Red Sox' Starting Rotation Ranks Fifth in Major League Baseball, According to ESPN.com Folks in Boston like to think the Red Sox have the very best rotation in all of baseball. Folks with a more national perspective, however, tend to to disagree.

ESPN.com’s Buster Olney is one of those people, as he ranked the Red Sox’ rotation fifth in the majors, behind the Phillies, Giants, A’s and Rays.

John Lackey and Josh Beckett were major disappointments for the Red Sox last season,” Olney wrote. “But Clay Buchholz climbed into the elite tier of starters in the majors — and Jon Lester was already there. Boston needs bounce-back seasons from Lackey and Beckett, not only in 2011, but in the years that follow, because the Red Sox have invested big dollars in both.”

While fifth in the majors and second in the division may not be the best spot, Red Sox fans can at least take solace in knowing that the Yankees were nowhere to be found on the Top 10 list (pending Andy Pettitte‘s decision to return or retire).