The West has Laguna Beach, the East has hypodermic surf. The West has Spago, the East has beef-on-a-stick. The West has the A's, the East has the O's. What happened?
"Maybe the Western clubs are a little less tradition-bound," says Alderson, "more inclined to take risks." Last summer, A's manager Tony La Russa said that since all of the AL West skippers had managed only in the AL West, success in that division had become a matter of pride.
"The balance of power has been subtly shifting from the East to the West," says Texas general manager Tom Grieve, "and in the next couple of years that will show. There's no doubt that Oakland is the strongest team in the AL, and Minnesota is as strong if not stronger than when it won the World Series. The days of the AL Worst are a thing of the past."
"This division got even stronger in the off-season," says Rose of his NL West. "Almost every team picked up good players. Right now, five of the six teams [you know who you are, Atlanta] can lay legitimate claim to a chance at the title."
And if another California team is world champion this year, will anybody blink? Twelve of the last 28 titles in professional baseball, basketball and football have been won by California teams. Meanwhile, if the Yankees don't win the World Series—and even George Steinbrenner admits they're underdogs—it will be the first decade since the 191 Os that they have taken the big doughnut.
Hey, Reggie, maybe you got that rising and setting part backward.