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Beasts of the East

By DAMIAN CRISTODERO and MARC TOPKIN
Published April 2, 2006


The AL East is considered one of the toughest divisions in baseball because of its depth and talent from top to bottom, and that makes life even tougher for the Devil Rays. Times baseball writers Damian Cristodero and Marc Topkin take a look inside the division and rank the teams by positions, with an emphasis on overall contributions. The final tally is at the bottom (and remember, the lowest score wins).

CATCHER

1. Jason Varitek, Red Sox

2. Jorge Posada, Yankees

3. Bengie Molina, Jays

4. Toby Hall, Rays

5. Ramon Hernandez, Orioles

FIRST BASE

1. Jason Giambi, Yankees

2. Lyle Overbay, Jays

3. Travis Lee, Rays

4. Jeff Conine, Orioles

5. Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox

SECOND BASE

1. Brian Roberts, Orioles

2. Jorge Cantu, Rays

3. Robinson Cano, Yankees

4. Mark Loretta, Red Sox

5. Aaron Hill, Jays

SHORTSTOP

1. Miguel Tejada, Orioles

2. Derek Jeter, Yankees

3. Julio Lugo, Rays

4. Alex Gonzalez, Red Sox

5. Russ Adams, Jays

THIRD BASE

1. Alex Rodriguez, Yankees

2. Melvin Mora, Orioles

3. Troy Glaus, Jays

4. Aubrey Huff, Rays

5. Mike Lowell, Red Sox

LEFTFIELD

1. Manny Ramirez, Red Sox

2. Carl Crawford, Rays

3. Hideki Matsui, Yankees

4. Frank Catalanotto, Jays

5. Kevin Millar, Orioles

CENTERFIELD

1. Vernon Wells, Jays

2. Johnny Damon, Yankees

3. Coco Crisp, Red Sox

4. Rocco Baldelli, Rays

5. Corey Patterson, Orioles

RIGHTFIELD

1. Gary Sheffield, Yankees

2. Trot Nixon, Red Sox

3. John Gibbons, Orioles

4. Eric Hinske, Jays

5. Joey Gathright, Rays

1. David Ortiz, Red Sox

2. Jonny Gomes, Rays

3. Shea Hillenbrand, Jays

4. Bernie Williams, Yankees

5. Javy Lopez, Orioles

ROTATION

1. Red Sox

2. Yankees

3. Jays

4. Orioles

5. Rays

CLOSER

1. Mariano Rivera, Yankees

2. B.J. Ryan, Jays

3. Keith Foulke, Red Sox

4. Chris Ray, Orioles

5. Dan Miceli, Rays

TOTALS

1. Yankees 22

2. Red Sox 30

3. Jays 35

4. (tie) Devil Rays 39

4. (tie) Orioles 39