Slightly Less Than 1/3 Of The Way Through The Season Report Card
Probably not the greatest title for a blog post, but I think it’s time we show a certain team from Boston some respect. While diehard fans and every hot girl within 100 miles of Boston are praising the Bruins, I’ve been quietly watching my Red Sox play their best baseball in 3 years. Everyone knows about the 2011 collapse, as well as their 2012 campaign with quite possibly the worst manager in the history of sports (Bobby V). That’s all in the past. During the offseason, they hired a no nonsense manager (Farrell) who understands the city and the goals of the team due to his prior stint with the ballclub as Tito Francona’s pitching coach. They also went back to former GM Theo Epsteins successful approach that won them two world series’. Instead of breaking the bank on free agent signings (Crawford, Gonzalez) they signed quality guys to reasonable contracts who are accustomed to winning and won’t bitch when things don’t go their way (Victorino, Napoli).
In just 59 games, they’ve completely changed the perception of the team. It’s truly amazing. They’ve gone from the laughing stock of the league to division leader, and while we still have a lot of baseball to play, I’d rather be in 1st after 59 games than last. They’re winning with good pitching, timely hitting and have created a positive vibe around the ballpark. Pedrioa and Ortiz are hitting better than at any point in their careers, while the emergence of Daniel Nava and recent success of Jose Iglesias have been welcome surprises. Clay Bucholz and Jon Lester are a combined 14-2, while Andrew Bailey, Junichi Tazawa and Koji Uehara have solidified the bullpen. The most impressive aspect of this team is their ability to succeed while major parts of their team have been hurt. Joel Hanrahan, the all-star closer Boston signed in the off season, was a total bust. He had just 4 saves and an ERA near 10 before he blew out his elbow and was lost for the season. Bucholz and Lackey have both missed starts, while closer, setup man and now closer again Andrew Bailey also spent time on the DL. With Will Middlebrooks and Shane Victorino both on the DL, the Sox have posted a 7-3 record in their last 10 games, the last 4 without CF Jacoby Ellsbury. Maybe you can contribute this to an easy schedule. The Sox are currently in a stretch where they play 32 games in 34 days, which, warm weather or not, is quite draining. The Sox are 1st in the AL in runs, 3rd in batting average, and 2nd in on base and slugging percentage. They’re currently 36-23, which is good for 1st in the A.L. East, 2 1/2 games ahead of the surprisingly good Yankees. The Bruins may currently have Boston’s heart, but I for one am glad the Red Sox are back.
P.S. If the Red Sox go on any type of losing streak in the next week I will never write about them again.