Now that Memorial Day has come and gone, that means one thing: practically one-third of the 2005 Major League Baseball season is behind us. It looks like we’ve survived the scandal and can now sit back and enjoy an entertaining summer of solid baseball. As the season’s first trimester comes to a close, I offer my thoughts in a division-by-division recap (as of June 5, 2005).
East: Probably one of the more surprising stories of the season has been the first place Baltimore Orioles (34-22) and the breakout performance baseman Brian Roberts. Heading into the season, the O’s were not predicted on too many lists to finish in first place, especially considering they are division neighbors with the defending world champion Boston Red Sox (31-25) and the perennial powerhouse New York Yankees (28-28). However, the Yanks and Sox have stumbled early from shaky starting pitching rotations. Boston ace Curt Schilling and Yankees pitcher Jaret Wright have both spent time on the disabled list. It will be interesting to see just how long the Baltimore will be able to hang onto the top spot in the AL East when New York and Boston get back on track.
Central: Another surprising first place team is at top in this division. The Chicago White Sox (37-18) are leading thanks to what many consider the best starting rotation in the American League anchored by right-hander Jon Garland (9-2) and workhorse left-hander Mark Buehrle (7-1). However, another great pitching team, the Minnesota Twins (33-22) led by Johan Santana (6-2, 0.94 walks and hits per innings pitched), are following close behind. Despite the $75 million spent this off-season by the Detroit Tigers (26-28) on right fielder Magglio Ordonez