The 2010 MLB season is in the home stretch, as contending teams battle for a coveted playoff spot and the possibility of going to the World Series.
It would be impossible to name the fate of teams still in the hunt. There is a lot of baseball to be played and anything can happen.
That doesn’t mean that, for a few teams, the 2010 season isn’t already in the toilet. Here, in order from bad to worst, are baseball ‘s top three biggest losers:
3) BALTIMORE ORIOLES
Here it is, plain and simple: the Baltimore Orioles should be better than 41-77 and 31.5 games out of first place in the AL East. Blaming failures on location is not going to fly, because the O’s are at the bottom of all 30 MLB teams.
Just look at the Rays, who have far less money, history, and fans than the O’s. Who would rather call dumpy Tropicana Field a home dome, instead of gorgeous Camden Yards? The Rays would happily switch stadiums with the O’s at a moment’s notice.
Where are all these superhero prospects the Orioles supposedly have? I have heard about the depth of the O’s farm system for at least four seasons, but pitching phenom Stephen Strasburg was on the Nationals the last time I checked.
The Orioles’ core of Nick Markakis, Adam Jones, and Brian Roberts is a solid group of talent. The pitching—not so much. O’s fans are waiting for their young pitchers to debut and claim that, in time, the O’s will win again. Guess the plan of embarrassing themselves in the meantime is working out better than expected.
There is light at the end of this tunnel and it started the day Buck Showalter was hired as the team’s skipper. Maybe owner Peter Angelos is finally listening, because hiring Showalter gives fans a reason to cheer again.
Though Showalter has been on the job for only a few weeks, Baltimore has already shown a huge improvement. Sorry to say O’s fans, but it may be next year before the team gets back to the “The Oriole Way” again.
2) NEW YORK METS
Coming in a close second and, with no surprise, is the New York Mets. The Mets have owned a spot on the “Biggest Losers” list since 2007, as the drama is never-ending in Queens.
The three problems with the Amazin’s are as follows:
- The Mets have the talent to contend, but lack the leaders to get them there. All-Star third baseman, David Wright is not feared by his teammates.
- The real defect is the owners of the Amazin’s, the Wilpon family. The Wilpons have no business owning a top-market ballclub or any professional sports team at all. The way they conduct business, from the firing of Willie Randolph to moving Lady Gaga to Jerry Seinfeld’s private box, is appalling. You can’t expect the players to have class when the owners don’t set an example.
- Skipper Jerry Manuel needs to be axed. Manuel is not the right fit for this clubhouse because the players don’t listen. Hiring a disciplinarian like Bobby Valentine is the way to go from here. That entails spending money, another pet peeve of Jeff and Fred Wilpon.
- FYI, the K-Rod incident should not be happening in the family waiting area in any clubhouse.
1) SEATTLE MARINERS
Everyone’s 2010 preseason predictions featured the Seattle Mariners to win the AL West. I have yet to find an expert who didn’t foretell Seattle as one of the top six teams before the seas
It’s hard to believe a team with Cliff Lee and Felix Hernandez leading the rotation, and bats like Ichiro Suzuki, Chone Figgins, and Milton Bradley could completely implode.
Well, that is exactly what the Seattle Mariners did in 2010—or more what they didn’t do. The Mariners couldn’t collapse because the team never swelled to anything in the first place
. There was a lot of hiring initially to throw in the towel midseason so easily.
The poor Seattle fans love the Mariners, who had proclaimed themselves losers by saying goodbye to Cliff Lee and letting franchise hero Ken Griffey, Jr. retire with no dignity.
Recently, the Mariners fired manager Don Wakamatsu, which is a textbook response to losing in sports. The Mariners’ pigheaded front office has fired and hired seven managers since 2001.
This is obviously not the problem, nor the solution. It’s a diversion of blame. Warning to Mariners fans: don’t presume the front office is buying time in order to work out the kinks. It hasn’t worked Seattle yet.
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