Despite its current lofty standing, San Diego will not win the NL West or the NL wild card, as its worst-case scenario comes to pass. Unable to trade
The 31-year-old lefty, who was dealt from Cleveland to Philadelphia at last year's deadline and then to Seattle in the offseason, is traded for the fourth time in a year, completing the round-trip back to Ohio as the Reds build a package around 2008 first-round pick
The Twins, Tigers and White Sox -- all of whom have tied for first in the last two years -- finish 85-77 in the AL Central. The White Sox have a chance to clinch on the last day, but are beaten by
The midseason spate of injuries proves to be too much to overcome for the Sox, who fall to eight games out in August before getting everyone healthy and making a push over the last six weeks. Their final mark of 94-68 would lead every division in baseball but their own. With the three best records in baseball all posted by AL East teams, and every advanced tool backing up the idea that these are the three best teams in the game, what analysts have been saying for years has now come to fruition: The real problem MLB faces is three great teams in one division, when even a wild-card won't assure that the best teams make the playoffs. The Red Sox, 94-68 while facing one of the game's toughest schedules, go home; the Tigers, 86-77 against one of the weakest, move on. With one of the game's flagship franchises caught on the wrong side of the problem, calls for changes to league structures, scheduling practices and playoff formats increase throughout the offseason.
After a series of missed calls by umpires lead the highlight shows in September, marring what should be great pennant races with relentless controversies, it becomes apparent that instant replay is the only solution for MLB. While continuing to stonewall in public, commissioner
After the controversies and collapses, the game-saving plays and game-ending hits, it's the Tampa Bay Rays who garner their first world championship, beating the Colorado Rockies four games to three in the best World Series since 2001. The Rays get a huge boost from