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Sports Then and Now



Big Bad AL East Isn’t So Tough After All 18

Posted on October 07, 2011 by Dean Hybl

Former Tiger Curtis Granderson will watch his former team play in the AL Championship Series.

Well, so much for the American League East being heads and shoulder above the rest of the American League in talent and baseball stature. Following the Detroit Tigers 3-2 victory in game five of the ALDS to eliminate the New York Yankees, we are now ensured that a team from one of the “lesser” divisions in the AL will represent the league in the World Series for the second straight year and fourth time in the last seven seasons.

There is no question that the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox are still head and shoulders above the rest of the league in terms of spending, but they both are proving that in today’s baseball world money doesn’t buy you quite as much as it used to.

Don’t get me wrong, money has definitely helped them both become consistent contenders. The Yankees haven’t had a losing season since 1992 and have made the playoffs in all but one season since 1995 while the Red Sox last had a losing season in 1997 and have won two World Series and made the playoffs eight times since.

However, while spending lavishly on salaries to attract the top free agents and available veterans has helped both teams maintain a stranglehold on at least one playoff spot each season, it no longer seems to be enough to ensure they dominate the World Series. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Rusty Staub: A Man For All Ages
      April 8, 2024 | 1:26 pm
      Rusty Staub

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former major league baseball player who came into the game as a teenager and stayed until he was in his 40s. In between, Rusty Staub put up a solid career that was primarily spent on expansion or rebuilding teams.

      Originally signed by the Colt .45s at age 17, he made his major league debut as a 19-year old rookie and became only the second player in the modern era to play in more than 150 games as a teenager.

      Though he hit only .224 splitting time between first base and rightfield, Staub did start building a foundation that would turn him into an All-Star by 1967 when he finished fifth in the league with a .333 batting average.

      Read more »

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