last few weeks. I'm almost ready to believe they can take the wild card, if not the division.
AL WILD CARD Detroit - New York .5 GB Seattle .5 GB Minnesota 4 GB
Jumpin' Jimminy H. Christ on a Cracker! How the hell are the Yankees seriously STILL within striking distance of a playoff spot after that horrific start? They were under .500 for most of JUNE! What, do they have to start the season 0-30 for them to be out of it? If they make the playoffs and win it all, I'll eat my Angels cap.
NL EAST New York 60-52 - Atlanta 59-53 4.5 GB Philadelphia 58-53 5 GB
The Braves are hanging around thanks to the Teixeira deal. The Mets have a somewhat comfortable lead, but I still think their season all hinges on whether Pedro can make a successful comeback. Philadelphia's proven themselves to be losers that constantly come up short at the end and will remain so until they prove otherwise.
NL CENTRAL Milwaukee 60-52 - Chicago 58-52 1 GB
It's one thing to think the Cubs are out of it. But to actually have hope of winning the division and then lose Soriano for 2 weeks (at least) must REALLY suck for Cubs fans. On the upside, though, Kerry Wood's ready to come back...again. And it's not like the Brewers are lighting the world on fire right now.
NL WEST Arizona 63-50 - San Diego 60-50 1.5 GB Los Angeles 58-53 4 GB Colorado 56-54 5.5 GB
Here's the tightest division in baseball. All four of these teams are in it and with the NL East looking to scoop up the wild card, only one of these teams might make it in. At this point, don't look for it to be the Dodgers, who are in the midst of collapsing (losing 8 of their last 10). I'd put my money on San Diego, but the D-Backs are in the driver's seat after sweeping the Dodgers.
NL WILD CARD San Diego - Chicago 2 GB Atlanta 2 GB Philadelphia 2.5 GB Los Angeles 2.5 GB Colorado 4 GB
Cubs fans better hope Soriano comes back quickly. Dodger fans are hoping the bleeding stops soon and that sweep against the D-Backs didn't help matters. San Diego should feel very comfortable being on top and within striking distance of the division. I still like the odds of the Wild Card going through the east, though.
The Wisdom of Homsar: AaAaAaAaAaAaA! Caramel corn for president, please!
As fun as it was seeing the Yankees suck it up in the first two months, there is just too much talent on that team for them to struggle all year. Wang and Pettitte are both pitching very well, Hughes is coming back, and their lineup is so scary that the rest of the rotation could be filled by a middle-aged fatass and a bad-luck charm crossword enthusiast and they'd still have a chance.
Thank you for not including the Blue Jays in the wild card standings. It's a nice break from the living-in-denial Toronto media.
A national sports radio show (can't remember which one) made a good point. Clements and Pedro feel they can "send a message" because they can hide behind that stupid DH rule in the AL and not have to worry about retribution.