Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Oncoming Storm: Part One

The weather is getting colder and we in Baltimore are staring down December awaiting snow, the Mayan apocalypse and the approach of Nimburu; although only one of those is likely to happen. And if that opening sentence wasn’t evidence enough the offseason has been rather boring so far for the Orioles. Yes, they picked up Alexi Casilla and traded Robert Andino but the electrons that have been spent on those two moves already total too much.

There just isn’t much to talk about regarding the Orioles right now. There are rumors and rumblings, whispers in the dark of names like “Hamilton” and “Greinke,” but largely for an enterprising blogger to sink their teeth into. SO let’s take a, very early, look at the AL East and what could happen in the coming months.

The New York Yankees

The Yankees are older, streakier and weighed down by massive contracts and commitments to legendary players. But they are also one word that I have used to describe them before: Endless. They simply have no end, they are always there and someone always comes back, has an inexplicable season or a deal is made to propel the Yankees to where they are accustomed. 2013 will see the Yankees dealing with the looming awful of Alex Rodriguez’ horrendous contract, Derek Jeter’s ever diminishing ability to field, a massive hole at catcher and right-field and another hole in the rotation is Andy Pettite decides to re-retire. Still, they won 95 games last year. Still, they won the American League East. Still they went to the ALCS.


The Yankees are in a weird position this offseason. They may have finally reached the bottom of the money pit. With the financial albatrosses of A-Rod, CC and Tex hanging around the team’s neck they don’t look to be much of a player in the high-priced free agent market. BJ Upton has not been linked to the bombers, nor has Josh Hamilton. Still the Yankees will find a way to shore up the team before 2013 and as much I would love to think that the particularly feckless playoff performance the Yankees produced is a sign of things to come there is little reason to think the Yankees won’t win 90 games next year. Sure, the age could finally catch up with this team and the keg of Yankee-majesty could finally tap out bringing them back to the realm of more mortal squads but until it actually happens you can’t simply assume that it will.

The Boston Red Sox

I really shouldn’t take as much pleasure in the collapse of the Red Sox as I have. I mean I really shouldn’t – but I do. It wasn’t always like this. There was a time at the peak of New York Yankee hegemony where I felt a kinship with Red Sox nation. I rooted hard for the Sox every time they played the Yanks. Then something shifted in “the nation,” at some point the fans that began to invade Camden Yards became the most insufferable group of malcontents that I have ever experienced. Then they won the World Series a couple time and became completely unbearable.

That is why 162-2011 was such an amazing moment for Baltimore fans. If you haven’t been here for that long you don’t get it, you can’t get it. So watching last year’s systematic destruction of the Boston Red Sox warmed my soul. That being said the Red Sox are in trouble.

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