The gathering will mark the 30 year anniversary of the 1983 team that won the AL West division crown. That club went 99-63 before bowing out to the Baltimore Orioles in the playoffs. Known for the mantra “Winning Ugly” during their run, the Sox wouldn’t again claim the west divisional crown until 1993. This year also marks the 119th year the club has been in existence.
Two huge holes remain in Boston’s lineup with David Ortiz listed as doubtful and Kevin Youkilis still on the DL with a sore back. None the less, the Red Sox continue to lead the Majors in hitting with a .278 team batting average and scoring with an average of 5.32 runs a game.
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.
Second baseman Gordon Beckham is expected to improve on his rookie year and second year numbers. Catcher A. J. Pierzynski handles the pitching staff well with veteran leadership but also is consistent at the plate, often coming through in the clutch. Young catcher Tyler Flowers may start to press Pierzynski for playing time this season.
Kuroda’s counterpart on the mound, sale jerseys, had turned in a very strong performance before leaving in that five-run eighth inning. The hard-throwing lefty was charged with three runs – two earned – on five hits and a walk in 7 1/3 innings. Sale struck out six Yankees on the evening.
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.
15. Washington Nationals – The Nationals are a better team than they showed for much of the season, but don’t buy into the way they played in September, which featured a lot of games against their terrible division.