Abandon all hope, ye who enter Fenway.
Perhaps recent success has gone to the collective head of Red Sox Nation, and after three games, frustration is mounting higher than ever before, even more so than after the Texas Rangers series at the start of the 2011 season.
It is unfortunate that the Boston Red Sox lost their Opening Day matinee and Saturday’s game to the Detroit Tigers in the fashions that they did. But as impatient as Red Sox fans are, their reactions to their 3-2, 10-0, and 13-12 losses at Comerica Park are absurd, even for a team that’s coming off Chicken & Beer Month and the greatest collapse in baseball history.
One caller on WEEI in Boston even went so far as to call Thursday’s loss an obvious conspiracy by Bobby Valentine to sabotage the Red Sox and become the next manager of the New York Yankees. The caller’s proof? The fact that Valentine managed to lose the game by one run and his weekly appearances on The Michael Kay Show on ESPN 1050 in New York.
Seriously? There are overreactions in sports, and then there are overreactions to Boston sports.
Come on, Boston. Did you expect the Red Sox and their volatile pitching staff to shut down the best batting order in the majors? Did you really expect the offense to be guns a-blazin’ against the likes of Justin Verlander? (Obviously Max Scherzer was a different story.) Did you really expect Alfredo Aceves to be the solution as the closer? And did you really expect more than one win against the Tigers, if any? Admittedly, this was a tough draw, but the real shock would have been a shock if this series went the other way around.
Don’t take this as a warning that the Red Sox won’t be competitive. They certainly can be, and in all likelihood will be. If all goes well with Andrew Bailey returning this season (maybe) and Carl Crawford regaining his All-Star form (again, maybe), they may just make the playoffs. Then again, if the starting rotation has anything to say about it, it’ll be too close for comfort.
If anything, just draw hope from the fact that the Red Sox stayed competitive with the Tigers in two of the three games. The Motown Maulers aren’t just going to dominate the American League Central – they’re a World Series contender.
Moral of the story: Lower your expectations, Boston. It’s not like you haven’t been here before.