Rest of the AL East Should Just Give Up Now...Again

ST PETERSBURG FL - SEPTEMBER 28: Infielder Dan Johnson #24 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates after the Rays clinched a playoff birth against the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field on September 28 2010 in St. Petersburg Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)

Dear National Media,

I realize how tough the off-season can be: Fewer stories, slowly progressing storylines, and yet all the hype we can ask for. Sometimes it's incredibly difficult to find the right words to express the emotions your going through, so I have done it for you!

That's right, I have done all the leg work! I have found the single greatest article ever written and created a template for any future article, especially regarding the American League East division. All you need to do is copy the text below, and update some of the names, as I have done.

Your pal,
Brad

How would you like to be the Tampa Bay Rays? The Baltimore Orioles? The Toronto Blue Jays?

Now pitching for the Yankees in 2010 2011: CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Andy Pettitte Phil Hughes and Javier Vazquez Ivan Nova

Now pitching for the Red Sox: Josh Beckett, John Lackey, Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz.

And rest assured, the two AL East super-powers are not done. 

The Yankees will find an outfielder a DH to replace Melky Cabrera Nick Swisher, who is headed to the Braves DL in the Vazquez deal a matter of time.

Welcome back, Johnny Damon? Not necessarily. The Yankees still might find Damon, Jason Bay and Matt Holliday too expensive. 

But I guarantee you, their outfield next season will not be Curtis Granderson, Nick Swisher and Brett Gardner

The Red Sox, meanwhile, still could add have added a corner infielder, either by trading for Padres first baseman Adrian Gonzalez or despite signing free-agent third baseman Adrian Beltre [last year]. [They have also added suddenly-future-Hall-of-Famer Carl Crawford.]

The Sox signed Lackey [last year]. The Yankees traded for released Vazquez. One of the two will add another bat. The other will respond. 

Yes, Vazquez was something of a flop with the Yankees in 2004 2010, but not in the first half, when he went 10-5 with a 3.56 ERA and made his only All-Star team

He had an ERA of nearly 7.00 after the All-Star Game that year and was brutal in the playoffs, but the Yankees were not discouraged by the relatively small sample. [They now regret that.]

Vazquez, 33 35, was sixth in the National League with a career-best 2.87 ERA last season [two years ago]. He has pitched 200 innings in each of the past 10 11 seasons except 2004 [and 2010], when he worked – ahem! – 198 [and -- gurgle -- 157]. 

Is he something of an enigma, a pitcher whose stuff should long ago have translated into greater stardom? Sure. But his prior stint with the Yankees not only was his first experience in the AL, but also his first experience outside of Montreal, where he pitched in relative obscurity.

Ozzie Guillen, Vazquez’s former manager with the White Sox, all but [correctly] labeled him "soft" and insinuated that he is more of an NL pitcher. 

Well, Vazquez is 86-86 with a career 4.07 ERA in the NL, 56-53 with a career 4.40 ERA in the AL Vazquez's AL stats got asploded in 2010. Not much difference really, considering that the AL is more of a hitter’s league. 

Sabathia, Burnett and Pettitte Hughes will welcome not miss Vazquez, make him feel comfortable, help him relax. Vazquez will be in the final year of his contract career probably, pitching for one last big free-agent score time. Yes, there are questions about him, just as there are questions about Lackey, who has been on the disabled list with arm injuries in each of the past two seasons. 

Tell it to [2010 AL Champions] Tampa Bay. Tell it to Baltimore. Tell it to Toronto.

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