W L Games behind:
Minnesota 53 45
Oakland 53 45
NY Yankees 51 45 1.0
Baltimore 50 47 2.5
Cleveland 51 48 2.5
Detroit 49 49 4.0
I don't think the Tigers have been this close to a pennant race this late in the season since the late 1980s. They're a very exciting team, with the best first baseman in baseball since early June (Chris Shelton, who will be a great hitter for a long time), the best young starter in baseball (Jeremy Bonderman), the triumphant return of a former slugger beleaguered by injuries for the last two seasons but now tearing it up (Magglio Ordonez), the formerly anemic hitting catcher now turned into top-three third baseman in the league (Brandon Inge), the journeyman who is 4th in the league in RBI for outfielders who went 5-for-5 with 6 RBI in a game this week (Craig Monroe), the hotheaded new closer who literally bodyslams his opponents and strikes out a hitter and a half an inning (Kyle Farnsworth), etc, etc. That's not even mentioning Carlos Guillen (hovering around .330 all year) or Hall-of-Famer Ivan Rodriguez (actually one of my least favorite players on the team).
Meanwhile, this has been my most involved weak of Orioles fandom yet - the Palmeiro thing got me psyched, as did the Burnett trade that could have put them over the top had they had the balls to do it. And, wow, they're a frustrating, frustrating team. I would like nothing more for them to overtake Boston, but really think their GM tandem needs to make a move or two - the Ponson trade, if it happens, helps, but only if it's a move to be followed by another to get a starting pitcher - to get out of the funk that they're in.
By the way, Sosa last week hit .333/.417/.667 in 21 at-bats (7-21) with 2 HR and 5 RBI.
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