AROUND THE AL EAST
Is there an underdog in the AL East this season?
[Editor's Note: "Around the AL East" is our new feature on Orioles Insider where we'll take a trip around the division to see what's going on with the other four teams in the division.]
- Tsuyoshi Wada set to throw from full mound on Monday
- O's prospect Jonathan Schoop looking to veterans as examples
- Schoop pumped to represent Curacao on Netherlands WBC team
- Orioles spring training 2013 [Pictures]
- Baseball players on the move this offseason
- Peter Schmuck's final Orioles player grades for the 2014 season
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Here’s another subplot in the build-up to what should be a free-for-all in the AL East this summer:
Almost every team in the division can play the nobody-believed-in-us card.
With the exception of maybe the Blue Jays, who generated the most offseason hype this winter, the teams in baseball’s deepest division might all enter the season with a chip on their shoulder.
Case in point: Yankees first baseman (and Mount St. Joe alum) Mark Teixeira suggesting that his $200 million team is embracing an underdog role this season.
“I really feel good about our team this year," Teixeira told the New York Daily News. "It's actually fun when everyone else counts you out because it kind f makes guys want it a little bit more. Every year we want it, but this year especially, it's going to be even more of a challenge. I think that's going to make it more exciting as the year goes on.”
Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz was also quoted using the “U” word this week.
“It’s better to be the underdog,” he told the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo, who opened said story referring to the Sox’s spring home as “Camp Low Expectations.”
Maybe the usual heavyweights up north aren’t so far off with thinking they’re being overlooked. In our Google+ Hangout this week on Orioles Insider, Peter Schmuck talked about how he feels the Orioles and Rays will ultimately battle for the AL East title.
My take is that all five teams could finish in any of the five spots and it wouldn’t be a shocking development.
What do you guys think? Are there any underdogs in the AL East this year?
Now, on to this week's team-by-team roundups:
New York Yankees
It's hard to decide which team to put this under, but the discussion of whether Kevin Youkilis is truly a Yankee or Red Sox continues to generate headlines. (Silly me for thinking it was something that would just clog the sports talk radio jabber in those cities.)
Those things tend to get sorted out when the paychecks from the new team start showing up.
In other Youkilis news, it seems that the Greek God of Walks is dumping ‘the best stance ever.’ (Julio Franco might have something to say about that distinction, anyway.)
And, speaking of paychecks, the Robinson Cano contract extension watch is officially on.