Red Sox, Yankees not on solid ground at midpoint

(Jason Miller/Getty Images)

The AL East has undergone a renaissance. The Orioles are running the show, with the Blue Jays as the understudy. The Yankees can't climb out of third, the Rays lack of success may have them selling off their longtime ace, and the Red Sox seem to have run out of the feel-gooderies required for a feel-good Story of the Summer.

Despite their success, teams like Baltimore and Toronto still aren't the high profile stories - headline-wise, it's bigger news that the Yankees and Red Sox have been bad than that the O's and Jays have been good.

Things got a little more dire this afternoon for both parties.

Tanaka's news was met with a chorus of "oh boy's" and "hoo boy's" and "uh oh's," indicating the usual news that follows a surprise trip to the imaging center such as this one. In retrospect, everything is a red flag, as Jon Morosi of FOX Sports points out Tanaka's last two starts garnered his two highest earned totals of the season, with four and five (Four earned runs! Oh my goodness! Morosi better not watch a Kyle Kendrick start, he'll probably pass out).

Should the MRI lead to yet another dent in the Yankees, it will be one of the more expensive ones to date: Tanaka has a seven-year, $155 million deal. Without any knowledge of what the MRI will show, this could be a problem in the short and long term. At the moment, all we know is it's not a good turn for a team that could have used one.

Pierzynski signed for a year and $8.25 million, and leaves the Sox with a .254 BA and a .634 OPS, with four home runs and 31 RBI in 256 AB. These were not numbers Boston thought they had paid for, and determined that now, in last place and an inglorious 12 games under .500, was the time to see what some of their younger players could do. Catcher Christian Vazquez will start tonight as the great experiments begin.

It could be worse. They could be in Kansas City.