Are the Red Sox the most disappointing team in baseball?
It's nice to be at .500. It's even better to be over .500, but the Red Sox aren't there. Yet. While the Red Sox seem to be turning a corner, they still were swept by the Orioles over the weekend, are one game away from sweeping a not-so-good Angels team and host the Yankees for a three-game series this weekend.
So what's your answer: are they really the most disappointing team in baseball?I think we should start by saying what I think everyone is feeling: Yes, we are disappointed by how the Red Sox are playing this season. We're not used to seeing the Red Sox float below .500. We haven't seen much of that in the 2000s and seeing it after a month-plus of baseball is a little shocking.
But if we want to answer the original question, we need to look at all the other teams in baseball first.
THE WORST TEAM IN BASEBALL:
The worst team in baseball are the Orioles at 7-21. As bad as that is, they don't fall under the category of being a disappointment because, well, no one expected much from them anyway. Bad, yes, but not disappointing.
PRETTY BAD, BUT USED-TO-BE-GOOD:
The team the Sox are playing right now are pretty bad, but certainly has historically been a good team, the Angels. The Angels sit at 12-17. Many critics figured the Angels would still be a pretty good team this year despite losing guys like John Lackey and Chone Figgins. Instead, they have started out 2010 in rough fashion while the A's lead the division. However, it's important to remember the Angels are still only 3 games back. This team, though, is still showing some disappointment.
BAD, BUT EXPECTED TO BE MUCH BETTER:
One team that is down, but not out yet, is the Atlanta Braves. With Jason Heyward now in the lineup and Tommy Hanson a stud of the pitching staff, many thought before the season the Braves could really contend with the Phillies for the NL East. As of now, the Braves are 11-16 with a 3-11 record on the road. (Oh, and Heyward left Wednesday's game with a groin injury.) The Braves don't have such an uphill battle, though: remember they play in the National League. And in the National League, anything is possible.
In the National League West, the Padres -- yes, the Padres -- are dominating. In the middle of the pack, and at the bottom, are the 13-14 Rockies and the 11-15 Dodgers. Both are young teams with a lot of potential on their rosters. Instead, both are kind of flat. The Dodgers seem all out of whack, while at least the Rockies have Ubaldo Jimenez.
... AND NOW THE RED SOX:
The Red Sox are a perennial contender that sit at .500. While they certainly may be turning the corner, we need to look at what they've done for the majority of the season so far. The Red Sox were touted to have a much-improved rotation and defense, but what have we seen? A lot of bad defense and a starting rotation that has been shaky. (It doesn't help when Bill Hall is in your lineup everday. I have nothing against Bill Hall, but he's a utility player.)
Meanwhile, the offense has been pretty strong all season. The Red Sox are second in the American League in home runs, but the offense has been questioned since Jason Bay departed for New York. We're kind of in a Bizarro World, where up is down, black is white and salmon swim with the current.
The rotation is coming around. The defense is coming around. The offense is still doing quite well. The Red Sox are looking good right now, but we can't get past the expectations associated with the club. Yes, they took a different approach this offseason, but they're still the Red Sox; they're still a perennial contender.
In my opinion, the most disappointing team in baseball is ... the Dodgers. You can blame injuries or a lack of experience, but this is a team that should be competing to be one of the best in the National League. And oh, they are in the National League getting beat up on the road (4-11 so far).
I will admit, however, that the Red Sox are a close second. A very close second. The Red Sox should be well-above .500 and they should not be getting swept by the Orioles. But, at least, they are at .500. It could always be worse. And if it was any worse, they probably would be the most disappointing team in baseball. (The Braves are also close on this list as they should be a pretty good team.)
Your turn: are the Red Sox the most disappointing team in baseball?