Throw out your cheat sheets, 40-man rosters and pine tar. There is absolutely no way anyone can predict how the AL East will shake out this season.
For years and years, the came through two cities: Boston and New York. It was just a matter of which came in first or second.
In 2013, it could end up being completely opposite, and no matter how much baseball knowledge you can cram into your brain, there's no way of telling which way the AL East will go. There are about as many scenarios as there are on a rubik's cube.
With so much parity, it's just going to be one of those years.
The Rays will bank on a healthy Evan Longoria and Cy Young-winning pitcher David Price. But the division is stronger than it's ever been, with Baltimore coming off a strong season and Toronto making big offseason moves. The Red Sox won on opening day against the Yankees, who are dealing with major injury issues.
Humbly acknowledging we have no idea how to predict this one (close your eyes and throw the dart at the board), we'll turn to the "experts." Here's how FOX Sports thinks the AL East will shake out:
1) Tampa Bay (Wins prediction: 95-99)
2) Boston (Wins prediction: 94-98)
3) New York (Wins prediction: 90-94)
4) Toronto (Wins prediction: 78-82)
5) Baltimore (Wins prediction: 72-76)
No Shields, no Upton, no Pena – no problem, apparently. Despite losing some of those big names, a healthy Evan Longoria will be like having an addition to the roster. And keep a close eye on prospect Wil Myers. He could be a shot of life to a lineup that probably needs it.
Rays Opening Day
If you're headed out to opening day, be aware of a block party celebration on Central Avenue and 13th Street. It starts at noon and goes until first pitch. Fans can expect prizes, games, cold beer, ballpark fare and live music. First pitch is at 3:10, and all fans get a 2013 magnet schedule.
Going, going, Gong!
Rays manager Joe Maddon isn't your typical manager. We know that. The latest example: He added a new gong to the Trop. Why? We don't know. When it will ring? We're not sure.
It's only a matter of time until the mini-gong is a featured giveaway at Tropicana Field.
Rays on Twitter
And if you're fan of social media and a fan of the Rays, do you follow them on Twitter? Here's the 2013 Opening Day Twitter roster:
Alex Cobb: https://twitter.com/Acobb53
Ben Zobrist: https://twitter.com/TheZobrists
Chris Archer: https://twitter.com/ChrisArcher42
Chris Gimenez: https://twitter.com/ChrisGimenez5
David Price: https://twitter.com/DAVIDprice14
Desmond Jennings: https://twitter.com/d_jennings8
Evan Longoria: https://twitter.com/Evan3Longoria
James Loney: https://twitter.com/jamesloney_7
Jeremy Hellickson: https://twitter.com/JHell58
Jose Lobaton: https://twitter.com/JLobaton21
Jose Molina: https://twitter.com/Joeycatch8
Matt Moore: https://twitter.com/MattyMoe55
Matthew Joyce: https://twitter.com/sweetswingin20
Ryan Roberts: https://twitter.com/rroberts19
Sam Fuld: https://twitter.com/SamFuld5
Sean Rodriguez: https://twitter.com/SeanJRodriguez1
Will Rhymes: https://twitter.com/willrhymes
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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