Monday Morning Movement Memo

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winbyanose.jpg Note: Baseball Before Bedtime will no longer be seen on Monday mornings (unless Dan McQuade accidentally writes it anyway) so that we may bring you a quick, post-weekend update on the division and wild card races. Thus, Monday Morning Movement Memo will document which way your favorite team is headed, organized by race.

American League East: The Yankees dropped three of four to the White Sox, including a 10-run defeat on Saturday, and now the Red Sox are only a half-game back. The Sox swept Baltimore over the weekend, which is so easy it almost shouldn't count. Tampa Bay, plus-75 in run differential, is still six games back.

American League Central: The Tigers hold a 1.5-game lead over the White Sox and a three-game advantage over the Twins, which is about the same as a month ago. But did you know Kansas City is minus-114 in run differential? Even Cleveland has passed the Royals for fourth in the division. Even Washington has passed them in run differential. Yikes, KC. Yikes.

American League West: The Angels continue to hold an edge over Texas, now at four games. Seattle has fallen out of the race, Oakland is doing so poorly there's a new article about how Billy Beane should be fired for "writing" Moneyball every 15 seconds. Anaheim, incidentally, has won five straight.

AL Wild Card: Boston, who led the AL East until recently, would still be playoff-bound if the season ended today; the Red Sox are 2.5 games up on the Rangers. Of course, if the season ended today, that would mean some sort of national or world tragedy, and there probably wouldn't be playoffs this year; we still have 2 months left.

National League East: The Phillies are just 6-5 in their last 11 games but still lead the East by five games thanks to a superb 20-7 July. The Marlins took two of three from the Cubs over the weekend; the Braves are seven back after dropping two of three to the Dodgers. The Mets also play baseball in the National League East.

National League Central: Only a half-game separates the Cubs from the Cardinals; four more games separate the Chicago National League club and the Brewers and Astros. St. Louis took two of three from Houston over the weekend, making Rob Iracane's vacation even more relaxing.

National Least West: It's still all Dodgers, people. Manny & Co. are seven games up on both the Rockies and Giants. Maybe the players on Colorado and San Francisco should have taken more steroids.

NL Wild Card: That aforementioned NL West duo is tied for first in the so-called "Wild" Card standings; the Cubs are two back and the Marlins three. I expect a much wilder month of August in this portion of the standings. Yes, that's right: By September, the Pirates will be in first. Okay, maybe not.

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