MLB Preview: AL East

Wednesday, March 16, AD 2011

The smell of freshly cut grass.  The thermometer registering above 50.  Birds chirping to signal the dawn of each new day.  Yes, if you live in the southern states, some of you might actually be enjoying these signs of Spring.  As for me, it’s perpetual rain and moderately cool  temperatures, which means that Spring is just around the corner in DC.  And those are the two best weeks of the year by far.

It also means it’s baseball time.  Yes, our long national nightmare – meaning the seven weeks between the Super Bowl and opening day for Major League Baseball – is almost over.  We can stop having to pretend to care about basketball and hockey and get back to some real sports.

So with baseball mercifully just around the corner, it’s time to look ahead to the upcoming season.  And I will begin with the best division in baseball, the American League East, or as it is otherwise know, “Four awesome teams and the Baltimore Orioles.”

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11 Responses to MLB Preview: AL East

  • We can stop having to pretend to care about basketball and hockey and get back to some real sports.

    Really? I can’t imagine caring about or watching any sport other than hockey and girl’s beach vollyball.

  • I feel kind of bad about bashing hockey, because in fact I love the sport. But it continues to languish in popularity and I haven’t really been into it for about a decade. As for basketball – pro and college – YAWN.

    Volleyball? It’s Lent and this is a Catholic blog. But yes.

  • Hockey is the only sport that I can bother watching for more than five minutes without my eyes glazing over, although I do deplore the dreadful playing of the game which gets in the way of the fights. As for girl’s beach volleyball, co-ed volleyball was the only sport, other than rappelling down cliffs with my army colleagues, that I engaged in as an undergraduate. Only for the exercise and the thrill of the sport, of course.

  • Speak no ill of hockey, pawn of the tempter!

    Really, the NHL regular season is something of a snooze, but there is no spectacle like overtime playoff hockey, where every shift is a nailbiter.

    As to the meat of the post: as much as I would delight in the Yankees missing the playoffs, they will probably scrape in on their formidable lineup alone. But they have no shot to get to the Series.

    Looking forward to your AL Lent-ral preview.

  • To be honest, I don’t really watch any sports anymore. I would certainly glue myself to the tube if women’s beach volleyball was on TV with any regularity. I so appreciate the athleticism of those dear creatures of fairer sex with the sun-darkened complexions and impressive uniforms. I still like hockey, but have little time or will to start paying attention again. I’ll take minor issue with Dale’s characterization of regular season hockey though. It may be less exciting than playoff games, but it’s still more exciting than even tournament/finals of baseball, basketball, football, and that activity where people run around and pretend they got a boo-boo when they fall causing the spectators to riot. Also to be noted. The boringest pre-1980’s hockey game was more exciting than just about anything now.

  • RL:

    Fair point. I guess I’m more thinking of the slog of the season, especially the overloaded scheduling of division rivals. Plus, in Detroit’s case, being in the Western Conference means a lot of West Coast games I can’t trouble myself to watch, given that the puck drops no earlier than 10pm. The regular season is still great when it’s old rivals (other Original Six teams) or bitter current rivals. And the game is always better live–TV is fine, but the atmosphere is much different in the arena.

  • I second Dale’s point about live hockey. By far and away it is the best of the sports to watch in the arena or stadium. The way the boards reverberate when guys are hit, the sound of the puck, etc – it’s just cool. With HD most of the other sports are frankly better on tv, especially football where there’s really almost no point in being there other than the crowd experience, which is admittedly nifty.

  • Oh yeah. Being at a hockey game is the ultimate spectator experience. I can only speak for the Detroit, but I bet any of the original six venues are the best. Oh, how I wish I could have seen a game at the Olympia or the Forum in Montreal!

    In the 80’s I was fortunate to get free tickets to a number of games a season at the Joe. 14 rows behind and to the right of visitor goalie. I always got the tickets for when the Habs were in town too (my second favorite team). It was from the time period when Park was coach then long into Demers reign. Got to watch a young and amazing Stevie Y speed around with great stick handling as well as Probert and Kocur kicking everyone’s butt (that was the whole of our strategy then – give Steve the puck and fight anyone who tried to stop him 🙂 ). I even got to watch an amazing rookie goal tender whose name on the back of his jersey made us chuckle – Patrick Roy. Ahh, good times!

  • The National Pastime has become the National Snoozefest until September at least. I look forward to the Masters at Augusta.

  • I’ve never been to a live hockey game, but I very much want to go. I used to be a very avid Dallas Stars fan, until the lockout knocked out most of the NHL TV coverage I get in South Louisiana (no Versus here unless you spend a pretty penny for it, and the Mrs. isn’t that big of a hockey fan).

    Football is better live. While TV allows you to better understand what’s happening more quickly, the crowd experience, particularly in college football, just can’t be matched. I’d say viewing experiences go in order or excellence: student section of college football, anywhere else in college football, Live NFL, TV, CBS’s crummy college football coverage.

    Basketball can be better live, but you need to be as close to courtside to do it. Otherwise, it’s just really just an outing to go (though it can be a lot easier than the grainy local feeds many NBA teams like the Hornets have). I think wherever you sit in baseball, it’s not that much better if at all. Again, just a fun outing.

    The sport that most requires live viewing to really experience it has to be NASCAR. You don’t get Daytona until you see the turns rising stories above, or the noise of the track. Moreover, you get to watch your favorite driver or the area where the racing is best instead of watching the stupid gopher pop out of the ground on FOX.

  • “I second Dale’s point about live hockey. By far and away it is the best of the sports to watch in the arena or stadium.”

    I’m a little shocked to read that from a baseball fan. Admittedly, I’m not much of a hockey fan, but when it comes to live sports absolutely nothing beats being at the ballpark to watch baseball on a summer evening.

    “Football is better live. While TV allows you to better understand what’s happening more quickly, the crowd experience, particularly in college football, just can’t be matched.”

    I don’t think so. TV timeouts have ruined watching football live. I can see the argument for attending a college game live, especially in a traditional venue, but probably only once or twice a year. I’d still rather watch it on TV on a week in and week out basis. Of course, I enjoy watching 2 or 3 college football games at once, which is difficult to do unless you’re at home in front of the TV or in a sports bar.

    And I’d rather watch paint dry than attend an NFL game. Nothing about watching the NFL live and in person appeals to me over watching it in the comfort of my own home with a fridge and a bathroom nearby to take advantage of all those TV timeouts.