Boston Red Sox fans can be described in two words: passionate and smart. Passionate because this fanbase truly cares about the team starting in Spring Training and all the way into the offseason. Quite frankly, there is no offseason when it comes to Red Sox fans. These same fans are also smart. They know the game, they understand it and they love it. What has me baffled at this point is the overreaction to their play thus far in the 2014 season.
Going into tonight’s opening matchup against the Detroit Tigers, the Red Sox have a record of 20-20. That’s .500 baseball and a record some teams would kill for (I’m looking at you Houston Astros). At this time last year, the Red Sox had a record of 24-17. I’m not math whiz, but is there really that big of a difference in a 20-20 record compared to a 24-17? I wouldn’t say either one is exactly lighting the world on fire.
The root of the overreaction, in my opinion, is that Red Sox fans have become a bit spoiled. No one and I mean NO ONE predicted the Red Sox to win the World Series last year. I’m sorry, you can’t look at me with a straight face and tell me that you predicted it. They had an incredible year with a talented group of players where everything just clicked. You got great production from guys you never expected. Mike Carp was a pinch hitting animal. Jose Iglesias was hitting .330 when he was traded to the Tigers. David Ortiz hit another 30 home runs in 2013. Everything was truly perfect.
2013 was supposed to be a “bridge” year for the Sox where basically fans were told to not expect much. Sure, the Red Sox may be in contention in May and June, but those games against the New York Yankees in September won’t mean too much. However, the only thing that was true in those thoughts were those Yankee games. That’s because the Yankees weren’t going to be seeing a baseball diamond in October — not because the Red Sox weren’t going to be a contender. Because of these reasons, though, Red Sox fans may be expecting a bit too much out of the hometown team.
Even if the Red Sox don’t make the playoffs this year, you can’t be disappointed with the product that’s in front of you. We saw a team that wasn’t meant to go far and they excelled at every opportunity that was presented in front of them in 2013. You don’t catch lightning in a bottle twice, and this very well may be that second time. Fans should be thankful that a historic organization like the Red Sox was able to break that curse and win three World Series titles in the past 10 years. We all want our team to win and take it home. Last year wasn’t meant to be that year, but somehow it was. I don’t think this year will have the same results. This could be the year the Sox were meant to have in 2013. If that’s the case, I’m okay with that. In terms of their play, they’re basically on par with where they were last year. You never know; those Red Sox tend to surprise us. While this team doesn’t have that huge star-studded lineup of past years, they’re still an exciting and entertaining team to watch. Just don’t have such high hopes; you’ll enjoy the game much much more.
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