The Top Teams in the AL West Surpass the East in the American League : a Fan’s Take

There has always been a slant in the media to paint the AL East as the premiere division in the American League. However, there has been a shift in thinking thanks to the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels. The AL West, while not as stacked as the AL East, has become just as powerful when it comes to determining the World Series competitors.

Josh Hamilton
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Over the past two seasons, the Rangers have represented the AL in the World Series and who can forget the year of the Rally Monkey and the Angels. While the Oakland Athletics have not been meaningful outside of Moneyball talk for years and Seattle has only their record-breaking wins season to talk about, the Angels and Rangers have dominated the conference, and at times, the entire AL.

Now, with the Boston Red Sox in a possible downturn thanks to their letting their championship caliber manager and general manager walk away, the AL West might be closing the gap. The New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays should still be great but the Angels and Rangers should be superstars.

The Angels have been competitive since Arte Moreno purchased the team in 2003. They have measured themselves to the Red Sox and Yankees and did everything they could to make sure they remained competitive. The Rangers also became great after the team was sold. The former owners did what they could but their baseball people were not strong enough to make them a winner.

With Nolan Ryan involved in the team's ownership, he has allowed general manager Jon Daniels to do what he does best and he has turned out to be one of the best general managers in baseball. Texas has now been to two consecutive World Series' appearances and has a team full of superstars who enjoy playing together.

Now, heading into 2012, they look prepared to eclipse their competition in the AL East. The Angels added Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson while Texas brought in Japanese superstar Yu Darvish and closer Joe Nathan. These will be two of the best teams in baseball, regardless of their division. If the Red Sox fall, the top teams in the AL West will be just as good, of not better, than their counterparts in the East.

Author Shawn S. Lealos has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma (2000) and has been a Texas Rangers fan his entire life, watching the Rangers' Triple-A affiliate play for over 30 years. While Texas has moved their Triple-A team, Shawn still remains a loyal Rangers fan and awaits the year they finally win the big one.

Source: ESPN

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Updated Thursday, Mar 29, 2012