As we near the end of the race in the AL East, MLB tickets to games in Yankee Stadium are taking on a whole new meaning, as the team is getting close to clinching the division. As for the other teams, it�s time to look towards next year, as none of them are going to qualify for the postseason in 2006.
New York Yankees
The Yankees have all but closed out the division race with a 19-10 record over the past 30 days. The team as a whole has come together, and although Derek Jeter is getting a lot of MVP buzz, this is truly a �team.� Different players lead the team in BA, RBI, HR and runs scored, which means that their offensive formula is not only working, but it�s coming from several sources. That will be difficult to deal with in the playoffs for whichever teams face the Yankees.
With all their offensive punch and a pitching staff that includes Randy Johnson, Mike Mussina and Mariano Rivera, one of the best closers of all time, the Yankees have to be considered the favorites to win it all at this point.
Boston Red Sox
One would figure that Red Sox fans would be patient with their team after finally winning a championship in 2004, but that�s far from the case. 2006 has been a bitter disappointment for Red Sox nation, and blame is being heaped upon everyone from GM Theo Epstein to everyone else associated with the roster. In truth, injuries and a lack of pitching killed this team�s chances, and their collapse over the past month has sealed their fate.
They are the Red Sox, and they will be back contending in 2007, as they are every season. They need pitching and defense, as they have all the firepower they need.
Toronto Blue Jays
Although the Blue Jays are out of it for 2006, one cannot be disappointed with the season they�ve had. Unless the bottom completely falls out, they will finish with a winning record in an extremely tough division. They have a core of very good players, including Vernon Wells, Reed Johnson and star pitcher Roy Halladay, and they�ll be more seasoned and more ready to challenge in 2007.
The team needs to add to its pitching staff to complement Halladay. If they can lower their staff ERA, they�ll be tough to handle next season, and MLB tickets will be snapped up by Toronto�s loyal fans.
It�s been another year and another disappointing season in Baltimore. Sadly, this has become the norm for this team, and it may be time to shake things up in a big way. The Orioles have once again spent big money on their players with no results of note. Miguel Tejada has had a great year, but that�s about it for this team.
Perhaps it�s time to blow the whole program up and start from scratch. Attempting to out-spend the Red Sox and Yankees has not worked.
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
The Devil Rays ought to be used to the cellar, and at this point they�ll have to hustle to even match their win total of 67 from 2005. This team appears to have no clue how to build a winner, and the fans of Tampa are tired of watching a perennial doormat.
It may be asking a lot at this point, but local fans need to be patient. The Devil Rays do have a lot of young talent in their farm system, and if they mature, MLB tickets will become relevant in Tampa.
Written by Jay Nault, sponsored by http://www.stubhub.com/ . StubHub sells MLB tickets, sports tickets, concert tickets, theater tickets and more to just about any event in the world.