Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A look on the bright side.

I'm tempering my alarm, using every ounce of logic I can come up with to keep the hot bubble of panic from rising up inside me. It's only six games. It's one more win than we had last year at this time. We'll lose 5-of-6 in July and no one will notice.  Sometimes it works. More often, I get more creeping thoughts encroaching on my logic: The bullpen is in shambles. Bobby V is a nutcase (though admittedly nowhere near as nutty as Ozzie Guillen - but that's another post). Youkilis is falling apart. And on and on and on.

But enough of those crazy voices in my head (is it just me, or do you guys have them too?). There is plenty to be excited about so far this season, and if you - like me - sometimes have difficulty bringing these to mind, here they are in a convenient list.

  1. Jon Lester is in mid-season form, and seems to be taking the whole "make up for September" thing very seriously. Lester has traditionally struggled in April, but he has absolutely dominated in his first two outings, and the fact that he doesn't have a win yet is just more evidence for how useless a stat the win can be.
  2. Daniel Bard's first start was promising, though the surface numbers (5IP, 5 earned runs, and a loss) are less than ideal. Bard recorded six strikeouts, allowed just one walk, and induced eighteen swings-and-misses at his pitches. His BABIP was way above average (a fancy way of saying more balls fell in for hits than is normal - the law of averages should make up for that over a full season).
  3. Dustin Pedroia looks ready, willing, and able to carry this team on his back all the way to the playoffs. The sparkplug second baseman began late rallies multiple times this week, seemingly willing the Red Sox to score runs. I don't think the Red Sox will be awarding a "C" to a player any time soon, but we all know who the leader is inside that clubhouse.
  4. Adrian Gonzalez seems to have come to understand us. Last year he was calling for fans to relax after the 0-6 start.  Not so this year, after an off-season of Sox mea culpas, Gonzo was out there claiming that the first game in Toronto was a must win. Gonzo came prepared - he has six RBIs so far this season.
  5. [This one is more personal, so I apologize in advance.] I am in the United States of America, in Red Sox Nation, where I can watch baseball on my TV.  At this time last year I was in Dakar, Senegal, praying that the power/WiFi wouldn't go out, and paying a classmate 10,000 CFA (about $20) to use his account. This is much better.
It's all going to be okay. This team is solid (though the bullpen is more suspect than I would prefer), and over the course of 2012 they are going to win a lot of games. There will probably be more drama than we've been used to since Manny took off, courtesy of Bobby V., but what's Boston baseball without a few shenanigans?

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