Sooner or later, the Red Sox balloon was bound to burst. No franchise could be expected to sustain such a draining and taxing regimen for so long a time.
For a decade and a half, the Yankees and the Red Sox have been in a club by themselves. But the Tigers, the Rangers and the Angels are knocking on the door to superpower status.
The Red Sox were able to break away from past failings to build a championship franchise. But it took only one month to allow ego, pettiness and division to tear down their greatest run of success.
The Rays have won the American League East in two of the past three seasons, but a lack of fan interest continues to trail the team.
Did the Yankees buy a World Series celebration? Their money didn't hurt, but that $207 million payroll is the least of baseball's competitive-balance problems.
While the Yankees returned to glory by winning the World Series, the inevitability of full-scale instant replay in baseball stood out as perhaps the most important aspect of the 2009 postseason.
The Yankees are still in command, but this World Series suddenly has a different feel as it swings to New York for Game 6 on Wednesday night.
The Angels are up against the wall, but don't underestimate their chances to still win the ALCS.
In order to pull even in the ALCS, the Angels must figure out a way to solve CC Sabathia in Game 4.
The Angels' impact players aren't producing, and coupled with their physical and mental mistakes have made it likely they won't recover in the ALCS.
Instead of talking to the media, Alex Rodriguez is leaning on his extraordinary talent to change the perception about his postseason failures.
CC Sabathia knows all about success in the regular season. But after falling flat in the past two postseasons, he's focused on becoming a success in October.
The pressure to perform encircles second-year Yankees manager Joe Girardi, and the scrutiny will be as intense as ever.
The Yankees not only lost the AL Division Series to the Indians. They also watched their aging dynasty come crumbling down for good.
Now that the Yankees have more confidence from winning Game 3, the Indians are making a mistake by not pitching their ace, C.C. Sabathia, in Game 4.