Ok, we’re only nine games into the Red Sox season. The Sox are 5-4, winners of two of their first three series and, somehow, seem to have recaptured the interest of a fanbase that had been worked into a murderous lather by the last two seasons’ struggles.
With that good start, though, the expectations for the team have gone from the “lovable loser cellar dwellers” to something much more.
You’ve seen this with the reaction from everyone after Joel Hanrahan’s performance against the Orioles on Wednesday, when homers from Chris Davis and Manny Machado erased a 5-3 lead and gave Baltimore a comeback win.
Now, Hanrahan’s suddenly public enemy No. 1, and the entire area seems to be calling for Andrew Bailey to step in as closer.
It’s good to see interest in the Red Sox back, and I’ve always believed that this team would exceed preseason expectations.
But let’s take this chance to pump the brakes a little bit about this team. This team’s not going to win the World Series. But here’s some things they will do.
Be fun to watch:
Few people bought into general manager Ben Cherington’s offseason focus on rebuilding the Sox by rebuilding the clubhouse.
He brought in guys like Jonny Gomes and Shane Victorino, guys who aren’t going to be in the running for MVP but have league-wide reputations as great teammates.
And with the return of old friend John Farrell as the team’s manager, the Sox are playing hard and aggressive. Sure, they’ll run into outs and lose some games, but a happy dugout and a relentless approach to each game should be a blast to watch. It already has been.
Keep games close:
There’s no sugarcoating this one: The Red Sox’ offense won’t be the juggernaut we’re accustomed to seeing, especially if David Ortiz struggles to overcome his injury.