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The AL East i sundoubtedly the toughtest divison in the league. No team in this league lives in obsequiousity, but all are superior. Last year a race between the Red Sox and the Yankees came down the wire. In the end, the Curse of the Bambino prevailed as the Yankees took the pennant. In the offseason, the Blue Jays and high-priced salary driven Orioles have stealhily imporved. The Devil Rays and their young guns with a few veteran additions are aslo in the mix, for what will be a truly five-team, live-wire, high octane, down to the wire pennant race.
 
The Orioles are rejvunated this year. With a new payroll and manager and the additions of Javy Lopez and Miguel Tejeda, they are sure to contend. Along with additions like Rafeal Palmeiro, this team is balanced with tailing off veterans, with young veteran leadership as well as young, up-and coimng prospects like Jay Gibbons and Jack Cust. Mazilli, will bring that Yankee-like arrogance to Baltimore, taking over for Mr. Hot-Seat, Mike Hargrove. Except a 3rd or 4th place finish.
 
The Red Sox are going to win the division and the World Series. Forgot the curse and all of that BS, its the year, I mean it.  Yawkey pride has returned. The next Billy Beane, Theo Epstein has put together a great team led by Nomar on a 2-Year plan. After this season, may players are on their walk years and changes will come in BeanTown. That's why this is the year. Terry Francona, after a short rest after managing the Phillies most likely has a better understanding of the game and can make it happen for Schilling and the Red Sox.
 
The Yankees have one of baseball's best offense. But, their pitching staff is still very strong, but not up to great Yankee standard. George pulled it off getting A-Rod, but unfortunately too-many high profile, high-voiced veterans mixing on one un-gelled team with no bench and mediocre bullpen will not work out. Boston will come out in the end and stun Yankee fans. Maybe if the team stays entact for one more year, they can win something, but the drive is lost for this season. Add another on the drought streak.
 
E A S T - RACE W L PCT GB HOME ROAD RS RA STRK L10
NY Yankees 101 61 .623 - 50-32 51-29 877 716 Won 2 7-3
Boston 95 67 .586 6 53-28 42-39 962 809 Lost 2 6-4
Toronto 86 76 .531 15 41-40 45-36 895 826 Won 2 7-3
Baltimore 71 91 .439 30 40-40 31-51 743 820 Lost 2 3-7
Tampa Bay 63 99 .389 38 36-45 27-54 714 853 Won 2 3-7

2004 Predcited Finish:
 
ESPN IMAGE ESPN
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Team-by-Team Outlook:
 
 
Baltimore Orioles:Lee Mazzilli thinks the Orioles' future could be a bright one.
Manager:Lee Mazilli
Lineup:
               Roberts-2B  Newhan-3B      Tejeda-SS   Palmeiro-1B   Lopez-C      Mora-RF
                                       
Raines Jr.-DH     Majewski-LF       Gibbons Jr.-CF
Rotation:
         Ponson       Lopez            Cabrera        Bedard       Chen
Bullpen:
            Julio          Ryan       Grimsley       Groom        Parrish           Riley
Bauer        Rakers      Jacob Sequea
Bench:
         Surhoff       Segui(DL)    Gil           Bigbie      Rodriguez
Added:
Lost: Jose Leon, Luis Lopez, Robert Machado
Offseason Grade: Coming in March

Boston Red Sox:Manny Ramirez, Johnny Damon, Nomar Garciaparra
Manager:Terry Francona
Lineup:
               Damon-CF   Mueller-3B Ramirez-LF Cabrera-SS Ortiz-DH Millar-1B
Varitek-C      Kapler-RF    Bellhorn-2B
Rotation:
                Martinez       Schilling           Arroyo      Wakefield 
Bullpen:
               Foulke            Embree       Timlin         Myers           
Lowe          Mendoza
Bench:
             Mirabelli       Mientkiewicz Roberts       Youkilis(not on LCS roster)
 Nixon            Reese          
Added:
Lost: Curtis Leskanic
Offseason Grade: Coming in March

New York Yankees:
Manager:Joe Torre
Lineup:
           Sierra-DH  Jeter-SS   Rodriguez-3B Giambi-1B   Sheffield-RF Williams-CF
Posada-C  Matsui-LF       Cairo-2B
Rotation:
             Mussina    Brown      Hernandez
Bullpen:
            Rivera        Quantrill     Gordon        Sturtze      
Vazquez   Lieber        Loaiza
Bench:
               Lofton    Wilson         Flaherty       Clark  Crosby       Olerud
Added:
Lost: Travis Lee,
Offseason Grade: Coming in March

Tampa Bay Devil Rays:
Manager:Lou Pinella
Lineup:
          Crawford-LF Sanchez-DH  Baldelli-CF Huff-3B   Cruz Jr.-RF  -1B
Upton-SS        Hall-C      Lugo-2B
Rotation:
            Halama  Hendrickson     Brazelton      Seay     Colome
Bullpen:
            Baez        Miller       Bell                Carter         Harper
Sosa       Kazmir       Gaudin       Watcher     Nunez       Webb           Ritchie
Bench:player photo
           Blum        Fordoyce     Rolls      Cantu        Cummings    Baldeilli
Diaz
Added:
Lost: Tino Martinez,
Offseason Grade: Coming in March

Toronto Blue Jays:
 
 
 
 
 
Manager:John Gibbons
Lineup:                    
              Johnson-LF    Wells-CF     Rios-RF        Delgado-1B ?-DH  Hinske-3B
Cash-C     Menechino-SS   Hudson-2B
Rotation:
              Batista     Lilly          Towers        Bush       Chacin       Halladay
Bullpen:
           Ligtenberg    Speier     Frederick   Adams        Chulk          Miller           
League
Bench:
           Gomez      Woodward  Berg        Zaun         Gross
Added: Po-Hsuan Keng
Lost:
Offseason Grade: Coming in March

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