Most baseball pundits are picking the Red Sox in 2011 to win the World Series, AL Pennant or AL East (or some combination of the three). I am as optimistic as just about any of them.
But of course, you'll always have your doubters, and in that category is one Bill Madden of the New York Daily News. (I also realized I hadn't added anyone to my "Big Fat Idiot" series in nearly two years. Welcome to the club, Billy.)
I have never been a fan of this writer. He's been a professional Red Sox basher since the 1980s. He's gone out of his way to rip the club, whether they have deserved it or not. And for some reason beyond my comprehension, they actually inducted this guy into the Hall of Fame last year in the writer's wing. (Wonder who he paid off to make that happen?)
But Madden has taken his Sox bashing to a new level this spring.
He is actually picking the Red Sox to finish third in the AL East, behind even Tampa Bay.
Yes, the Tampa Bay Rays, who got slaughtered in the free agent market last year, losing Carl Crawford, Carlos Pena, and their whole bullpen, and were forced to trade Matt Garza and Jason Bartlett, and they will finish ahead of the Red Sox, according to this guy.
Madden has the Red Sox winning just 88 games, and that's one game less than they won in their injury-riddled 2010 season. (Most pundits have the Red Sox in the 95-102 games won area.)
So let me get this straight, Billy boy. The Sox add Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, Bobby Jenks and Dan Wheeler, and get back Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, and Jacoby Ellsbury from a year lost to injuries, and they will win one less game?
What the hell has Madden been smoking? Nothing probably. He just likes going against the Red Sox. I don't say that every New York sportswriter is biased against the Red Sox, but Madden has shown over the years he has no use for the team. For whatever reason.
So, you want a good laugh? Read this.
I can't wait to see the Red Sox stick it to this asshole come October.