55. Albert Pujols' struggles to start season
The was virtually no way Albert Pujols could live up to the 10-year, $254 million contract he signed with the Angels as a free agent. However, nobody could have expected the utter atrocity of the first seven weeks of Pujols' debut season in California.
Through May 23—one-quarter of the way through the season—Pujols found his batting average at a paltry .213 with just four home runs and and 20 RBI. He was able to finish with 30 home runs, 105 RBI and a .285 average, which is incredible considering the depths he reached during the season's early months.
54. Ozzie Guillen loves Fidel Castro
Ozzie Guillen's career as the new manager of the Marlins got off to a shaky start, and it wasn't just because of a poor product on the field. In early April, Guillen declared that he loved Fidel Castro and respected him for avoiding death over the past 60 years.
The comments in the Time Magazine piece by Sean Gregory got the manager suspended for five games and nearly cost him his job. Praising the Cuban dictator in a city full of many people who suffered under his reign was one of the dumbest things Guillen has ever done—and that's saying a lot.
53. Kevin Youkilis traded from the Red Sox
Although the marriage between Bobby Valentine and the Red Sox seemed doomed from the start, fans can point to June 25 as the beginning of the end. On that day, the Sox shipped off Kevin Youkilis in a trade with the White Sox.
The move made baseball sense, as the Red Sox had an emerging star in Will Middlebrooks at third, Adrian Gonzalez at first and David Ortiz at DH. However, trading a company man like Youkilis angered fans and sent the clubhouse further into a downward spiral.
52. Omar Vizquel announces retirement
When Omar Vizquel took the field for the last time on October 3, his double play partner was Adeiny Hechavarria. To put things in perspective, Hechavarria was born 12 days after Vizquel made his Major League debut in 1989.
Vizquel's 24-year career came to a close this season after hitting .235 in 60 games for the Blue Jays. Vizquel, who made his ML debut in the same game as Ken Griffey, Jr., was the last active player to have played during the 1980s.
51. Red Sox honor Johnny Pesky
The links to baseball during the World War II era are dwindling and when Johnny Pesky died in August, one of the all-time greats from that era was gone. Pesky was a Red Sox institution and his impact cannot properly be stated in a couple of lines in a slideshow.
Pesky was part of the Red Sox family for 70 years and was rightly considered one of the game's great ambassadors. A presence at Fenway Park even into his 90s, Pesky had the right field foul pole officially named after him in 2006 and his number retired in 2009.
In one final gesture to the legend, all Red Sox players wore his No. 6 in a game against the Angels after his death.