Red Sox in last place, Indians in first – welcome to bizarro world

Cleveland Indians players watch a video tribute to the late Bob Feller prior to the season opening MLB American League baseball game against the Chicago White Sox in Cleveland, Ohio April 1, 2011. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk(UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

Remember that Seinfeld episode when Elaine meets a new group of friends that are exactly like Jerry, George and Kramer, although they’re normal and not deranged?

Yeah, well I feel like Elaine in that “bizarro world” episode when I look at the current standings in Major League Baseball.

You feel like a woman, Anthony?

Well not…uh…ah, shut up.

A quick look at the standings reveals that the Orioles and Indians are in first place, the Red Sox, Tigers and defending World Series champion Giants are in last place, and the Pirates and Royals are in second place. What in the name of Rick Vaughn is going on here?

Well, it’s not “bizarro world” as much as it’s the second week in April. The most overused phrase at this point of the year is “It’s early,” and it is. But that’s not to suggest that a team like Boston doesn’t have some serious issues to work through and Cleveland’s current six-game winning streak is a fluke.

The Red Sox’s current run differential is –31, which is the worst in the league. In their first 10 games, they’ve already given up 69 runs, or 21 fewer then they did through 10 games last year when they started 4-6 and missed the playoffs. For a team that many believed would win the World Series, the BoSox are off to a horrendous start.

On the flip side, the Tribe is 8-2 after dropping its first two games and is getting tremendous efforts from Asdrubal Cabrera, Orlando Cabrera, Travis Hafner and a young pitching staff. It remains to be seen whether or not their starters can continue to eat up innings and pitch well throughout the year, but it’s not a stretch to think that this is the start of a career year for Asdrubal Cabrera or that guys like Justin Masterson and Carlos Carrasco are coming into their own. Who’s to say at this point?

Granted, at this point last year the Blue Jays, A’s and Cardinals were all in first place, and none of them made the playoffs. But every year a team that wasn’t expected to contend does just that and shocks the masses. Nobody thought the Padres would compete in 2010 and if it weren’t for a late-season collapse, they would have made the playoffs.

Yes, it’s early – really early, in fact. But confidence is a scary thing and teams like the Indians are bringing truck loads of it to the park right now. Chances are things will go “back to normal” eventually (Elaine did find herself back with Jerry, George and Kramer), but then again maybe we’ll be trapped in bizarro world for a while longer. (I’m sure Tribe fans wouldn’t mind.)

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

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