Appreciating a Good Start
“Every aspect of the game we’re playing well. We’re running the bases well, swinging the bats, pitching well. It’s a positive start for us.” – Shane Victorino
It’s hard not to agree with the new right fielder. The Yankees lineup is depleted. We get it. But hey, the Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, and the rest of the Red Sox aren’t responsible for making the schedule. They’re responsible for playing the games.
And so far, they are winning them.
It’s sort of too bad that most Red Sox fans don’t allocate as much energy towards celebrating when their team does well as they do when they play poorly. The Red Sox simply could not afford to start the season playing the same terrible brand of baseball that fans have come to expect during the initial part of the year. The 2012 Red Sox spent so much time digging themselves out of holes — whether it was a three or four-run decifict at the beginning of a game or a 1-5 start to the season — that when they finally got their metaphorical head barely above water, there wasn’t enough in the tank to sustain it. As a team, they needed to stop reacting to a punch. They needed to punch first.
So far, this year’s version of the Old Town Team has answered the call, and we should be very happy with that. But there is still a sense of pessimism because the Yankees’ lineup is watered down. I get that. The Bronx Bombers are beat up. Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, and Curtis Granderson are cogs in a machine that is used to cranking out crooked numbers night in and night out. Without them, the Yankees lack muscle.
But that’s not the Red Sox’ problem. I can’t imagine Joe Girardi and his boys felt bad any of the times they beat up on the Sox last season on their way to churning out 95 wins in an extremely competitive AL East. They saw a fractured, oft-injured Red Sox team as an opportunity, not an asterisk. This year’s Red Sox should feel the same way about the early season version of the 2013 Yankees.
So it is perfectly fine to feel good about your team. They’ve won a couple of ballgames. Be happy. You’re not a fanboy. You’re not getting ahead of yourself. The Red Sox have games on their schedule. They have to play them, regardless of who is (or is not) in the opposite dugout.