As baseball enters its third week, some teams are already feeling desperate, or at least, their fan bases are. An example of that would be the fan base of the Boston Red Sox, who seem to be falling back into that old "woe is us" syndrome that they carried for so many years.
Maybe they still haven't absorbed that they won it all in 2004 and 2007?
Be that as it may, here is a look at the standings in the American League as we head into the third weekend of the season. The format will be different starting with this edition. It won't be so much like Wiley Coyote trying to look for the Roadrunner when you search for the record of each team. I hope that you will like this more user-friendly format.
American League Central
Cleveland Indians -- 8-4 .667 0 Games Behind. The Indians come off of a tough last two games in Anaheim but are still tied for first entering the weekend against Baltimore.
Kansas City Royals -- 8-4 .667 0 Games Behind. The Royals are one of the surprise teams of the early season (along with the Tribe). Kansas City took the first of a four-game set at home last night against Seattle, a series which will continue through the weekend.
Chicago White Sox -- 7-5 .583 1 Game Behind. Chicago has had a couple of bullpen implosions this week, but is lurking right behind Cleveland and Kansas City. The White Sox open a series at home tonight against those pesky Angels.
Detroit Tigers -- 6-7 .462 2.5 Games Behind. Detroit has started to put it together, beating Texas on consecutive days in their last at-bat and then opening a West Coast trip with a victory last night in Oakland, where the Tigers will spend the weekend.
Minnesota Twins -- 4-8 .333 4 Games Behind. The Twins are having a tough time of things, as was exemplified last night when they surrendered a two-run lead in the ninth, retook the lead in the tenth, only to lose in the bottom half to Tampa Bay, in the opener of a four-game set in Florida.
American League East
New York Yankees -- 7-4 .636 0 Games Behind. The Yankees have returned to their comfort zone, beating Baltimore in their last two games to overtake the Orioles and climbing into first in the East. New York has what should be a good test this weekend at home, against the Rangers.
Baltimore Orioles -- 6-5 .545 1 Game Behind. The Tribe's opponent this weekend has lost four in a row, suffering a tough loss last night after jumping ahead of New York, 5-0. Even so, pitching has been a strength for the O's so far, and the Indians will need to be at their best offensively.
Toronto Blue Jays -- 6-6 .500 1.5 Games Behind. After losing the first two of three in Seattle, the Blue Jays beat the Mariners in the final game of their set to climb back to .500. Toronto goes to Boston this weekend to take on the Red Sox, in what could be a revival for Boston or what could be a nail in their hopes, even this early in the season.
Tampa Bay Rays -- 4-8 .333 3.5 Games Behind. The Rays got off to an awful 1-8 start, but have rebounded with two wins earlier this week in Boston, and a stirring come-from-behind win last night at home against Minnesota, with Johnny Damon hitting a walk-off, two-run homer to win it for Tampa in the opener of a four-game series.
Boston Red Sox -- 2-9 .182 5 Games Behind. In an oddity, the Red Sox' only two wins on the season came at the expense of the Yankees. Against all teams not in New York, the Sox are 0-8. After losing twice this week to Tampa, Boston welcomes the Blue Jays for a weekend series at Fenway, needing a spark to keep the Yankees in sight.
American League West
Texas Rangers -- 9-3 .750 0 Games Behind. The Rangers, like the Indians, rolled through the better part of their first ten games, but have now lost two straight, but still maintain a decent lead in the West. The defending American League champs will be tested this weekend with a three-game set in New York against the Yankees.
Los Angeles Angels -- 7-5 .583 2 Games Behind. The Angels come off of back-to-back wins over the Indians at home, and take their act on the road to Chicago this weekend for a three-game set before heading to Texas next week. A critical time for the Halos, who were able to shave two games off of their deficit in two days, keeping the Rangers in sight.
Oakland Athletics -- 6-7 .462 3.5 Games Behind. Oakland is treading water in the West, winning one, losing one, winning one etc. this week. Thus they are due for a win after dropping the opener of their four-game set at home against Detroit.
Seattle Mariners -- 4-9 .308 5.5 Games Behind. It is hard times for the Mariners, who won their first two games of the season and have gone 2-9 since. After losing a rain-shortened game last night to the Royals, Seattle will continue their series in Missouri tonight, looking to somehow stay in contention at least through April.
In the National League, your division leaders are Philadelphia in the East at 9-3 and with a two-game lead over the Florida Marlins; the Cincinnati Reds in the Central at 8-4 and a game up on the Milwaukee Brewers, and the Colorado Rockies in the West, who, at 10-2, have the best record in baseball and a solid four-game lead over the World Champion Giants.
I hope -- as I said at the beginning of this piece -- that you have found this format more favorable. Any thoughts or suggestions, please feel free to let us know.