A ten-game losing streak. The worst in decades. A string of injuries as long as your sore arm. Still, it’s too soon to panic. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself. We’re still weeks away from my All Star game marker, when I traditionally worry when the Red Sox record is too good, setting us up for a late season swoon. Maybe we’re just swooning early to avoid the All Star break rush.
There’s a long season to go; teams go in streaks. Even the first place hot Tigers have lost six out of seven. And wouldn’t we rather cheer a late great comeback than witness a September debacle?
Today’s game, of course, was not quite as pathetic as other losses, but it was made worse by the seventh inning bench-clearing donnybrook, leading to the ouster of Jonny Gomes and the Rays’ Yunel Escobar. Apparently the Sox didn’t like that Escobar stole third when the Rays were already five runs up. Excuse me? As Rays manager Joe Maddon said, the last time anyone looked, baseball is about scoring runs, and no lead if safe at the Trop. The Red Sox did the same thing to the Rays in last year’s playoffs. No one complains when the Patriots run up the score when they have a huge lead. Sportsmanship is one thing the Red Sox do have control over.
I like John Farrell, and the Red Sox team organization is much better than that in the bad old Yawkey days. There’s no future in nostalgia. Even Theo and Terry aren’t working magic in their new venues.
Still you can’t help but be concerned. Maybe the harsh reality is that the team just isn’t that good. Maybe last year, more than 2004 or 2007, was really the magical year of the franchise, an outlier in their performances of recent seasons. I don’t think we should have paid Ellsbury all he wanted, but Sox management might have done better with off-season adjustments. It was not a time to be smug.
Someone suggested that it’s the curse of Jared Remy, collective payback from the gods for hiring him as a security guard, failing to protect the women he abused, and retaining his bantering father as an enduring reminder. But like the earlier one concerning the Bambino, I don’t believe in curses.
An ever optimistic friend says remember, the Red Sox are still the reigning World Champions, and no other team can say that. I’m just not sure yet how that translates into turning this season around.
But it’s only Memorial Day. Soon, we’ll be able to put rainy May and memories of the brutally icy winter behind us. Win or lose, I’m ready for the Boys of Summer (and summer itself, for that matter).
I welcome your comments in the section below.