The Red Sox are scuffling and you can hear the cackling from coast to coast.
Those legions of Boston fans who come to your town, take over your ballpark, and chant, "Let's go, Red Sox" are suddenly silent.
The Sox just got swept in Baltimore. I repeat,
"Everyone thought Baltimore was three easy wins and we got our butts kicked three times,'' admitted Sox second baseman
It strains believability. The Red Sox have one of the top payrolls in all of baseball. They have positively owned the Orioles for the last decade and went 16-2 against Baltimore last year. This year's Orioles might be worse than ever.
And they just swept the Red Sox.
Over two weekends, Baltimore beat Boston four straight times. This means that the Orioles are 4-2 against the Red Sox and 3-16 against the rest of the American League.
So what's up with Boston? How could this be happening? The Sox won two of the last six World Series. The Sox have been in the playoffs in six of the last seven seasons. Payroll is up. Fenway had been sold out for 563 consecutive games.
Going into Monday night's action, the Sox are 11-14, trailing the Tampa Bay Rays (who swept a four game set from the Sox at Fenway) by seven games and the Yankees by five and a half games. Boston comes home this week for four games with the Angels, then a weekend set with the Yankees. It's the first week of May and Sox fans are already wondering if the season is over.
Injuries are part of Boston's problem.
But it's more than injuries. It's underperformance and a dysfunctional roster that's killing the Red Sox.
Boston's vaunted starting pitching staff has an ERA of 4.96. The bullpen has been worse. The Sox have the third-highest ERA in the American League.
Drew and Martinez are probably going to hit, but Ortiz looks like a candidate to be released. After a great career with the Sox, Big Papi is a burden in the lineup. He's hitting .159 with three homers, all solo. It's been clear for two years now that he is done and the Sox made a mistake bringing him back as fulltime DH.
Some of us hold that the Red Sox are getting exactly what they deserve. Owner
Saying goodbye to power, Boston's new philosophy was supposed to be "run prevention.''
It's a myth. The Sox have the second-most errors of any American League team. Third baseman
The good news is that the Sox still have strong starting pitching and should be artificially inflated by the bottom-feeders of the American League. But it might be too late to save this season. The Rays are beating everyone and have four young, solid starters. The Yankees are the defending world champs. There's blood in the River Charles.
Before the Sox hit the road for Toronto and Baltimore, GM
His options are limited.
We can't say Theo didn't warn us. Last winter Epstein talked about 2010 possibly being a bridge year for Boston. He indicated that the Sox might take a dip while the organization's minor league talent matured.
Looks like he was right. And the bridge year has Boston fans jumping off the Tobin Bridge.