Yesterday, my eminent colleague and friend Charles-Alexis Brisebois published an article related to the race for the playoffs in the American. All this, with an emphasis on the central division, stipulating that it is in the latter that we find the most raised fight to determine which team will finish at the top of the classification of this one.
To pick up on my colleague’s thinking and push the matter a little further, we could even say that it’s been a strange year for each of the five teams in the division. Looks like no club is sitting in the right chair. At least, where we saw them as a curtain raiser.
The Surprise: The Guardians
The division title was to go to either the White Sox or the Twins. If someone had predicted a possible first place finish for the Guardians, my hats off to them. Yet that is what is happening. The signing of Jose Ramirez at the start of the year seems to have energized the club and, we know, Cleveland has a knack for developing pitchers who came out of nowhere. Admittedly, the club plays a little above the .500 mark, but still, Cleveland surprises this year!
The White Sox Division
A handful of pundits not only put the White Sox at the top of their division, but they were talked about as a club fit for a good run in the playoffs. We still don’t know if they will make the series, that’s to say! It’s a bit of a rout on the Chicago side, starting with manager Tony La Russa, who is the first one that will inevitably be pointed to if disaster strikes in the Windy City. There will be food for thought, if ever the season turns out to be shorter than expected.
We expected better from the Twins
The Rocco Baldelli gang struck a blow during the off-season, signing one of the best in its ranks in Carlos Correa and shaking his roster somewhat at the dawn of the season, notably compromising Josh Donaldson. With the addition of a third-best runner-up, the Twins were in contention for one of those three series berths, or simply winning the division. With 4.5 games behind Cleveland and two behind Chicago, it’s getting late for them. We are obviously talking about a disappointing season, those who do not even play for .500, have to do it! Have we seen them better than they actually are?
What about the Royals?
Phew, another tough season for KC. But hey, there may be something to be happy about for them, because they may not finish last in their division, where many, including me, saw them at the start of the calendar. It’s already that, what!
The big disappointment, the Tigers
We don’t talk about it enough, but the Tigers are, in my opinion, one of the big disappointments of 2022. They seemed to be in sincere progression and the idea of seeing them fight for a place in the series was audacious, but not so far-fetched only that. Manager AJ Hinch couldn’t grow his flock to the level he did with the Astros at the time. We will obviously have to continue to be patient in Detroit, but we will have to identify what has been lacking and remedy it quickly for 2023.
- The Red Sox have a great player on their hands.