Monday, April 4, 2011

Everyone CALM DOWN.

So here we are, one series and three games into the 2011 season, and 3 games behind the first-place Orioles (yes, the Orioles), and people are starting to panic.

Why did we drop so much money and so many prospects for a splash in the offseason only to see the 2011 version of the Sox immediately fall into a tailspin in Texas? First of all, there are a lot of factors that go into these three losses.

(1) The Rangers are not to be taken lightly. These are not your father’s Texas Rangers: they’re under new ownership (hello, Nolan Ryan), and, lest you forget, they are the defending American League champions. Yes, they’ve lost Cliff Lee, but one player does not make or break a team.

(2) The Red Sox had a terrible spring. I understand that Spring Training is essentially meaningless, but the lackluster record and laissez faire attitude from that period seems to have carried over. Hopefully, they snap out of this funk sooner rather than later.

It’s only April 4th! I know, I know, these losses count just as much as losses in July or September, and if we lose out on the playoffs by less than three games, I will go back and eat my words, but while a three-game sweep to Texas, IN Texas, would be a cause for concern in mid-June and are the reason for outright panic at the start of the season. Say it with me, folks: SMALL. SAMPLE. SIZE.

Look, I understand the panic. I get it, the start of a new season is a rebirth in many ways, and no one wants their personal time of renewal to be sullied by bad experiences (and three losing scores of 12-5, 5-1, and 9-5 certainly fall into the realm of bad experiences).

But just like the triumphant graduating senior who can look back at his botched freshman year with nostalgia, I am confident that we will be able to look back on these three days and laugh, for they will not shape the entire season. Baseball is a marathon, there are 160 games still left to be played, and it’s unlikely (practically impossible, in fact), that the Red Sox will go 0-162 – though that would certainly be a memorable season, for all the wrong reasons.

It’s going to be okay, I promise… there’s a lot to look forward to: David Ortiz and Adrian Gonzalez are already RAKING; Matt Albers, Bobby Jenks, and Dennys Reyes have a collective ERA of 0.00; no one is injured yet; AND WE GO TO CLEVELAND NEXT. Things are going to look up – our starting pitching can hardly get worse, and the return to friendly Fenway on Friday should do us a world of good (even if we’re returning to play the Yanks).

It's not the 2010 Parade of Carnage, so everything will be okay.

So back away from the edge of the Tobin Bridge, Red Sox Nation… this should still be a season for the ages, and you would hate to miss out because you jumped ship in April after one lost series.

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