The Mariners were depending on one Milton Bradley to be a middle of the lineup force - so they suck too with Bradley taking his ball and going home. As much as I'd like to be a contrarian and root for Bradley the player and perhaps the person, his mood swings have made him an unsympathetic figure in my eyes. As much as he maybe calling out for help, it maybe time to cut the cord on his MLB playing career.
Meanwhile in the rest of the suddenly 'weakened' American League West, the A's are emerging as a scrappy bunch who looks like they may stand out - I don't know if they have enough pitching and offense, while I think scrappy guys like Adam Rosales, Cliff Pennington and Kurt Suzuki can only take the team so far.
However, unlike the 'Moneyball' era A's teams, my perception is the current A's are a more balanced team - with their ability catch the ball, run and perhaps do more than wait for the three-run home run from a Jason Giambi, Miguel Tejada or Eric Chavez.
Can it be conceivable the A's and the Texas Rangers will be the two teams in the AL West battling for the division title - the Rangers' lineup can score lots of runs and if their pitching holds up, it makes them a team with some staying power. It looks like Vlad Guerrero is getting some of his mojo back and if healthy, maybe a comeback player of the year candidate.