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AL East in 2006: Can Toronto Top the Red Sox?
Monday, January 02, 2006

For the past few years, the Yankees and the Sox have had the luxury of being co-kings of the AL East hill, planning out their post-season game plans before spring training is even done. But 2006 may be ushering in a new competitor for the Bombers and the Beasts from a foreign land: Toronto!

Strange as it may sound, the Blue Jays may be the Yankees’ biggest threat next season. Boston has had a tumultuous off-season; they’ve lost their general manager, their star center fielder/leadoff hitter and several other key team members. They currently have gaping holes in centerfield and in the infield at shortstop and first base, and the status of one of their super-slugger’s is still up in the air. At this point they do still have Manny, but all signs are pointing to a Manny-less ’06 for the Sox, leaving Ortiz with the task of homering for the whole team. The Sox do, of course, still have a lot of talent on their team in Ortiz, Loretta, Beckett and the like, but neither their defense nor their offense stands up to what it was in the past three years.

Toronto, on the other hand, has bolstered their team to a level they haven’t seen since the early nineties. The Jays have spent this off season making lucrative trades and signing big name free agents faster than Boston fans can drink a green beer on St. Patrick’s Day. Jay’s manager J.P. Ricciardi snapped up both B.J. Ryan and A.J. Burnett, two of the hottest pitchers on the free agent market, and traded for Lyle Overbay and Troy Glaus to tighten up their infield.

Last year, even as an 80-win, 82-loss team, Toronto managed to get the better of the Sox. Boston lost 11 of the 18 games they played against the Jays, while the Yankees went 12-6. The Sox still have a few months to fill out their 2006 roster, but with the rosters as they are right now I’d be putting my money on the Jays to be the Yankees’ biggest competitor next season.


posted by Yankees Chick @ Monday, January 02, 2006  
  • At 9:09 PM, Blogger Patrick Jason said…

    My feeling is we're going to see a repeat of 1998, when the Yankees won the AL East by 30 games, and Boston still got the AL wild card. At this point, I don't see how Toronto, even with all of its off-season activity, is a better team than, say, Baltimore.

    Oh, and by the way, that green beer tastes terrible. I much prefer Sam Adams, Boston Lager.

  • At 3:47 AM, Blogger yankeestadium said…

    I totally disagree that we will have another 98 team. The 98 team had a bunch of role players on it that worked well together. When one player is down then another would jump in. Ricky Ledee sound famaliar??? This year we have a All star team with 3(count them) 3 closers(farnsworth, dotel and rivera) If I am wrong then great for us but it is hard to have another team that wins 125 games.

  • At 7:41 AM, Blogger Theresa (TrulyMadlyDeeply) said…

    I still think Boston is the biggest thread. I agree with Patrick, I can't see the Jays being better then Baltimore.

  • At 2:19 PM, Anonymous reedster said…

    I can't see Baltimore being all that good, actually. Their best player is disgruntled about the team's lack of action... they lost one of the best closers in baseball.

    They picked up Burnitz, Conine and Ramon Hernandez. Yawn.

    It is the Yankees by a ton (they'll score 8 a game and give up 5). Then, it is the BlueJays.

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