Found September 10, 2012 on

The American League East is the most closely contended division in all of Major League Baseball with just a few weeks remaining in the 2012 regular season. The top two teams, however, have been thrown an extra challenge after suffering injuries to to of their top offensive and defensive players. The New York Yankees have a one game lead in the A.L. East over the Baltimore Orioles and a two game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays. Due to the addition of a second wild card spot in each league, it is conceivable that all three of the teams chasing the division crown could make the 2012 MLB Playoffs. Then again, with the teams in the American League West still fighting for control, it is almost as conceivable that only the division winner will qualify for the postseason. And after Mark Teixeira and Nick Markakis suffered injuries that could possibly end their regular season for the Yankees and Orioles, respectively, it could be the Rays who reap the benefits of two big players going down this weekend. Teixeira has been on and off the disabled list this year, but it is now his injured left calf that has everyone in New York concerned. In fact, Yankees’ manager Joe Girardi said that while there is a chance that Teixeira may be back in time for next weekend’s series against the Rays, he is also worried that this could effectively end the team’s star first baseman. “There is part of me that wonders that,” Girardi said of Teixeira’s setback resulting in a prolonged absence. “There is basically 3½ weeks left. If it does go back to square one, then I’d really wonder.” Teixeira, however, said he does not expect this to put him on the shelf for quite as long. “That would be the worse-, worse-case scenario,” Teixeira said on the possibility of being done for the season. In the meantime, the Yankees will use Nick Swisher and Steve Pearce at first base to help fill the void. The Orioles, however, may have a more difficult time replacing their lead-off hitter in in right field following the broken left thumb to Markakis. Since moving Markakis to the lead-off spot, he has batted .335 as the Orioles have gone 33-21 during that same span. He has been a key catalyst to their offense, and the team will now look to Nate McLouth and Lew Ford as his possible replacements. The biggest difference between the injuries to Teixeira and Markakis is that while there may be a chance that the Yankees 1B only misses a handful of games, the Orioles RF is out for at least the next few weeks. If Baltimore does reach the postseason, it would still not be certain that Markakis could return. With all of that being said, the Rays could now be the favorites to take control of the division. Unfortunately for them, however, they probably have the hardest road left ahead of them in terms of their remaining schedule. The Yankees have 6 games remaining with the Boston Red Sox, 6 against the Toronto Blue Jays, 3 against the Rays, 3 against the Oakland Athletics and 3 against the Minnesota Twins. The Orioles have 6 games remaining with the Rays, 6 against the Red Sox, 4 against the Blue Jays, 3 with the Athletics and 3 with the Seattle Mariners. The Rays finish up with 6 against the Orioles, 6 against the Red Sox, 4 against the Chicago White Sox, 3 with the Yankees and 3 with the Blue Jays. With just a few weeks left, this race could very well come down to the final weekend.      

Mark Teixeira's Horrible Decision to Slide Into First Rewarded by Bad Karma From Baseball Gods (Video)

Mark Teixeira is 6-foot-3 and weighs 220 pounds. He's coming off of a calf injury. But still, with the game on the line and him needing to get to first base safely, Teixeira's choosing to slide into the bag Saturday night rather than run still ranks pretty high on the what-were-you-thinking meter. Teixeira had just hit a weak grounder that spelled doom for the Yankees, who...

Mark Teixeira to Miss Red Sox Series, Likely Rest of Regular Season With Calf Strain

NEW YORK -- Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira is expected to be sidelined for 10 days to two weeks, missing most of the rest of the regular season. Teixeira returned to the lineup Saturday in Baltimore, his first appearance since Aug. 27, and reinjured his calf on the final play of the game when diving into first base. While he appeared to beat the ball and avoid a game-ending...

Maybe Mark Teixeira was safe...

This image is from the New York Daily News website. Maybe the baseball gods were on the Orioles' side for a change. Comments?

(Video) Mark Teixeira Safe at First, Posts' Joel Sherman Not Safe with Joe Girardi

Joe Girardi has been ******** and ******** as his NY Yankees have floundered over the 2nd half of the season. Last night's ending didn't help. Mark Teixeira, clearly safe at 1st, was called out by... Full story at Bob's Blitz ~

Replacing Markakis is no easy task for Orioles

Not enough power. Not a prototypical No. 3 hitter. Not enough speed to be a leadoff batter. However, Nick Markakis has plenty of qualities that have proved irreplaceable for the Baltimore Orioles. In an organization and city where playing every day means something -- see: Ripken, Cal -- Markakis has carried the torch, playing in 160-plus games in four of his first six big-league...

Yankees' Mark Teixeira Out For at Least Four Games

Mark Teiexeira, who just returned to the New York Yankees' lineup last night, will miss at least four games, possibly the rest of the season.  According to Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York, the Yankees' first baseman re-injured his ailing left calf after attempting a head-first slide at the end of last night's game and will be out until at least Friday. Four games...

Joel Sherman and Joe Girardi brouhaha: Why I am on Girardi's side

I was as peeved as anybody about the way the Yankee game ended Saturday night -- clearly Mark Teixeira was safe, although the umpire didn't see it that way. However, CC Sabathia also needs to be the CC of old; your ace can't be giving up five runs in a start.Anyhow, I just wanted to weigh in on the hissy fit Joel Sherman had in the post-game presser. He asked Girardi if CC...

Orioles' 5-4 win over Yankees proves costly with loss of Markakis

BALTIMORE—The Baltimore Orioles scored another dramatic victory Saturday night, one that helped them into a first-place tie with the Yankees. But it proved very costly. Backed by home runs from Mark Reynolds, Lew Ford and J.J. Hardy, the Orioles defeated the Yankees 5-4. But Baltimore lost right fielder Nick Markakis for a minimum of six weeks with a broken left thumb. Markakis...

Harper: CC Comes Up Small, Again

From John Harper:The Yankees have had worse nights during this stretch in which their 10-game lead, not to mention their aura of superiority, has disappeared. But this was surely the most ominous night of them all. And not because they got jobbed by first base umpire Jerry Meals. Yes, replays showed that Mark Teixeira was easily safe diving into first base to beat a double-play...

Injury Updates: Tex, Pettitte, Nova

- To make that blown call on the final play of last night's game worse, Mark Teixeira re-injured his left calf and will likely miss Sunday's series finale against the O's. - In better news, Andy Pettitte threw a simulated game on Saturday and apparently everything went smoothly. Here's a little more on Pettitte from Dan Martin: “I felt good, it was a good day...

Rays' upcoming games determine post-season

It is a six-game stretch that could determine their shot at the post-season. The Tampa Bay Rays will spend this week chasing the two teams they trail in the AL East race, with each of those opponents also representing a possible roadblock to a Wild Card berth. Grab the remote control and settle back on the couch, though chances are youll also be on your feet and pacing considering...

Rays' week to weigh heavily on postseason

It is a six-game stretch that could determine their shot at the postseason. The Tampa Bay Rays will spend this week chasing the two teams they trail in the AL East race, with each of those opponents also representing a possible roadblock to a wild-card berth. Grab the remote control and settle back on the couch, though chances are youll also be on your feet and pacing considering...
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