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As if the Boston-New York series doesn’t hand me enough drama every time the series rolls around, this weekend was rife with a whole litany of stories that amounted to baseball coverage overload. I felt like the sheet of Pillsbury crescent roll dough that my mom was trying to stretch across the bottom of the baking dish yesterday, while preparing her masterful sausage/spinach casserole for Mother’s Day.

“We’re gonna need a bigger crust.”

The more we tried to make it cover the entire pan, the more our tugging created holes and frustration. Ultimately, we had to bite the bullet and use another crescent roll tube.

Similarly, my attention and interests have been pulled in about 89 directions, and it’s like as soon as commit my focus to one issue, an even bigger story is mushrooming elsewhere in the baseball world.

So while I’m spending the weekend entrenched in the “sport’s greatest rivalry,” the American League is busy playing musical chairs with its rankings…with a few dependable exceptions, of course…

14.) O’s (14)

I think the O’s just applied for a mortgage to make this spot their permanent residence.

13.) Royals (13)

This last place Central division team is like the inverse of the Twins. Their hitting is great, pitching solid, and defense decent…yet their record would suggest they’re the intramural baseball squad at Band Camp.

12.) Tribe (10)

They haven’t won a series since mid-April. But they’re facing the Royals and O’s next, so there’s hope in Cleveland. Unfortunately, KC actually looks like it’s improving somewhat, and when they eek by the Indians, it’s gonna make the Tribe even more dejected. They’ve collected the least number of hits in the league, have scored the 2nd worst amount of runs, as well as the 2nd worst slugging. Their pitching isn’t even showing the kind of life sparks that could make me get on board with this bunch. Instead, I’m looking at them like the drippy mess who I just want to grab by the shoulders and shake, “PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER, SLOTH.”

11.) Mariners (8)

The offense is too offensive to talk about. They went on an 8-game losing streak where they scored 1.5 RUNS A GAME. I can only imagine how pleasant Cliff Lee must be about all this. He doesn’t exactly strike me as the good natured team player kind of guy. Kinda like this guy.

10.) Angels (11)

3 and 7 in their last 10. Hideki’s slumping, and let me tell you from experience that those things aren’t just little 24 hour bugs. When his bat goes cold, it’s on par with contracting mono. The Angels are struggling, and Scioscia should probably reign them all in, instead of running them all over creation in the hopes they’ll eventually find homeplate.

9.) White Sox (9)

Still an offensive nightmare, but their pitching that was touted as the deepest and potentially strongest in the league, has finally been dug out of the rough and onto the green. Peavy’s earning his paycheck, allowing only 12 baserunners in almost 21 innings. Yeah, good work, Jake. That 2 year learning curve is a bitch.

8.) Red Sox (12)

Fine. You guys one won. Don’t get too excited just yet. You’re still leading the entire universe in allowed stolen bases, and your defense that was billed as a steel trap during the offseason, has gone the way of the gyroball, Antonio McDyess, and the Mets Potential—the casserole of overhyped preseason entities that never materialize. Ortiz looked somewhat in possession of a pulse on Sunday, but let’s not break out the resurrection floats just yet for playing barely above .500, with an ERA just above 5.00. The Sox are also scoring 11 runs less than their opponents in total run differential.

7.) A’s (7)

The following things were less confusing and more predictable than Dallas Braden’s perfect game:

* Aaron Boone’s 1st pitch walk-off in the 2003 ALCS

* The Immaculate Reception

* The entire 2010 NCAA Tournament

* Vanilla Sky

Good for you, Braden. You’ve proved to the world you are just as great of an athlete as Alex Rodriguez. In 3 hours, you brought yourself into lockstep with him. (You know what’s half funny, half kind of sad? I really think that the perfecto was in some way motivated by ARod. The guy spends weeks barking to whomever will listen about the “209 code” and the freaking mound etiquette, and finally everyone’s like, “Ok seriously dude. You made your point. Now you’re just starting to sound like the jilted ex who goes around town trashing her former flame’s new girlfriend.” So Braden thinks to himself, “How can I make people listen? How can I replenish my 15 minutes of fame? GOT IT! Perfect game! Done.”

6.) J’s (6)

What they lack in hits and BA, they make up for in total bases and slugging. They’re like the 2006 Yankees. Except for one thing: their pitching is near the top of the league. Opponents are hitting .240 against them, and the rotation runs deep: their 20 quality starts are bested only by Tampa.

5.) Tiggers (3)

Poor Detroit. It’s weird how I hated them so much after the 2006 ALDS, then developed a fundamental pity for them after the 2008 NFL season, then tipped my hat to them for signing our boy Johnny. And now I’m at tempered sympathy. In one week, they lose Ernie Harwell and get swept by the Twinkies. They’re good, but unpolished. Their best weapon? An arsenal of pitchers as diverse as a Real World Cast. Just as maddeningly unpredictable, too, with a penchant for keeping opponents off balance.

4.) Rangers (5)

8 and 2 in the last 10, and currently riding a 4-game streak. I know everyone’s got Minnesota on their quiet sleeper ticket, but if the Rangers can successfully clean up their act and iron out their wrinkles, they pack a lot more potential to inflict the hurt. Their main problem right now is balance. Their lineup is all turgid at the top, but shadowy at the bottom. .321 vs .220.

3.) Twinkies (4)

Like the Rays, they have an oddly effective offense. They’re seemingly battling an overwhelming phobia of RISP, and act like a freshman girl during orientation week at college: get loaded and never make it home. Liriano, however, gets better and better with every start. I’m just not convinced his supporting cast is overpowering enough to best the rest of the league.

2.) World Champions (2)

They battered the Sox for the first 2 games of this past weekend’s series, and handed them a win in the closing game, because Bad AJ was getting cabin fever being cooped up for so long. But for all you haters whining about how the Yankees Suck, and they’re gonna disappoint this year, well, in the words of Ace Ventura, “Fiction CAN be fun. But I find the reference section much more enlightening.” The Yankees lead the AL in infield hits, triples and Speed Score, plus BA, OBP, OPS, SLG, wOBA, RBIs and HBP.

1.) [Devil] Rays (1)

“Wait, WHO was the perfect game against??”

“The Rays.”

The most burgeoning team in baseball allowed themselves to go completely limp against the most improbable of assasins. They’re not in the Top 10 for hits, not the Top 5 for either BA or SLG. Yet somehow are 2nd in runs. Has the bloom fallen from the rose? I predict a losing skid…


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