MLB: 10 Biggest Disappointments of the 2011 Season (So Far)
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The plate has been brushed off, the hot dogs have been made and the 2011 MLB season is underway.
While there's a bunch of joy and hoopla that surrounds the opening week, there are some disappointed fan bases out there after their teams and/or favorite players got off to a rocky start.
There's no question we are all glad to see baseball back in action, but what are the 10 biggest storylines that have made us cringe so far?
10. The San Francisco Giants Starting off at the Bottom.
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While it could be a lot worse for the Giants with a 4-6 record, it's still a tad disappointing to see the World Champions hang around the bottom of a division that doesn’t necessarily scream "power."
Not only are the Giants losing, but after a whole offseason of the baseball world buzzing about Brian Wilson’s beard, the closer seems to be throwing in-game batting practice. In just two appearances, he has a 33.75 ERA and a .500 opposing batting average.
Not what you want to see in an All-Star closer.
9. Zach Greinke out of the Lineup Due to a Basketball Injury.
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Other than Cliff Lee's final destination, the big question this offseason was which team would pick up Cy Young winner Zack Greinke.
In the offseason Greinke found himself in the middle of a heated pickup basketball game where he suffered a cracked left rib and will have Brewer nation waiting until early May to see their new ace in action. The Brew Crew is sitting in third place in the NL Central as of today, and you have to think if that would still be the case if Greinke was on the hill for them.
8. The Nationals Playing without Many Key Players.
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The season just started, and the Washington Nationals are already looking at a great lineup in their injury reports.
Two men at the corners, Adam LaRoche and Ryan Zimmerman, are both day-to-day with muscle strains, but that’s nothing compared to their pitching woes. Four pitchers are already on the DL, two of them being Chien-Ming Wang and human ticket seller Stephen Strasburg, who is out until at least mid-season.
The Nationals may not find themselves in the division title race, and they lose their small shot early on with these key injuries.
7. Albert Pujols Is Struggling at the Plate.
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Right after an offseason of trying to land the biggest contract in baseball history, Albert Pujols is playing like a man who doesn’t even deserve a major league contract period.
Hitting only .150 with one home run and four RBI, Albert may want to look at some extra tape to break down his swing in order to get back to machine mode.
6. The New York Mets Start the Season without Jason Bay and Johan Santana.
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Lately it seems like the New York Mets have the reverse Midas touch; everything they touch turns to tin.
Jason Bay suffered a left intercostal muscle injury and will be out until sometime in mid-April, and staff ace Johan Santana has a more serious problem with a left shoulder injury that will keep him off the mound until at least mid-season.
Just another year for the Mets so far.
5. The Minnesota Twins' Tsuyoshi Nishioka Breaks His Leg.
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For fans like me, this one is a huge bummer.
Ever since baseball fans heard about this quick second baseman coming over from Japan, we all wanted to see if he was the real thing.
Unfortunately, it will take until late May to get a good look at him and watch him for a couple of series, but for the meantime we’re just left with all the hype.
4. The Boston Red Sox Are Getting Beat Up.
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I think it’s safe to say that absolutely no one saw this coming.
Sure losing streaks happen, but kicking off the season losing six straight with a $163 million lineup is borderline ridiculous. Losing to the Texas Rangers is at least somewhat understandable, but being swept by the Cleveland Indians? Yikes.
It’s a good thing they have 152 games left to play some catchup.
3. The Barry Bonds Trial.
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The reason this is a disappointment is because of the negative light that is being shone on baseball once again.
Barry Bonds is being tried on four charges, including perjury and lying to a grand jury under oath, and it's only a matter of days before the jury decides to send this man to jail or back to his house.
It's a shame that this cheater will remain on top of the coolest record in baseball while Hank Aaron sits somewhere in his steroid-free body in second place for most home runs.
And that excuse of, "I didn't know I was taking steroids." Don't even get me started.
2. Manny Will Not Be Manny Anymore.
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One of the greatest hitters in baseball history left the game in one of the ugliest fashions before the season really picked up steam.
Rather than waiting it out, Manny just decided to be Manny outside of the MLB and stepped away from the game by retiring.
1. The All-Star Lineup of Injuries.
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Here’s a list of injured players I haven’t mention yet: Brandon Morrow, Adam Wainwright, Kosuke Fukudome, Grady Sizemore, Hanley Ramirez, Chase Utley, Josh Hamilton, Evan Longoria, Ubaldo Jimenez, Adam Dunn, Jake Peavy and Magglio Ordonez, just to name a few.
Now tell me that doesn’t sound like a decent All-Star team.