Judging from some of my online chats, a few readers think that we at ESPN have a little too much Yankees and Red Sox on the brain.
Sure, we tend to obsess about A-Rod's psyche, Carl Pavano's driving habits, Manny's knee, Big Papi's heart rate and Theo being Theo. If the Yankees reduce their payroll by 50 percent, if Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy no longer refers to the two teams as baseball's Athens and Sparta, and if the Red Sox stop sending roving bands of fanatics all over the country to do that annoying Kevin Youkilis "Youk" chant, then we might question how much interest actually exists.
Nevertheless, in this type of climate, it's easy for players who perform well for losing clubs or in smaller markets to fall through the cracks. Others fail to get the proper recognition because they are overshadowed by more accomplished teammates or play on the West Coast, where fans in the Eastern time zone have difficulty keeping track.