If you read the press clippings in New England you would think the Boston Red Sox season is already over. Just six games into the MLB season, the Red Sox along with the Tampa Bay Rays are 0-6 and 5 games out in the American League East. Check out some of these headlines. Is It Time to Panic in Boston?, Right now Red Sox are a lousy team, Horror in full force.
To compound the problem, the arch rival New York Yankees come to town Friday 4 games up on the Sox bringing the nervousness and panic to a fever pitch. Check out this opening to Steve Buckley’s piece from the Boston Herald.com.
“Call it off. No patriotic flyover, no festive bunting, no oversized American flag covering the Green Monster.”
This panic comes with 156 games to go from many of the same pundits that picked the Red Sox as favorites to win the World Series. Before Boston broke the curse of the Bambino and won two World Series, I could understand why Red Sox fans and the media would predict doom and assume the worst in this situation. But this isn’t your grandfathers Red Sox franchise and it’s not your dad’s either. The Boston Red Sox have a proven track record now under GM, Theo Epstein, and manager, Terry Francona, and there just isn’t any reason to panic.
Last year’s panic was over the horrid start of David Ortiz and many in Red Sox Nation were calling for his release. After all the craziness last April, Big Papi ended up finishing the year at .270 / 32 / 102. Considering his awful start, Ortiz turned out to be one of the more productive hitters in all of baseball after April.
Is there anyone who thinks the Baltimore Orioles who are 5-1 are going to run away with the AL East? The Orioles have only given up 16 runs over their first six games while the Red Sox have given up 38. After six games, are we now saying that Baltimore has the better pitching staff?
The MLB season is a marathon, not a sprint and no team ever won a pennant because they finished April in first place. Sure there are exceptions, but for the majority of teams and players, the long season works like a bell curve. Teams and players who start off hot come back to the pack and conversely teams and players that start off cold end up finding their levels as well.
The Red Sox look to ‘get off the schnide’ and spank the Yankees in their afternoon home opener at Fenway Park. The reality is that a win, just one win, against their hated rivals will stop this insanity and we can carry on with the baseball season.
First pitch is scheduled for 2:05 p.m. EST