AL Observations in May
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 AL Observations

If the Cy Young Award were to be given out now, it would go unanimously to Derek Lowe.

Ramon Santiago leap-frogged over the injured Omar Infante for the Tiger`s shortstop job. Santiago hurt his shoulder but will probably be back by the time you read this.

The Tiger`s catcher of the future is still a 3-way battle between Mike Rivera, Brandon Inge, and Mitch Meluskey. The latter two are both hurt, so, Rivera is in. However, Inge is currently the official favorite, although, he would be my last choice.

Estaban German beat Orlando Hudson to a starting job as a major league secondbaseman - even though Hudson has out-played German at AAA, and Menechino isn`t as bad as Bush, Berg, or Lawrence. The Jays` holding back of catcher Josh Phelps is questionable, but keeping Hudson down is preposterous.

It`s shocking to think that the Orioles have a much better W-L record than the Blue Jays so far this year.

The all-around stupidest organization in the league is still the Devil Rays. Think about it. Huff was sent to the minors, while a bunch of pretenders are being paraded at third. Last year, they acquired Castilla to play third last year and Greg Vaughn to play outfield. So, what were they planning to do with their best minor league hitter at the time - Aubrey Huff? Now, they`ve decided Huff can`t play third, Vaughn can`t play outfield, and Castilla can`t play at all. They were so embarrassed by those moves last year, they didn`t do anything this year. Also, they are sticking with the worse every day outfielder in the American League: Jason Tyner. Meanwhile, they have a 20 year old prospect with everything going for him but a great arm: Carl Crawford, who is batting .350 with 9 doubles, 8 triples, and 5 homers for the Durham Bulls.

If I were running the Twins, I`d put Bobby Kielty in rightfield, Matt LeCroy at DH, and David Ortiz (when 100% healthy) at firstbase.

If I were running the Royals, I`d probably make even more changes, starting with putting Quinn back in the outfield instead of Knoblauch.

It`s hard to believe how hot the Angels have been while still using the worse starting infielder in the majors: Scott Spiezio.

There is no reason to get worked up about Carlos Pena or Hank Blalock getting sent down. Tough love might be good for them. I just hope too much time won`t be wasted before they are called back.

On the other hand, trading Jeremy Giambi straight up for a washed up John Mabry? Yikes. Either the A`s have gone stark raving bonkers, or they`ve discovered Giambi is a pothead and want to pass the problem onto some other team before the Athletics go up in smoke. Rumor is that this is just unloading a disgruntled player. Nobody likes a whiner, but if this is the best they could round up for Giambi, then I`d deal with his whining in a different way.

What is with this Mark McLemore having his best years in his late 30s? Oh, I forgot he had a good year in `93 and `96, too.

Brady Anderson was released. Farewell to a dirty shirt player we admired.

Ellis Burks was protected this year. He was one of the first 20 players taken in the AL.Robinson League when in it began in 1991. In fact, I listed him in my top 5. At that time Brady Anderson was having difficulty staying in the majors. They were both born in 1964. Both are products of the Red Sox` farm system. They both had career years in 1996. At one point, our perception of Anderson is that he`s a better (or an equally good) all-around outfielder than Burks who`s career got an artificial boost from playing in Colorado. Anderson walked more and was a better basestealer. However, except for Anderson`s freak season, Burks has always had more power. Both have been injury-prone, but getting to play mostly DH in recent years has kept Burks healthy and has, perhaps, helped his now far superior longevity.

When I think of  a concluding paragragh, I'll slip it in here.