The Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees met this past weekend in a series that could symbolize the remainder of the season in the American League East.
The Yankees and Rays carry some of the biggest names in baseball today and are each trying to distance themselves from the third-place Boston Red Sox. I personally feel that these teams could be setting up for one of the more epic and thrilling pennant races in recent memory.
Tampa Bay has held an advantage over the Red Sox all year, but things have been dead even when it comes to the Yankees. The Yankees and Rays are eight games into their season series and tied at four games apiece. I will honestly be surprised if the division pans out in any way other than the Yankees winning the East and the Rays taking the wild card.
As we all saw this past weekend, the Yankees lineup is every bit as good on the field as it looks on paper. This is an elite team that is making the Bronx proud and keeping the sales of New York Yankees autographs and signed Yankees memorabilia up as high as ever.
The Yankees are in the top ten in every major batting statistic and have few weaknesses on their roster. However, it would also be a huge mistake if I or anyone else overlooked the Rays chances in the division. The Rays are also full of talent, players who fans think of when they think signed baseball memorabilia that they would love to have.
It has not only been the usual names of Longoria, Crawford and Pena, that have stepped up for the Rays this year. Their success also lies in rising stars such as Sean Rodriguez and Rafael Soriano. But the Rays have also started to slightly coast since beginning the season as the hottest team in baseball. They can’t afford many more lost series to the Yankees if they plan on taking the 2010 AL East title.