I've been watching baseball pretty avidly since I was 8 (more than 35 years now, horrifying as that is to type). And while Ichiro may not have been the best player I've ever seen (he rarely walked or hit with power), I think he's been my favorite player to watch.
An all-West Coast World Series, a distinct possibility at this point, would present an image of baseball that is young, new and forward-looking, despite the inconvenient time zone for many in the East Coast.
Don't look now, but the third-place Mariners might be the best bet to represent the AL in the World Series this year. Lame duck commissioner Bud Selig's parting gift to baseball, the second wild-card spot, might hold the path to Seattle's first appearance in the Fall Classic.
The Red Sox might not be able to trade Lester, or the the prospects they get for Lester may not turn into valuable players in the future, but the willingness of the Red Sox to shop Lester demonstrates why the Red Sox are one of the smartest organizations in baseball.
Because of his age, and his sometimes surprising defensive ability, the team that signs Sandoval will not have to plan on using him as a full-time DH at any point during his potential five-year contract. Sandoval is far from a gold glove third-baseman, but he is not terrible at the hot corner.
My own view on ballplayers players using steroids and human growth hormones (HGH) was one mostly of disinterest. I will not be compromised into thinking such issues pose measurable threats to America's future.
After a flurry of expensive free agent signings the Yankees have upgraded modestly in center, and significantly behind the plate, but they have gotten much worse at second base and have done nothing about big holes at shortstop and third base.