No one can argue that Alex Rodriguez hasn't served his time and isn't entitled to continue his major league career. But his solid presence in the New York Yankees lineup would be a lot easier to swallow if we didn't have to hear daily reports of the beloved baseball heroes he's either joining or supplanting in the record books.
A decade ago, it was nicknamed the "American League Beast," the biggest, baddest division in all of baseball. It featured the sport's two free-spending behemoths and three other talented but inferior teams that seemingly prayed for the gift of realignment to win a title. But the American League East has become — gasp — anyone's race each season, with four clubs winning the division title in the past five years. Only the Toronto Blue Jays haven't captured the crown recently.
After Nick Markakis' comments Wednesday to USA Today, Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he had a text-message dialogue with Markakis on Thursday indicating that the outfielder's statements were taken out of context.
With Major League Baseball's trade deadline Wednesday at 4 p.m., Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo does not see the next two days as an opportunity to blow up a struggling team or a chance to spark a late-season push.
The Orioles' improbable run to the postseason wasn¿t enough to earn Buck Showalter the BBWAA American League Manager of the Year Award, but his narrow loss to Oakland's Bob Melvin could take little from savoring a memorable season.
Is Laurel at the center of the Major League Baseball universe? That may be a stretch, but then again it was also far-fetched at the beginning of the season that the Baltimore Orioles would have a winning record let alone make the playoffs for the first time since 1997.
This upcoming stretch will be a good test for the Orioles. The Washington Nationals lead the NL East, the Cleveland Indians lead the AL Central and the Los Angeles Angels are the hottest team in baseball since calling up Mike Trout.