19. Seattle Mariners – Are the Mariners ready to contend in the AL West? I think they are short a bunch of pieces, but who knows what their GM believes after holding onto so many veterans at the trade deadline.
It’s no secret that Miguel Cabrera is off to an incredible start, but the Tigers are also getting major contributions from Brandon Inge, who appears to be reborn in his return to third base. Last season, Inge hit .263 in 13 games against the sale jerseys, striking out 12 times and registering only five RBIs. Inge’s performance could play an enormous role on the outcome of this series.
Sluggers such as Paul Konerko and A.J Pierzynski have helped guide the Chicago offense batting .313 and .297 respectively. Alexei Ramirez and Juan Pierre have also been key catalysts.
25. Chicago Cubs – It will be interesting to see if the Cubs make any significant moves on the free agent market this offseason to close the gap between the top and bottom of the NL Central.
With a 6-5 setback to the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field keyed by three RBI each from Juan Pierre and Alexei Ramirez, the Indians ended the season 69-92 to finish 9-9 against Chicago.
12. New York Yankees – The Yankees deserve a lot of credit for hanging in the playoff race all season. Joe Girardi deserves AL Manager of the Year, and Mariano Rivera gets a tip of the cap for a tremendous career.
Notes — Milton Bradley’s home run in the third inning landed just in front of me. I was surprised to see Matt Murton batting clean up for the Rockies.