Boston Red Sox: Why They Are Still American League Contenders

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Boston Red Sox: Why They Are Still American League Contenders
Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

Red Sox Nation is reeling over the horrendous start to Boston's season, stumbling out of the gate and playing no better than a last place team. They were picked by many, including many New York Yankees fans, to be formidable foes in the American League. Some even picked them as World Series winners. Of course, the Red Sox have yet to truly show their hand.

Opening the 2011 season 0-6—swept in back-to-back series—was something unexpected of the Red Sox. But with their All Star lineup composed of veterans and young players alike, one of the league's best lefties in Jon Lester and a proven skipper in Tito Francona, Boston is equipped to contend. And deliver.

After Tuesday night's 3-2 loss, the Red Sox are sitting in the cellar. Still, there remains much to be hopeful about in this team. There's a reason why there has been much hype surrounding the Boston Red Sox, and why many tagged them as viable World Series champions.

Tampa Bay and New York don't have the type of teams that in the past gave the Red Sox trouble down the stretch, when it really counts. And the Baltimore Orioles are currently flashing an over achieving team.

Here's a look at just a few reasons why they've earned such a following, and why this 2011 Red Sox club means business, even at a dismal 2-9.

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