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American Leagure Review

September 17, 2012

One, two, three in the three American League divisions. Those are the respective division leads for the New York Yankees, Chicago White Sox and Texas Rangers with a little more than 2 weeks to play.

The Yankees had a (4-2) week winning 2 of 3 in Boston vs the Red Sox and then repeating that vs the Tampa Rays at home. In both instances, the Yankees bounced back to win the last two games of the series after falling in the series opener. The Baltimore Orioles remain one game back as they lost 2 of 3 vs the Oakland A’s at Oakland after sweeping the Rays at home. The Rays are now 5 games behind in the division and 4 games behind Baltimore for playoff qualification. In Game 5 of the 2008 ALCS Rays’ manager Joe Maddon, by all accounts a nice guy, let a right handed pitcher deliver pitches to left handed slugger David Ortiz of the Red Sox. This despite the fact Maddon had 3 left handers in his bullpen. Ortiz homered sparking a big Red Sox comeback win. The Red Sox eventually forced a 7th game before losing. However, the Phillies eased vs the Rays in the World Series. Maddon likely will fail to deliver the World Title again. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tampa Bay Lightning have league titles but not the more consistent Rays.

The Chicago White Sox took care of business winning all 3 games vs the Minnesota Twins on the road. Their lead was one and a half games when the 2nd place Detroit Tigers took a (6-5) lead to the bottom of the 9th at Cleveland vs the Indians. Then the Indians rallied for 2 runs to send the Tigers two games back. Carlos Santana had the key hit, a game tying, 1 out triple. Thus the Tigers travel to Chicago for a makeup game later today, 2 games out. The Tigers won 2 of 3 at Chicago last week before the series finale was rained out. They also won the first two games at Cleveland.

The Texas Rangers gained a big game on Sunday and lead the surprising Oakland Athletics by 3 games in the A.L. West. Texas won 2 of 3 vs the Seattle Mariners and Kansas City Royals at home while the A’s put a big crimp in the Angels’ wild card hopes by winning 3 of in Anaheim. The week before the Angels won all 3 in Oakland and in fact the road team won the first 6 games of the 2 series between the A’s and Angels.

The A’s, a truly great story, are still under General Manager Billy Beane. He achieved wide recognition as his story and philosophy were depicted in the movie, “Moneyball” (Brad Pitt portrayed Beane.) Oakland looks safe for at least a wild card berth with a 2 game lead over the Orioles for the home wild card and a four and a half game lead to qualify for the “tournament” ahead.

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