Beasts of the (AL) East

Jackson Leeds

The heat of August means the taste of re­freshing lemonade, kids playing in sprinklers and trips to the beach. While all of these are great ways to stay cool, the best to add some heat to your summer is to watch baseball. I’m not talking about the National League or some subpar team whose best batter is the pitcher. I’m talking about the heavyweights: the Boston Red Sox.

The Red Sox have been tearing it up this season. In past years, they have collapsed and folded under pressure to the Bronx Bomber New York Yankees. I think the Red Sox, how­ever, have the talent and leadership to make it deep into the playoffs and win the AL East division for the first time since 2007.

With Adrian Gonzalez and Jacoby Elsbury leading the offense and Josh Beckett pitching flawlessly, the Red Sox will most likely win the American League pennant and go on to face the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series.

Boston currently has a narrow half-game lead on the Yankees, who have played well de­spite mediocre pitching performances from all of their starters and relievers with CC Sabathia being the exception.

I think the AL East race will certainly be close, but with the momentum the Red Sox currently have, they should slide smoothly into the playoffs and make a run. As for the World Series itself, I think it will be close and highly competitive, as the battles for AL East suprema­cy between the Yankees and Red Sox have been in recent years. Ultimately, I think this series will fall into the lap of the team that pitches the best. Roy Halladay and Josh Beckett would most likely be the game one starters, a matchup that makes the mouths of baseball fans every­where water. The reason for which the Red Sox will win this series is because their pitching will hold up, and their bats will beat up the pitching of the Phillies just enough to allow them to gain a victory in the October classic.

Manager Terry Francona has done a great job leading the team, looking ex­tremely comfortable as the captain of the ship off the field because, of course, be­hind every great team there is an even better manager. The Red Sox are no exception to this rule.

If Boston has anything to worry about along its path, it’s the Yankees. I still think they will win the division, but not by much. Even with their dominance of the Yankees thus far this season, having taken 10 out of the 13 games they have played, the Red Sox could still fall off pace in the AL East and end up with the Wild Card. If that were to happen, I think they could still make a run similar to that of 2004 in which they beat the Yankees in shocking fash­ion and made it to the World Series and won it all. Any baseball fan should be happy that the game is alive and well, and barring a lockout or an apocalypse, the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry will thrive again next season.