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When are the Red Sox and Rays (and Astros, to be polite) in real trouble?

Boston Red Sox's David Ortiz looks on in

Boston Red Sox's David Ortiz looks on in a game against the Texas Rangers. (April 2, 2011) Credit: AP

Yup, the Red Sox are now 0-5. Amazing. We mentioned in our early evening post last night that Tampa Bay, too, was 0-5. Which makes the 3-2 Yankees look like world-beaters in comparison.

(Oh, and to be polite, the Astros are 0-5, having lost two straight to the 5-0 Reds.)

People are throwing out statistics now that a team that started 0-5 has never reached the World Series, blah blah blah. I'd say that's about 99 percent hooey and 1 percent interesting. 

Ben Badler of Baseball America was just killing it on Twitter last night, on this topic. My favorite tweet of his: "Before '10 Giants, to find a team with a 5-game losing streak that won the WS, you'd have to go way back to the '09 Yankees. Or '08 Phillies."

I get it. The clubhouses of the Red Sox and Rays (and, to be polite, the Astros) must be tense right now. You watch your team make changes over the winter, you put in your six or seven weeks of spring training, you're fired up to start the season, and...splat. It's frustrating and it's embarrassing.

But how less frustrating or embarrassing is it than, say, the 2007 Yankees starting off 21-29? That's nearly one-third of the season. Those Yankees rebounded to make the playoffs.

How about the 2005 Astros beginnig the year 15-30? They wound up playing in the World Series.

At this extremely early juncture, the bigger concern would have to be injuries, rather than results. The Rays have put their best position player Evan Longoria on the disabled list. That's a real concern.

But we're a long, long way away - at least a few weeks - before a team's start could be so dramatically bad that we'd count them out.

(To be realistic, though, the Astros probably aren't going to be very good.)

--As the Yankees were rained out, my column focused on my disagreement with Joe Girardi for the way he handled the Rafael Soriano situation. I had a friendly discussion last night with some tweeps, some of whom wanted to know: "Should Girardi have blasted Soriano for blowing off the media?"

No. But we're dealing with nuance here. There's plenty of middle ground between "blasting" and the coddling and the excuse-making that Girardi deployed yesterday. Just something to the effect of, "He was wrong. Now we move forward." Rather than pretending that what Soriano did wasn't a big deal. Because Girardi understands perfectly why it was a big deal.

--The Mets lost to the Phillies after fighting back from a 7-0 hole, and David Lennon writes that MIke Pelfrey has quickly become a concern.

--There are seats still available for the Mets' home opener on Friday. Love the choice of Ralph Kiner to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

--As a follow-up to our discussion yesterday of the Mets' poor baseball operations management, NaOH produced some interesting data, displaying how little talent the Mets have brought in through the amateur draft and international free agents:


Mets GMs Since Cashen, 1991-2010

Draft Picks
& Amateur Free Agents
No. to
Reach MLB

Al Harazin
25 (16%) 71.2 Edgardo Alfonso
9.7 WAR

Joe McIlvaine
36 (14%) 56.5 Jay
3.7 WAR

Steve Phillips
111.2 David Wright
31.1 WAR

Jim Duquette
- 0.3 Nick
0.1 WAR

Omar Minaya
9.7 Mike Pelfrey
4.3 WAR

--Excellent column by T.J. Simers on security and safety at Dodger Stadium. Excellent job by Twitter, alerting me to this. 

--Stop by later for another contest.


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