American League East Has Been Baseball's Powerhouse

Don WrightContributor IFebruary 6, 2012

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 28: Dustin Pedroia #15 of the Boston Red Sox follows his solo home run against the Baltimore Orioles during the fifth inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 28, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

When someone says that the World Series always goes through New York, they are wrong.  They are close and almost right, but still wrong. 

However, looking back as far as 1990, the World Series many times does go through the American League East.  Not always, of course, but more than half of the last 21 World Series have had a participant from the East division.

Since 1990, there have been 21 World Series in the books. Yes, 21, because of the "greed year" in 1994 when there was no championship. In those 21 series, an AL East team has participated in 12.  I'm no Einstein, but I do know that 12 is more than half of 21. Out of those 12 series, the AL East team won nine times.  Again, I'm no math whiz, but I do know that nine is nearly half of 21. 

Just for the record, I'm a Red Sox fan—always have been, always will be.  This next bit is actually painful for me. Those nine AL East wins are made up of five Yankees titles and two each for Boston and Toronto.

Even with the recent run of NL titles, the AL East has been in the mix deep into the playoffs. The Red Sox. Yankees and Tampa have all been in the mix for the last 10 years.  Toronto has made strides the last few years as well.  As for the Baltimore Orioles, it's tough to really know.  They have have the bad luck of being in a division stacked with annual playoff contenders.

That's quite a high percentage for one division in a league that has been aiming for parity the last decade.  Maybe the luxury tax will help.  I personally think the bar is set too high for the luxury tax. Small-market teams still can't seem to spend anywhere near the luxury threshold, while big-market teams can bump up against it and still have a significant advantage.

That's a discussion for another time. I've reached my ciphering cap for one day, so the luxury tax has to wait.  When do pitchers and catchers report?