Frankly Speaking: Who must step up in A.L. East?

Frankly Speaking: Who must step up in A.L. East?
August 20, 2013, 12:00 pm
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The AL East is still anyone's game (well besides the Blue Jays) with a month and a half left in the regular season.

Sure, the Yankees are a distant 8.0 games back, but that deficit has been made up before in a lot less than some 35-40 games. The Orioles lurk 5.5 behind and the Rays are right on the Sox' heels with one mere game separating the duo.

That means there are plenty of chances for key figures to impact the postseason chance in this division in September and early October.

Rich Levine offered five such people, the first being baseball's greatest villain at the moment, whose presence with the Yankees could go either way.

"Alex Rodriguez is hitting .319 since being activated and if he and [Curtis] Granderson can get into a groove the whole dynamic of that lineup changes," Levine said. "But of course it won't matter if Brian Cashman channels Tanya Harding and takes the ridding of A-Rod from the Yankees into his own hands."

This list was not completely player-centric. For his second man, Levine chose a certain manager in Baltimore who, if handled appropriately, can have a galvanizing effect on his squad.

"A little outside the box, but I'm going with Buck Showalter," Levine said. "Even though the Orioles made the playoffs last year, they're still so young, they still lack that true alpha dog in the dugout, so it's up to Buck to make them believe down the stretch against an AL East heavy schedule."

These were only a couple of Levine's five choices, but is there anybody off of the top of your head who you feel should also make this list?

Offer an alternative in the comments section if you're up to the task.