Who’s the Baseball Beast of the East?

Who’s the Baseball Beast of the East?

Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun/MCT

Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria makes the stop on an infield hit.

Katie Martin, AP Lit Set 6

   As MLB baseball season winds rapidly to a close, emotions run rampant as avid fans anxiously anticipate post-season play. In the Tampa Bay area, speculation circulates as to whether or not the Rays will end their season on top. While some foresee glory and success for our boys in the future, others predict that our rival Yankees will take home the AL East Title.

   At the start of the season, baseball analysts held the Rays as the team most likely to succeed. Strengths and weaknesses of the 2010 roster became apparent in games throughout the summer months. Although Rays’ batting averages sunk to record-breaking lows, their starting pitchers and defensive strength carried them to second place behind the Yankees in the AL East. Today, with the Red Sox following nine games behind, fans feel confident that the Rays will continue into post-season play.

In an interview earlier this week, Rays enthusiast and aspiring sports anchor, Sam Martin, stated:  “Unless they fall apart in the last three weeks of the season, they will make the playoffs.”

   Currently the Rays hold the second highest record in professional baseball with a record of 86 and 55. They face their toughest competition, the New York Yankees, in a six-game homestand beginning Monday. With twenty games remaining in the regular season, this series will most likely determine the rankings of post-season play.

While some Rays devotees, such as Sabrina Marcos, who were surveyed earlier this week, believe that “energy and teamwork” will lead the team to victory, others are less optimistic.

Ex-ball player, Ricky Puls, expressed his belief that the Yankees will ultimately come out on top in the AL East.     “They are hitting the ball really well, and they’re getting their starting pitchers back, and their line up is loaded in every spot, so you can’t pitch around them.”

   Sam Martin supported Puls’s assertion through his statement, “I think the Yankees will win the East because of their experience…although the Rays are giving them a run for their money.”

   In spite of such disheartening predictions, however, Sabrina and her fellow Rays fanatics still trust that the team will get the job done.     “I do believe the Rays will make it to the number one spot. They have the energy and the teamwork. Our players are young, and you can just tell we’re ready to get back to the World Series.”

   In order to defeat their foes, the Rays must keep their focus as well as their health. Following the game on Friday against the Toronto Jays, Rays’ Manager, Joe Maddon, voiced his concerns about starting pitcher, James Shields to local reporters.    “I think he tried too hard, I really do…he’s throwing 93-94 mph, when he’s basically a 91-92 kind of guy.”

   With so much talk and theory, it’s hard to discern which team will ultimately be victorious. Excitement and anticipation continues to build, but the question remains: Who will be the Baseball Beast of the East?