Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/3/12

That's a nice race shaping up in the American League East.

The Toronto Blue Jays are involved, sort of. They are playing the role of "opponent."

They have done pretty well at that so far. They won two of three at Yankee Stadium against faltering New York last week. They split four games with the Tampa Bay Rays at home last weekend.

On Monday, they lost 4-0 to the rampaging Baltimore Orioles in the opener of a three-game series.

The Blue Jays get a chance to play for something else this weekend when they have three games at Fenway Park against the Boston Red Sox. It is the battle for fourth place in the division.

Remember all the whining about how difficult it is to play in the AL East against the rich powerhouses New York and Boston? Time to change that tune.

Tampa Bay has been a factor for the past five seasons, blowing apart that particular excuse. Now Baltimore has been added to the mix. Boston, not so much anymore, and that's good because the Red Sox have become boring unless you like soap operas.

And while the Yankees are still in first -- one game ahead of the Orioles and 2 1/2 games ahead of the Rays after Monday's games -- they have been playing more like a team that might not make it.

Toronto could have a say in whether they do. The Blue Jays have seven more games against the Yankees, four at Rogers Centre.

They have three more games against the Rays, a team that gives them trouble particularly at Tropicana Field. And they have five more games against the Orioles, two this week at Rogers Centre and three at Camden Yards from Sept. 24-26.

Followers of the Blue Jays are getting a vicarious glimpse of the playoff race. At this point in the season, that's the best Toronto fans can expect.

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