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Here were the five questions asked:
1. Who is the best player in the AL East?
2. And the most disappointing?
3. Which team will win this division?
4. Will Roy Halladay go and where?
5. What's the most important series remaining?
Here are my answers:
1. Kevin Youkilis. His overall leadership and character cannot be beat by anyone on any other team. He has a solid offensive stat line (.299 BA, 17 HR, 57 RBI, 49 BB, 24 2B) and superb defense at both corners of the diamond, which shows he's a very versatile player. Don't forget he finished third in AL MVP voting last year.
2. Daisuke Matsuzaka. By far the biggest disappointment. After being the hero for Japan in the World Baseball Classic, Dice-K hasn't come close to being one with the Red Sox this year. He is on the 15-day Disabled List for the second time this season, did not win an outing until June 2 (5-1 win over Detroit) had an earned run average of 12.79 at one point (April 14 at Oakland), and is currently settling with a 1-5 record and 8.23 ERA. Not exactly the $103 million man that they signed in December of 2006.
3. Boston Red Sox. Despite what's currently going on in the divisional race, Boston overall will be stronger towards the end with its bench and pitching, but it will be ridiculously close. Count on Boston and New York to go back and forth during the stretch. The Red Sox offense is bound to heat up again.
4. Roy Halladay will not be traded. It's just one of those fantasy trades that you'd wish would come true. Why would Toronto give up its best pitcher and face of the franchise? If they were to trade him, it'll be out of the AL East and perhaps to the National League, maybe the Phillies?
5. The final Red Sox-Yankees series at Yankees Stadium September 25-27. Arguably the entire month of September is the most important month with the Sox playing two series against Tampa Bay while the Yankees only host them once. The Rays will be a crucial factor in who wins the division.