The biggest surprise in baseball so far is in Beantown with the struggles of the Boston Red Sox. The floundering team is 5-9 on the season at this writing. As of Wednesday morning, only two teams in all of baseball have worse records – the Houston Astros (4-9) and the Baltimore Orioles (2-13). The Sox seem to be absolutely falling apart at the seams (pun intended). Normally an implosion of this magnitude by my favorite team’s greatest nemesis would thrill my soul, but strangely it does not. The Red Sox poor play actually saddens me, and leaves me with an empty feeling. Boston’s floundering robs the rivalry of competition and cheapens victories.
While last season’s long awaited World Series victory was rewarding for me, it would have been that much sweeter had the Yanks had the opportunity to beat the Red Sox in the ALCS. The Red Sox have always had the crutch of the AL Wild Card to fall back on to make it into the postseason, using it five of the last seven years, but if the current situation holds, the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees will assert dominance on the division and the rest of the league, leaving Boston out of the picture. Where is the sport in that!?
It reminds me of a favorite movie from my youth – Hook. In this film, a grown up version of Peter Pan (played by Robin Williams) returns to Neverland, where he is captured and brought before Captain Hook (played by Dustin Hoffman). Captain Hook has waited his whole life to exact revenge on the boy who took his hand, but what he finds is a shell of the warrior he once knew. Older, fatter, and unable to fly or fight Peter is a disgrace to the Captain Hook. He has stolen the Captain’s ability to prove he’s the best. That is the position that the Red Sox are putting the Yankees in right now.
Nothing seems to be going right for the Boston Red Sox right now. As MLB.com writer Tom Singer explains it, “Boston’s new emphasis on pitching, speed, and defense certainly hasn’t worked out.”
It is true that the Red Sox have been hit with injuries and health setbacks to key players in Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Cameron, but in all probability, with the poor outing by pitchers and lack of power in the lineup, the Red Sox would still be losing many of their games. So far Boston has lost six successive games at Fenway Park and the club is experiencing the worst start since the mid 1990s. What is going on?