Now things are getting interesting. The Chicago White Sox swept the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers have now lost five in a row (though they are still 5.5 games ahead of the ChiSox in first). The top three teams in the AL Central have winning percentages of .650 (Detroit), .603 (Chicago) and .581 (Twins). I fear the AL Central.
For a study in contrasts, turn to the AL West, where a .556 winning percentage is enough to put Oakland is 4.5 games ahead in first. The NL West is even crappier—the Dodgers are first, playing .521 ball. No wonder the last-place Giants are just 6.5 games behind them. But it beats the NL Central, where there are just two teams (out of six) over .500. So you have some close races in those divisions, but if you’re a Twins fan it hardly seems fair.
While no team in the AL East can match Chicago or Detroit, the Red Sox (yay!) are back within a game of the Yankees. Today at the Fens, a cheer went up from the crowd when the number “9″ was removed from the inning slot in the manual scoreboard, signifying the end of the Angels-Yankees game and, thus, New York’s loss to Anaheim. So pennant fever rages pretty consistently across the entire United States, with virulent outbreaks near the Great Lakes and New England. Lingering pennant sniffles hover over the West coast.
In fact, the only place there doesn’t seem to be a scorching case is Queens. The Mets, of course, are running away with the NL East title. They’re 15 games ahead and the only team over .500. Yawn.