AL East final report card grades

College Contributor Network

Alice Cooper famously said, "Baseball's out for winter!" with the caked-on eyeliner, right? It was something like that.

As MLB closes up shop until early March, it's always a sad time because now baseball fans go into their cave and hibernate until sun and spring come around. I thought I would hand out some final report cards for the players and teams to take home with them and show their stern parents, err, fan bases.

Let's roll the grades out division-by-division, first starting with the AL East.

Baltimore Orioles
Grade: A-

Even though the wound is still salty, the Orioles had one fantastic year. Boston repeat? Nope. Derek Jeter magic? Not really. Winning the AL East is never easy, and the sluggin' O's were a bit injured when they ran into the historic Royals.

I don't want to give this team the Little League 'keep your head up' talk, but seriously, an ALCS appearance without a couple of the team's superstars is pretty dangerous heading into 2015.

Boston Red Sox
Grade: D+

I know for a fact Boston fans give the Sawx a worse grade than a D for finishing last in the AL East and 25 games back, but with what they had at the middle of the season, they got a whole lot better.

It's going to be scary to see what GM Ben Cherington does in this offseason because they're a few pitching acquisitions away from another World Series appearance. The 2.0 version of the 2013 turnaround: Ortiz, Cespedes, Pedroia, Craig, and young talent all around. Watch out.

New York Yankees
Grade: B-

The teacher spent a lot of time grading this one. I wasn't too big of a fan of the Jeter hullabaloo, even though he is a first ballot Hall of Famer.

New York didn't make the playoffs in 2013, so the front office scraped together half a billion dollars to bring in free agents. With the new additions and losses, the pinstripes didn't make much Broadway noise this year.

But, give the boys credit because the Yankees did end up in the playoff conversation at the end of the year, and c'mon, it would be a sin as a fan to not enjoy the last month of Jeets.

Tampa Bay Rays
Grade: C-

The Tampa Bay Roller Coasting Rays. Coming into the year with hopes of battling for the AL East top spot, things went sour for Tampa Bay.

Joe Maddon, who took off to join the Cubs, went ahead and called the season "awkward." It was a frustrating year for the Rays, but their team is deep with young talent to back Evan Longoria, especially in the pitching department.

Toronto Blue Jays
Grade: C

This report card for the Canadian team completes the theme of the AL East underperforming in given preseason expectations -– besides the Orioles. Toronto did have a sizable stretch in the early to middle parts of the year where the offense was the most productive in baseball.

A bit of recycling needs to be done after it appears that the 2013 spending spree hasn't quite worked out. However, the Jays do have solid prospects to back the bats of Bautista and Encarnacion among others.

The end-of-the-year report cards are moving west. Stay tuned for the AL Central report cards!

Andrew Morris is a sophomore at Syracuse University. People refer to him in the third person and he has an everlasting love for Orange, Major League Baseball, the St. Louis Cardinals, Oakland A's, Golden State Warriors, and Indianapolis Colts. Follow him on Twitter: @Andrewmo123
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