Stop me if you think you’ve heard this one before, but the AL East just isn’t fair, man. First, there’s a couple of teams you may have heard of, the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. They don’t like each other very much and spend a lot of money in order to beat one another. They’ve been running the division for a while. Now, there’s this little upstart team down in Tampa Bay making noise. They go by the name of Rays and have an embarrassing amount of young talent. Not only that, they somehow keep signing those young and talented players to very team friendly deals, and they may be the best run organization with the best manager in baseball. There’s also the Baltimore Orioles but never mind them.
And so, what to do if you’re the Toronto Blue Jays? Your division just might have the three best teams in the league, and you have to play against those teams a lot. How do you compete when the deck is stacked against you? I guess you commit to a rebuild and hire a really smart General Manger. You then let said General Manager make ninja moves. Alex Anthopoulos came to town and things started looking up. Alex Rios and his terrible contract are now gone. Vernon Wells and his even more laughable and terrible contract are now gone. A lot of very young and exciting Blue Jay talent has been locked up at reasonable rates. Last season for the Blue Jays saw the solidification of Jose Bautista as the best hitter in baseball, gradual growth from the teams core of young talent, a huge trade that brought the enigmatic Colby Rasmus to town, and the emergence of Canada’s own wonder prospect Brett Lawrie. Taken as a whole it was a very positive season for the Blue Jays, and they still finished with an even record, in fourth place, and 16 games behind the division leaders. The AL East, man. Ridiculous.